Why We Overeat: Fructose?
Study found the sugar can trigger brain changes
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 2, 2013 4:14 PM CST
Updated Jan 5, 2013 7:00 PM CST
In this Sept. 15, 2011, file photo, high fructose corn syrup is listed as an ingredient on a can of soda.   (Matt Rourke)

(Newser) – Scientists have used imaging tests to show for the first time that fructose, a sugar that saturates the American diet, can trigger brain changes that may lead to overeating. After drinking a fructose beverage, the brain doesn't register the feeling of being full as it does when simple glucose is consumed, researchers found. It's a small study and does not prove that fructose or its relative, high-fructose corn syrup, can cause obesity, but experts say it adds evidence these sugars may play a role.

For the study, scientists used MRI scans to track blood flow in the brain in 20 young, normal-weight people before and after they had drinks containing glucose or fructose in two sessions several weeks apart. Scans showed that drinking glucose "turns off or suppresses the activity of areas of the brain that are critical for reward and desire for food," said one study leader. With fructose, "we don't see those changes," he said. "As a result, the desire to eat continues." The imaging results mirrored how hungry the people said they felt, as well as what earlier studies found in animals. Researchers now are testing obese people to see if they react the same way.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Why We Overeat: Fructose? is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 29 comments
Jan 6, 2013 3:16 PM CST
Simple answer - because we can.
Jan 6, 2013 5:03 AM CST
The fructose in fruit and the modified fructose in junk food is different. You can eat as much fruit as you want and you will never get fat from it.
Jan 3, 2013 5:48 PM CST
CORN SYRUP is NOT fructose, and this is the same kind of crap that the medical profession has been pulling for some time! Fructose sugar only comes from fruit! Because the manufactured sweetners do not want competition the manufacturers have been conducting a dis-information campaign to dissuade consumers from seeking genuine fructose sweeteners - because it is the least processsed sweetener that is difficult to patent and trademark the way McDonalds patents its french fries! Fructose raises the glucose in the blood slowly, giving our systems a chance to digest the important nutrients of our food. Processed sugar from sugar cane and sugar beets is artificial and raises our glucose levels rapidly - which jams-up the nutrient digestion process so that EVERYTHING gets digested, including many non-nutrient things that SHOULD be passed out through the bowels! Here is the literal secret that the corporate farm big-businesses do not want us to know: 1) Corn syrup is not fructose, it is a GRASS SUGAR that we humans should not eat; we humans are NOT supposed to eat grass, including wheat - they are bad for our biology; 2) There was a fad in the 1890s in England and our USA in which cults of people ate nothing but corn, nothing else. About 1500 people died from this;; 3) Corn syrup is fed to calves to fatten them up, but they become very ill if they receive more than six months of corn syrup --- but nine months of corn syrup KILLS THEM !!!! 4) The toxic effect of corn syrup is transferrable from animal to human through the meat, barbequing a steak does not eliminate the animal's inagestion of corn syrup !!!!!