Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fructose produces less rewarding sensations in the brain

25.06.2015

Fructose not only results in a lower level of satiety, it also stimulates the reward system in the brain to a lesser degree than glucose. This may cause excessive consumption accompanied by effects that are a risk to health, report researchers from the University of Basel in a study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE. Various diseases have been attributed to industrial fructose in sugary drinks and ready meals.

Fruit sugar, or fructose, is a carbohydrate that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables and is generally harmless in this form. Despite their similar structures, fructose and glucose – that is, pure grape sugar – affect the body very differently: an intake of glucose causes a sharp increase in blood insulin within minutes, whereas fructose stimulates insulin secretion to a limited degree only.


The MRI image clearly shows how the brain's reward, or limbic, system behaves differently when administered a placebo (top) or one of two types of sugar, glucose (center) and fructose (bottom).

Image: University of Basel, Department of Biomedicine

Teams of researchers led by Professor Christoph Beglinger from the University Hospital and Professor Stefan Borgwardt from the Psychiatric University Clinics (UPK Basel) have now taken a more in-depth look at how these two types of sugar affect interactions between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain.

Their work was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. In their study, the researchers used combined pharmacological and imaging methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Brain activity examined

In the placebo-controlled, double-blind study, twelve healthy young men were given either fructose, glucose or a placebo by way of a feeding tube. Blood samples were then taken from the subjects to measure satiety hormones. The subjects were also asked about how satiated they felt, and their brain activity was monitored by MRI while at rest.

The findings of the pilot study were as follows. Unlike glucose, fructose is less effective at creating feelings of satiety and stimulating the reward system in the brain. An analysis of the MRIs in fact showed that the two types of sugar differed greatly in terms of network activation within the hippocampus and amygdala areas of the limbic system, i.e. the regions of the brain that regulate emotions and impulses.

Furthermore, in contrast to glucose (which stimulated a strong signal) the levels of satiety hormones in the blood barely or only minimally increased following fructose consumption. The subjective feeling of satiety also tended to be less affected by the consumption of fructose.

The problem of fructose

“The study may provide the first key findings about the lack of satiety and rewarding effects triggered by fructose,” state lead authors Dr Bettina Wölnerhanssen and Dr Anne Christin Meyer-Gerspach. The role of the differing insulin levels and other effects will have to be demonstrated in further studies with more test subjects.

Research is increasingly finding indications that isolated, industrially manufactured fructose – which is increasingly used in sugary drinks, sweets and ready meals – is problematic for the human body. It is suspected that fructose promotes the development of various disorders such as obesity, diabetes, fatty liver disease and gout.

Original source

Bettina Karin Wölnerhanssen, Anne Christin Meyer-Gerspach, André Schmidt, Nina Zimak, Ralph Peterli, Christoph Beglinger, Stefan Borgwardt
Dissociable Behavioral, Physiological and Neural Effects of Acute Glucose and Fructose Ingestion: A Pilot Study
Plos One, published June 24, 2015, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130280

Further information

Dr. Bettina Wölnerhanssen, Department of Biomedicine,University and University Hospital Basel, phone +41 61 328 73 78, email: bettina.woelnerhanssen@usb.ch

Christoph Dieffenbacher | Universität Basel
Further information:
http://www.unibas.ch

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Graphene gives a tremendous boost to future terahertz cameras
16.04.2019 | ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences

nachricht Mount Kilimanjaro: Ecosystems in Global Change
28.03.2019 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

Im Focus: Researchers 3D print metamaterials with novel optical properties

Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna

A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>