Background: Fructose, a nutritive sweetener with a low GI has been shown in previous studies to elevate TGs when compared to a glucose control. There is limited data available on the effect of fructose in a mixed meal. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of sucrose, fructose and sucralose on triglyceride, glucose and insulin response in an acute study in healthy individuals.
Methods: This study was a randomised cross-over design. Twenty-seven participants with a median age of 40, and a BMI of 26.3kg/m2 completed the study. Fructose (52g), sucrose (65g) and Sucralose ( 6g of Splenda) were delivered as sweet taste balanced -muffins with a standardised fat load (66g). Blood samples were taken at baseline and every 30 minutes for 4 hours. Glucose, triglyceride and insulin concentrations over time, AUC and iAUC were analysed.
Results: No significant difference was found between the three sweeteners for triglyceride and glucose concentration, AUC and iAUC. A significant difference was found for insulin treatment (p = 0.001), time*treatment (p = 0.035), AUC (p =0.000) and iAUC (p =0.000). Post hoc analysis showed that fructose had a significantly lower response than either sucrose (p = 0.006) or sucralose (p = 0.041).
Conclusion: Fructose at a moderate dose did not significantly elevate triglycerides in comparison to sucrose or sucralose. No significant difference in the glycaemic response between the meals was found. These results indicate that these sweeteners can be safely interchanged for normal meals. Fructose showed a lower insulin response which may be beneficial long-term in those at risk of type 2 diabetes.