A recent study conducted at the University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center found that fructose, a sugar used in a large number of processed foods including candy and soft drinks is linked to a higher incidence of high blood pressure (hypertension). The findings indicate that decreasing intake of beverages and food containing fructose sugar may help to prevent the development of high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is the most commonly occurring chronic disease in industrialized nations, and a significant risk factor for the development of kidney and heart disease.
Researchers are striving to identify environmental factors that might be responsible for the development of hypertension and suspected that fructose plays a role. During the last 100 years, people have dramatically increased their consumption of fructose, especially high fructose corn syrup. And its increased consumption parallels the dramatic rise in the incidence of hypertension.
Dr. Diana Jalal and colleagues study, published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology discovered that people consuming more than 74 grams (approximate 3.5 ounces) of fructose per day the equivalent of 2.5 sodas per day, increased their risk of having increased blood pressure of 135.86 by 26 percent, of 140/90 by 30 percent and 77 percent higher risk for blood pressure of 160/100 or more.
“Our study identifies a potentially modifiable risk factor for high blood pressure,” Dr. Jalal said in a statement. “However, well planned prospective randomized clinical studies needed to be completed to see if low-fructose diets will prevent the development of hypertension and its complications.”
The researchers analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted between 2003 and 2005 for 4,528 U.S. adults age 18 years or older with no prior history of hypertension. Study participants were asked to answer diet questions.