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A dose-response study of consuming high-fructose corn syrup–sweetened beverages on lipid/lipoprotein risk factors for cardiovascular disease in young adults 2–5



National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data show an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality with an increased intake of added sugar.


We determined the dose-response effects of consuming beverages sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) at zero, low, medium, and high proportions of energy requirements (Ereq) on circulating lipid/lipoprotein risk factors for CVD and uric acid in adults [age: 18-40 y; body mass index (in kg/m(2)): 18-35].


We conducted a parallel-arm, nonrandomized, double-blinded intervention study in which adults participated in 3.5 inpatient days of baseline testing at the University of California Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center's Clinical Research Center. Participants then consumed beverages sweetened with HFCS at 0% (aspartame sweetened, n = 23), 10% (n = 18), 17.5% (n = 16), or 25% (n = 28) of Ereq during 13 outpatient days and during 3.5 inpatient days of intervention testing at the research center. We conducted 24-h serial blood collections during the baseline and intervention testing periods.


Consuming beverages containing 10%, 17.5%, or 25% Ereq from HFCS produced significant linear dose-response increases of lipid/lipoprotein risk factors for CVD and uric acid: postprandial triglyceride (0%: 0 ± 4; 10%: 22 ± 8; 17.5%: 25 ± 5: 25%: 37 ± 5 mg/dL, mean of Δ ± SE, P < 0.0001 effect of HFCS-dose), fasting LDL cholesterol (0%: -1.0 ± 3.1; 10%: 7.4 ± 3.2; 17.5%: 8.2 ± 3.1; 25%: 15.9 ± 3.1 mg/dL, P < 0.0001), and 24-h mean uric acid concentrations (0%: -0.13 ± 0.07; 10%: 0.15 ± 0.06; 17.5%: 0.30 ± 0.07; 25%: 0.59 ± 0.09 mg/dL, P < 0.0001). Compared with beverages containing 0% HFCS, all 3 doses of HFCS-containing beverages increased concentrations of postprandial triglyceride, and the 2 higher doses increased fasting and/or postprandial concentrations of non-HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, apolipoprotein CIII, and uric acid.


Consuming beverages containing 10%, 17.5%, or 25% Ereq from HFCS produced dose-dependent increases in circulating lipid/lipoprotein risk factors for CVD and uric acid within 2 wk. These results provide mechanistic support for the epidemiologic evidence that the risk of cardiovascular mortality is positively associated with consumption of increasing amounts of added sugars. This trial was registered at as NCT01103921.

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