A recent study indicates that consuming too much fructose would affect the normal functioning of the immune system.
As a natural sugar, fructose can be found in honey, fruits, squash, asparagus, and other veggies. Those forms of fructose may be a part of a healthy diet since veggies and fruits typically contain less sugar than sugar-sweetened or processed foods.
However, high fructose corn syrup or HFCS is an artificial sweetener produced from cornstarch. More and more manufacturers of soft drinks and processed foods have added this ingredient in the last decades to lower costs.
There are still a lot of controversial debates on whether HFCS may be more harmful than other types of sugar.
The FDA announces that there is currently no evidence that products with HFCS are less safe than those with other sugars.
However, many studies have suggested an association between high consumption of HFCS and different diseases, including non-alcohol-related fatty liver, diabetes, and obesity.
An issue with this ingredient is that it is present in various processed products, even salad dressing and frozen pizza.
A recent study published in the Nature Communications journal by scientists from the UK revealed a few findings of the responses of mouse and human cells to fructose exposure.
The research suggests that high consumption of fructose would affect the immune system’s function.
They identified that fructose leads to inflammation of the immune system. This subsequently causes more reactive molecules to be produced, which is related to inflammation.
More specially, HFCS changes cellular metabolic pathways, which helps produce more reactive inflammatory cytokines.
This process may cause tissue and cell damage, affect the functioning of systems and organs, as well as result in medical conditions.
The findings help us understand better why some foods and drinks may cause diseases.
Also, the study suggests a link between fructose and obesity.
They identified that HFCS makes your body cells more susceptible to other metabolic challenges. It means people with high consumption of this sugar tend to be at a higher risk of more serious symptoms when infections or metabolically challenging conditions occur.
The authors hope that the results would encourage more research to help develop proper treatments for different conditions, including infectious illnesses and cancer. Studies in various elements of the diet may bring a better understanding of what would lead to disease and inflammation as well as what would help improve our well-being and health.