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Uncovering the Culprit: Insights from the Latest Obesity Study

How to deal with obesity? A new study claims to have found the main scapegoat for obesity.

If the findings of a study just published in the scientific journal Obesity are to be believed, the main culprit of obesity is none other than fructose. However, as has always been the case with studies on fat and thinness, nothing is black and white.

Fructose is a simple sugar or monosaccharide, also known as fruit sugar. It is found naturally in honey and various fruits and vegetables. It is by no means the largest source of calories that humans typically consume. However, according to Richard Johnson, a researcher at the University of Colorado, fructose has another side effect: it increases the desire to eat more and to eat more fatty foods.

Fat belly

A balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables containing fructose will not be a problem. It will be difficult to absorb too much fructose with fruit. It is different from products that have added sugar.

In his study, Johnson and his colleagues looked at the effects of many different risk factors for obesity and tried to find a common denominator, even in seemingly contradictory circumstances. What scientists discovered was that the metabolism of fructose in the body results in lower levels of ATP or adenosine phosphoric acid. This compound is of great importance for the metabolism of organisms and is a source of energy that drives the biochemical processes that take place in organisms. When ATP levels reach a low enough level, it signals the body to need more "fuel." Our "fuel" is food, so when ATP levels are correspondingly low, we feel hungry.

According to Johnson, fructose is the unifying factor in many hypotheses and theories about what contributes to obesity: Fructose promotes our metabolism to go into "empty tank" mode, causing us to lose control of our appetite and crave food. fatty. This process is triggered even when the body still has energy reserves in the fat it has already stored.

In some cases, this may even be beneficial. For example, if you are a bear preparing for hibernation and feeding. So it is good that fructose intake promotes processes that protect already stored fat, which the body will need as "fuel" during hibernation. But for a person who consumes sugary foods and drinks, this process will do more harm than good.

"This is an evolutionary mechanism that helps animals store fat before the next fasting period. In the short term (for example, during hibernation), this process helps, but if it becomes chronic, the benefits are replaced by the risk of suffering various damages," the authors of the study write.

Much of the research to date on the role of fructose in the body's metabolism has been based on animal experiments, so Johnson's team acknowledges that there is still a lot of work to be done before we know exactly all the factors. key risk factor for obesity.

Link to study at the National Library of Medicine here.

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