(HealthDay News) – In adolescents, consumption of fructose is associated with multiple markers of cardiometabolic risk, and this association seems to be mediated by visceral adipose tissue (VAT), according to a study published in the February 1 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

Norman K. Pollock, Ph.D., of the Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta, and colleagues investigated the correlation of total fructose intake with cardiometabolic risk factors and type of adiposity in 559 adolescents aged 14 to 18 recruited from high schools in Atlanta. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure VAT and subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue (SAAT).

The researchers found that fructose intake correlated significantly with VAT, but not SAAT (P=0.03 and 0.15, respectively), after adjusting for age, sex, race, Tanner stage, fat free soft tissue, fat mass, physical activity, energy intake, fiber intake, and socioeconomic status. After adjusting for the same variables, across tertiles of fructose intake, there was a significant linear trend for systolic blood pressure, fasting glucose levels, insulin resistance, and C-reactive protein (P-trend < 0.04). Conversely, for plasma high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol and adiponectin, there was a significant linear downward trend across tertiles of fructose consumption (P-trend <0.03). All trends were attenuated when VAT was added as a covariate (P-trend >0.05).

“Our adolescent data suggest that greater fructose consumption is associated with multiple markers known to increase risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and it appears that these relationships are dependent on visceral obesity,” the authors write.

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