The Form Factor Of Sugar Matters In Weight Gain

Researchers in China have found that the consumption of sugary liquids, but not solid sugar, contributes to increased body fat in mice.

AsianScientist (Nov. 7, 2019) – A team of scientists in China has demonstrated in mice that consumption of sugary drinks, but not sugary food, leads to weight gain. Their findings are published in the journal Molecular Metabolism.

While sugar is a critical source of energy for living organisms, too much of it can lead to negative health consequences. Depending on the form that sugar comes in—be it as carbohydrates in bread or as sucrose in a carbonated drink—the rate of sugar absorption by the body differs.

In the present study, researchers led by Professor John Speakman at the University of Aberdeen, UK, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences sought to determine whether the way sugar was consumed would affect the likelihood of weight gain. They compared mice which had been fed diets containing 73 percent of calories from sugar, in either a solid or liquid form, for eight weeks.

After monitoring the rodents’ body weight, body composition, energy intake and expenditure, as well as insulin sensitivity throughout the feeding period, they found that the consumption of sugary water, but not equivalent levels of solid sugar, led to body fat gain. The team also observed impaired glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, markers of increased diabetes risk, in mice receiving sugary liquids.

“We need to know how body weight is regulated to understand the obesity and diabetes epidemics,” said Speakman. “There is a lot of recent concern over the intake of sugary drinks. If humans respond in the same way as mice do, then our data suggest that these concerns may be entirely justified.”

The article can be found at: Togo et al. (2019) Impact of Dietary Sucrose on Adiposity and Glucose Homeostasis in C57BL/6J Mice Depends on Mode of Ingestion: Liquid or Solid.


Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences; Photo: Pixabay.
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