- A new study reveals fructose consumption may lead to enlargement of the heart.
- Researchers say a diet of sugary drinks and ready-made meals could trigger the process in people who already have heart problems.
- Uncontrolled growth of the heart muscles can lead to breathing problems, palpitations and heart failure.
We’re so used to hearing that saturated fats are the cause of dicky tickers. But don’t reach for the fat-free fruit yoghurt just yet – a new study has revealed that fructose is linked to cardiac enlargement and heart failure.
Research published yesterday by the Institute for Molecular Health Sciences has discovered a previously unknown molecular process that points to fructose as a key driver of cardiac enlargement.
When people have high blood pressure, the heart muscles grow larger to keep up with the extra work. As the heart draws energy from glucose to sustain itself, added fructose serves to exacerbate the issue further, leading to possible heart failure. Yikes.
Researcher Peter Mirtschink advises that people who are already vulnerable to high blood pressure and heart problems should stay away from all sweet soft drinks, fruit juice and processed sugary foods.
“Just this surplus of fructose can help trigger the mechanism we have described if one of the stress factors is present, such as cardiac valve disease or high blood pressure,” says Mirtschink.
But there is some good news! In line with IQS philosophy, according to Mirtschink, eating a piece or two of whole fruit a day is safe, as long as you stay away from processed fructose in sugary treats. Just make sure you chase it down with some protein and, yep, healthy fats, to cushion the impact of that sugar.
What do you think? Are these new studies shedding light on sugar, or just adding to the confusion? Let us know in the comments below.