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Sweetened Drinks Increase Triglycerides In Obese Adults


Research shows that people who drink fructose-sweetened beverages with their meals are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease because of increased triglycerides.

Karen L. Teff, Ph.D. and collaborators studied 17 obese men and women who were admitted twice to the Clinical and Translational Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Each time, the subjects were given identical meals and blood was collected from an intravenous catheter over a 24-hour period. During one admission, subjects were given a beverage sweetened with glucose to have with their meal. In the other admission, beverages were given that had been sweetened with fructose.

The results of blood collected from the catheter showed that blood triglyceride levels were higher when subjects drank fructose-sweetened beverages with their meals compared to when they drank glucose-sweetened beverages. The total amount of triglycerides over a 24-hour period was nearly 200 percent higher when the subjects drank fructose-sweetened beverages. This effect was especially pronounced in insulin-resistant subjects who already had increased triglyceride levels before the study.

Why is this a concern?

“Increased triglycerides after a meal are known predictors of cardiovascular disease,” says Teff. “Our findings show that fructose-sweetened beverages raise triglyceride levels in obese people, who already are at risk for metabolic disorders such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.”

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