Is there really a link between type 2 diabetes and fructose?

In a commentary featured in the September 2013 publication ofNutrition Bulletin, author Dr. Geoffrey Livesey dismisses the association between fructose consumption and type 2 diabetes.

In the peer-reviewed journal article, Dr. Livesey addresses questions typically asked when discussing the health effects of fructose, such as the validity of recent studies that found an association between fructose and increased absorption of fat in the liver. Livesey explained that in many of the studies that found unfavorable health effects associated with fructose, consumption levels highly exceeded the amount an individual would typically consume. Also, in studies where fructose intake was associated with accumulation of fat in the liver, it may not be the fructose directly that caused this increase, but rather an overall increase in energy intake. Livesey also discussed possible explanations for the association between diabetes and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, and concluded that much of the association is likely due to pre-existing disposition to obesity or an increase in glycemic load from drinks sweetened with sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup.

Livesey concluded that “the association between fructose in drinks and type 2 diabetes has been deemed limited and too unreliable to merit government action.” Also, Livesey pointed out that further research needs to be conducted that focuses on overall sugar content of drinks and not fructose alone.

Livesey, G. (2013) Is there really a link between diabetes and the ingestion of fructose? Nutrition Bulletin, 38: 337-343.