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Female hormones found to protect against harmful effects of fructose

(January 21, 2003) -- Bethesda, MD High-fructose corn syrup replaced sucrose (table sugar) as a sweetener in most grocery products some 20 years ago. Today, about nine percent of the average dietary energy intake in the U.S. comes from fructose. However, a number of nutritionists are alarmed by the amount of the public's consumption, as previous research has demonstrated that a fructose diet can lead to insulin resistance and hypertension, particularly in male laboratory animals.

Effects of Fructose In Female Rats?

Other study results have been uncertain as to whether elevated blood pressure found in female rats was related to impairments in insulin sensitivity, or if there were any differences between sexes in terms of insulin sensitivity. These findings raised an important question regarding the effects of fructose in female rats, and whether hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance lead to hypertension as in male rats. Therefore, based on previous research, it has not been possible to discern what role sex plays in the relationship between hyperinsulinemia/insulin resistance and hypertension (if any).

Given the differences in the incidence and cause of cardiovascular disease in men and women, a team of Canadian researchers hypothesized that sex gender may affect the relationship between hyperinsulinemia/insulin resistance and hypertension. To investigate this hypothesis, they designed experiments to clarify the effect of a high-carbohydrate (fructose) diet in both male and female rats on the development of hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, and hypertension. They also examined the role of the sex hormones in the response to a fructose diet in females and examined vascular responses to insulin.

The Study

The authors of "Female Rats are Protected Against Fructose-Induced Changes in Metabolism and Blood Pressure," are Denise Galipeau and John H. McNeill Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Bri
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Contact: Donna Krupa
djkrupa1@aol.com
703-527-7357
American Physiological Society
21-Jan-2003


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