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AHA/HBP: Fructose Linked to Hypertension, Metabolic Effect

Last Updated: September 24, 2009.

In adult men, the metabolic effects of high fructose intake may be mitigated by the uric acid-lowering effects of allopurinol, according to research presented this week at the American Heart Association's 63rd High Blood Pressure Research Conference, held from Sept. 23 to 26 in Chicago.

THURSDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- In adult men, adverse blood pressure and metabolic effects of high fructose intake may be mitigated by the uric acid-lowering effects of allopurinol, according to research presented this week at the American Heart Association's 63rd High Blood Pressure Research Conference, held from Sept. 23 to 26 in Chicago.

In one study, Richard Johnson, M.D., of the University of Colorado in Denver, and colleagues randomly assigned 74 adult men to receive 200 grams of fructose per day with or without allopurinol. After two weeks, the researchers found that fructose ingestion was associated with a significant mean increase in ambulatory blood pressure (6 mm/Hg for systolic and 3 mm/Hg for diastolic) and fasting triglycerides (55 mg/dL), and a significant mean decrease in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (2.5 mg/dL), resulting in a 25 to 33 percent increase in metabolic syndrome. However, they also found that allopurinol countered the increase in ambulatory blood pressure and lowered low-density lipoprotein cholesterol relative to control, resulting in only a 0 to 2 percent increase in metabolic syndrome.

In a second study, Swapnil V. Shewale and colleagues from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, found that mice on a 24 hour-a-day high-fructose diet had elevated blood pressure; while mice on a 12 hour-a-day high-fructose diet had no changes in blood pressure despite higher corticosterone levels, body weight, and fasting glycemic levels.

"High doses of fructose raises blood pressure and causes features of metabolic syndrome. Lowering uric acid prevents the systolic blood pressure rise," Johnson and colleagues conclude. "Excessive intake of fructose may have a role in the epidemic of obesity and diabetes."

Authors of the first study reported patent applications related to lowering uric acid as a means for treating hypertension and metabolic syndrome.

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