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Fructose: Dangerously Sweet

Diets high in fructose significantly increase the risk of high blood pressure, according to a study presented on November 1st , 2009 at the American Society of Nephrology's 42nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in San Diego.

Fructose is a simple sugar and is often used to sweeten food and drink products. One of the most commonly found forms is high fructose corn syrup, used regularly in sodas and processed foods.

Since the introduction of high fructose corn syrups about 20 years ago, consumption in America has soared. Rates of hypertension have appeared to increase at the same rate. However, little scientific research is available to prove there is a link between the two trends.

Researchers from the University of Colorado, Denver Health Sciences Center decided to conduct a study to prove this link. They recruited over 4,500 participants 18 years or older with no history of hypertension.

The participant's fructose intake was measured using dietary questionnaires that included questions about foods high in fructose like soft drinks, baked goods and fruit drinks.

The researchers found that people who consumed more than 74 grams per day of fructose (2.5 sugary soft drinks per day) had an 87% higher risk of developing hypertension.

This simple sugar appears to increase the risk of heart disease and obesity, and now it appears to increase the risk of hypertension as well.

Fructose is most commonly found in packaged foods, junk food, fast food and soft drinks. Minimizing consumption of these foods is a good way to reduce the amount of fructose in your diet.

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