J Nutr. 2012 Feb;142(2):251-7. Epub 2011 Dec 21.
Greater fructose consumption is associated with cardiometabolic risk markers and visceral adiposity in adolescents.
Pollock NK, Bundy V, Kanto W, Davis CL, Bernard PJ, Zhu H, Gutin B, Dong Y.
Department of Pediatrics, Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta, GA.
Though adolescents consume more fructose than any other age group, the relationship between fructose consumption and markers of cardiometabolic risk has not been established in this population. We determined associations of total fructose intake (free fructose plus one-half the intake of free sucrose) with cardiometabolic risk factors and type of adiposity in 559 adolescents aged 14-18 y. Fasting blood samples were measured for glucose, insulin, lipids, adiponectin, and C-reactive protein. Diet was assessed with 4-7 24-h recalls and physical activity (PA) was determined by accelerometry. Fat-free soft tissue (FFST) mass and fat mass were measured by DXA. The s.c. abdominal adipose tissue (SAAT) and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) were assessed using MRI. Multiple linear regression, adjusting for age, sex, race, Tanner stage, FFST mass, fat mass, PA, energy intake, fiber intake, and socioeconomic status, revealed that fructose intake was associated with VAT (β = 0.13; P = 0.03) but not SAAT (P = 0.15). Significant linear upward trends across tertiles of fructose intake were observed for systolic blood pressure, fasting glucose, HOMA-IR, and C-reactive protein after adjusting for the same covariates (all P-trend < 0.04). Conversely, significant linear downward trends across tertiles of fructose intake were observed for plasma HDL-cholesterol and adiponectin (both P-trend < 0.03). When SAAT was added as a covariate, these trends persisted (all P-trend < 0.05). However, when VAT was included as a covariate, it attenuated these trends (all P-trend > 0.05). In adolescents, higher fructose consumption is associated with multiple markers of cardiometabolic risk, but it appears that these relationships are mediated by visceral obesity.