Sugar: fruit fructose is still healthy

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Robert Lustig and colleagues argue that sugar is “toxic” (Nature 482, 2729; 2012), focusing on the “deadly effect” of the fructose moiety of sucrose. But they are directing attention away from the problem of general overconsumption.

Guidelines on healthy eating encourage fruit consumption, and fruit and fruit products are the third-largest source of fructose in the US diet.

Our meta-analyses of controlled feeding trials indicate a net metabolic benefit, with no harmful effects, from fructose at a level of intake obtainable from fruit (J. L. Sievenpiper et al. Br. J. Nutr., in the press).

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  1. St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    • John L. Sievenpiper,
    • Russell J. de Souza &
    • David J. A. Jenkins

Competing financial interests

J.L.S. has received several unrestricted travel grants to present research at meetings from The Coca-Cola Company and is a co-investigator on an unrestricted research grant from The Coca-Cola Company. J.L.S has also received travel funding and honoraria from the Archer Daniels Midland, International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) North America and Abbott Laboratories; and research support, consultant fees and travel funding from Pulse Canada. R.J.D. was funded by a CIHR Postdoctoral Fellowship Award. He is also a co-investigator on an unrestricted grant from The Coca-Cola Company. D.J.A.J. was funded by the Government of Canada through the Canada Research Chair Endowment. D.J.A.J. holds an unrestricted grant from The Coca-Cola Company and has served on the scientific advisory board for or received research support, consultant fees or honoraria from Barilla, Solae, Unilever, Hain Celestial, Loblaws Supermarkets, Inc., Sanitarium Company, Herbalife International, Pacific Health Laboratories, Inc., Metagenics/MetaProteomics, Bayer Consumer Care, Oldways Preservation Trust, The International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education, The Peanut Institute, Procter and Gamble Technical Centre Limited, Griffin Hospital for the development of the NuVal System, Soy Advisory Board of Dean Foods, Alpro Soy Foundation, Nutritional Fundamentals for Health, Pacific Health Laboratories, Kellogg's, Quaker Oats, The Coca-Cola Sugar Advisory Board, Pepsi Company, Agrifoods and Agriculture Canada (AAFC), Canadian Agriculture Policy Institute (CAPI), The Almond Board of California, The California Strawberry Commission, Orafti, the Canola and Flax Councils of Canada, Pulse Canada, the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, and Abbott Laboratories. D.J.A.J. also holds additional grant support from the CIHR, Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Ontario Research Fund (ORF), and Advanced Foods and Material Network (AFMNet).

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