Eating Fructose Doesn’t Make Your Brain Feel Satisfied

Image of the human head with the brain. The ar...

Image of the human head with the brain. The arrow indicates the position of the hypothalamus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You’ve heard how fructose has been associated with obesity and insulin resistance, which is the precursor to diabetes. Now, researchers from Yale University School of Medicine have investigated why this is so. They say that eating fructose doesn’t decrease blood flow and activity in brain regions that control appetite, and that eating fructose doesn’t increase feelings of satiety and fullness.

The study involved 20 healthy adults who were given two MRIs after drinking fructose or glucose-containing beverages. The researchers wanted to measure changes in blood flow in the hypothalamus region of the brain after glucose and fructose ingestion. The other outcomes these scientists wanted to investigate were:

  • If there were blood flow changes throughout the entire brain
  • If there was connectivity (connection) between the hypothalamus and other brain region responses
  • How hormones responded to fructose and glucose ingestion

Here’s what they found:

  • There was a much greater reduction in blood flow in the hypothalamus after glucose  ingestion as compared with fructose.
  • Glucose ingestion increased connectivity between the hypothalamus and the thalamus and striatum.
  • Fructose increased connectivity between the hypothalamus and thalamus, but not the striatum.
  • Regional blood flow within the hypothalamus, thalamus, insula, anterior cingulate, and striatum (the areas of the brain that regulate appetite and reward) was decreased after glucose ingestion compared with the level of blood flow at the start of the study.
  • Fructose ingestion decreased regional blood flow in the thalamus, hippocampus, posterior cingulate cortex, fusiform, and visual cortex (areas of the brain that have to do with memory, cognition and interpreting outside stimuli).
  • Fructose ingestion resulted in lower peak levels of glucose, insulin, and glucagon-like polypeptide 1, which helps with the creation and release of insulin.

 

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~ by chasm63 on January 2, 2013.

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