High fructose diet can cause hypertension

September 21, 2015

To examine whether increased fructose consumption has contributed to rising rates of hypertension, Diana Jalal, MD (University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center) and her colleagues analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2003-2006). The study involved 4,528 US adults 18 years of age or older with no prior history of hypertension. Study participants answered questions related to their consumption of foods and beverages such as fruit juices, soft drinks, bakery products, and candy. Dr. Jalal's team found that people who consumed a diet of 74 grams or more per day of fructose (corresponding to 2.5 sugary soft drinks per day) had a 26%, 30%, and 77% higher risk for blood pressure levels of 135/85, 140/90, and 160/100 mmHg, respectively. (A normal blood pressure reading is below 120/80 mmHg.)

"Our study identifies a potentially modifiable risk factor for high blood pressure. However, well-planned prospective randomized clinical studies need to be completed to see if low fructose diets will prevent the development of hypertension and its complications," said Dr. Jalal.

Study co-authors include Richard Johnson, MD, Gerard Smits, PhD, and Michel Chonchol, MD (University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center).

Disclosures: Dr. Richard Johnson is an author of the book, "The Sugar Fix." All other authors reported no financial disclosures.

Preliminary findings were presented in abstract form at ASN Renal Week 2010 and highlighted in an accompanying press release.

Source: American Society of Nephrology