New research has found that sugar in sweet drinks can be more dangerous to health than sugars found naturally in foods such as whole fruit, possibly increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Conducted by Canadian researchers, including a team at St. Hospital Michael in Toronto, a new review analyzed 155 studies with a total of 5,086 participants, investigating the effects of various sources of fructose sugar on blood glucose levels in participants with and without diabetes. .
Fructose is a sugar that occurs naturally in various foods, including whole fruit and vegetables, natural fruit juices and honey, but is also added to foods such as soft drinks, breakfast cereals, baked goods, sweets, and desserts as sugar free. & # 39;
The findings, published by The BMJ, show that sweet drinks and some other foods containing fructose may have harmful effects on blood glucose levels, which can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs both when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin – a hormone that regulates blood sugar – or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.
However, fruits and other foods that contain naturally occurring fructose do not appear to have harmful effects on blood glucose levels.
In fact, the researchers found fruit and fruit juice may have beneficial effects on blood glucose and insulin control, especially in diabetics, perhaps because the high fiber content of the fruit helps slow the release of sugar.
Current guidelines have suggested limiting consumption of free sugars, especially those found in sugary drinks, with increasing evidence that fructose can be harmful to health.
However, the researchers noted that the review did have a number of limitations, including small sample sizes in the study including, a short follow-up period, and with several studies including limited types of food.
"This finding might help guide recommendations on important fructose food sources in the prevention and management of diabetes," Dr. John Sievenpiper, lead author of the study. "But the level of evidence is low and more high-quality studies are needed."