No differential effect of beverages sweetened with fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, or glucose on systemic or adipose tissue inflammation in normal-weight to obese adults: a randomized controlled trial.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


The American journal of clinical nutrition (2016)


BACKGROUND: Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption and low-grade chronic inflammation are both independently associated with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Fructose, a major component of SSBs, may acutely trigger inflammation, which may be one link between SSB consumption and cardiometabolic disease.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine whether beverages sweetened with fructose, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and glucose differentially influence systemic inflammation [fasting plasma C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 (IL-6) as primary endpoints] acutely and before major changes in body weight. Secondary endpoints included adipose tissue inflammation, intestinal permeability, and plasma fetuin-A as potential mechanistic links between fructose intake and low-grade inflammation.

DESIGN: We conducted a randomized, controlled, double-blind, crossover design dietary intervention (the Diet and Systemic Inflammation Study) in 24 normal-weight to obese adults without fructose malabsorption. Participants drank 4 servings/d of fructose-, glucose-, or HFCS-sweetened beverages accounting for 25% of estimated calorie requirements while consuming a standardized diet ad libitum for three 8-d periods.

RESULTS: Subjects consumed 116% of their estimated calorie requirement while drinking the beverages with no difference in total energy intake or body weight between groups as reported previously. Fasting plasma concentrations of C-reactive protein and IL-6 did not differ significantly at the end of the 3 diet periods. We did not detect a consistent differential effect of the diets on measures of adipose tissue inflammation except for adiponectin gene expression in adipose tissue (P = 0.005), which was lowest after the glucose phase. We also did not detect consistent evidence of a differential impact of these sugars on measures of intestinal permeability (lactulose:mannitol test, plasma zonulin, and plasma lipopolysaccharide-binding protein).

CONCLUSION: Excessive amounts of fructose, HFCS, and glucose from SSBs consumed over 8 d did not differentially affect low-grade chronic systemic inflammation in normal-weight to obese adults. This trial was registered at as NCT01424306.