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Is the fructose index more relevant with regards to cardiovascular disease than the glycemic index?

Abstract

The glycemic index (G.I.) is a means for categorizing carbohydrates based on their ability to raise blood glucose, subsequently this index has been popularized as a way for selecting foods to reduce the risk for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. We suggest that the G.I. is better aimed at identifying foods that stimulate insulin secretion rather than foods that stimulate insulin resistance. In this regard, fructose has a low G.I. but may be causally linked with the obesity and cardiovascular disease epidemic. The reported association of high G.I. with cardiovascular disease may be due to the association of sugar intake which contains fructose, but which has a high G.I. due to its glucose content. We propose the use of a fructose index to categorize foods and propose studies to determine the effect of low fructose diets as a means to prevent obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease in the population.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported by NIH grants DK-52121 and HL-68607. The authors have applied for a trademark and have a patent application for a measure of fructose consumption. Drs Gollub and Johnson also have a contract to author a book on the topic of fructose by Rodale Press.

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Correspondence to Richard J. Johnson MD.

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Segal, M.S., Gollub, E. & Johnson, R.J. Is the fructose index more relevant with regards to cardiovascular disease than the glycemic index?. Eur J Nutr 46, 406–417 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-007-0680-9

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Keywords

  • cardiovascular disease
  • fructose
  • metabolic syndrome
  • obesity
  • uric acid