Robert Lustig and colleagues argue that sugar is “toxic” (Nature 482, 27–29; 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).
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).
About this article
Cite this article
Sievenpiper, J., de Souza, R. & Jenkins, D. Sugar: fruit fructose is still healthy. Nature 482, 470 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/482470e
Effects of fructose restriction on liver steatosis (FRUITLESS); a double-blind randomized controlled trial
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2021)
Is there any association between fruit consumption and the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus? A systematic review and meta-analysis
Complementary Therapies in Medicine (2020)
<p>Glycemic Control Among People Living with Diabetes and Human Immunodeficiency Virus in Ethiopia: Leveraging Clinical Care for the Looming Co-Epidemics</p>
Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy (2020)
Fresh fruit intake in pregnancy and association with gestational diabetes mellitus: A prospective cohort study
Network analysis reveals the co-expression of sugar and aroma genes in the Chinese white pear (Pyrus bretschneideri)