European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 1–9 | Cite as

Comparison of free fructose and glucose to sucrose in the ability to cause fatty liver

  • Laura G. Sánchez-LozadaEmail author
  • Wei Mu
  • Carlos Roncal
  • Yuri Y. Sautin
  • Manal Abdelmalek
  • Sirirat Reungjui
  • MyPhuong Le
  • Takahiko Nakagawa
  • Hui Y. Lan
  • Xuequing Yu
  • Richard J. Johnson
Original Contribution



There is evidence that disaccharide sucrose produce a greater increase in serum fructose and triglycerides (TGs) than the effect produced by their equivalent monosaccharides, suggesting that long-term exposure to sucrose or fructose + glucose could potentially result in different effects.

Aim of the study

We studied the chronic effects of a combination of free fructose and glucose relative to sucrose on rat liver.


Rats were fed either a combination of 30% fructose and 30% glucose (FG) or 60% sucrose (S). Control rats were fed normal rat chow (C). All rats were pair fed and were followed for 4 months. After killing, blood chemistries and liver tissue were examined.


Both FG-fed- and S-fed rats developed early features of metabolic syndrome when compared with C. In addition, both diets induced hepatic alterations, including variable increases in hepatic TG accumulation and fatty liver, an increase in uric acid content in the liver, as well as an increase in hepatic levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) measured in liver homogenates.


Diets containing 30% of fructose either as free fructose and glucose, or as sucrose, induce metabolic syndrome, intrahepatic accumulation of uric acid and TGs, increased MCP-1 and TNF-α as well as fatty liver in rats. It will be relevant to determine clinically whether pharmacological reduction in uric acid levels might have a therapeutic advantage in the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.


Non-alcoholic steatosis Metabolic syndrome Sucrose Fructose 



Supported by NIH grants HL-68607 and generous funds from Gatorade. Laura G. Sánchez-Lozada is supported by grant 081054 from CONACyT, Mexico.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura G. Sánchez-Lozada
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
    Email author
  • Wei Mu
    • 1
  • Carlos Roncal
    • 1
  • Yuri Y. Sautin
    • 1
  • Manal Abdelmalek
    • 3
  • Sirirat Reungjui
    • 1
  • MyPhuong Le
    • 1
  • Takahiko Nakagawa
    • 1
  • Hui Y. Lan
    • 4
  • Xuequing Yu
    • 5
  • Richard J. Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Nephrology, Hypertension and TransplantationUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of NephrologyINC Ignacio ChavezMexicoMexico
  3. 3.Division of Gastroenterology and HepatologyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  4. 4.Department of Medicine and TherapeuticsChinese University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  5. 5.Department of Nephrology, The First Affiliated HospitalSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  6. 6.Division of Renal Diseases and HypertensionUniversity of Colorado Health Sciences CenterAuroraUSA

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