Simply Health ME E53 – Fructose

Check out work by Dr. Lustig who is a pediatric endocrinologist

Book is called “Fat Chance”

Another example of “A calorie is not a calorie”!! Calories affect your body differently

Glucose vs Fructose

Both carbohydrates

Every cell burns glucose. You either get glucose from diet or you make it yourself from

Gluconeogenesis (liver makes glucose). You can eat NO glucose but still have glucose in your body

We can only metabolize a smaller amount of fructose and we store it primarily. Excess

basically leads to aging of cells


In soda, candy, cakes and goodies but also in most breads

Basically all processed food

Does not decrease your hunger hormone (ghrelin) like glucose

Means you can eat and eat and eat

You literally can’t eat as much food with no fructose in

Causes NAFLD (non alcoholic fatty liver disease)

We are seeing this in kids younger and younger

More common than alcohol disease

Fructose lights up the “reward center” of brain (dopamine)

Same effect as cocaine, nicotine, etc.


Liver Disease

ALT and AST is what we measure.

ALT of 40 is considered normal

The average (normal level) has increased over the past decade

These are basically markers for sugar intake

Basically everyone has fatty liver.


Genetic differences

E.g latinX population has genetic population where they store more sugar and don’t process it well. Even more important to cut sugar down

Pete’s ALT was 32. Is now normal but would have been abnormal, AST 24



Causes whole body inflammation.

Lustig is a pediatrician so he works with hundreds of families


Epigenetic changes in kids with this consumption (probably – found in animal studies)

We know maternal hyperglycemia changes genetics of baby later on

Causes metabolic issues later in life


How many times does it take to get a baby to eat a savory food?

Need to introduce a new, savory food (Think roasted veggies) 13 times to get child to accept

What about sugar?



Because it is like cocaine there is a huge issue with down regulate dopamine receptor

Hard to experience joy from other things

Because of the down-regulator receptors in brain

Takes more and more sugar

But also more and more of other things

Could this be linked to depression??!!!!!

The problem is that this addiction is socially accepted.


One benefit of fructose (only in athletes)

If your liver if depleted of glycogen, you can replete faster with fructose but fructose (like in energy gels DO NOT replete muscle glycogen)



Is technically fructose BUT it comes with fiber.


Its sugar without fiber

If it has a label its not real food

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