Yet another reason to avoid fructose 6. December 2008 William Davis (5) Have you seen the Corn Refiners Association commercial campaigns to educate the American public on the safety of fructose? If you haven't, you can view these interesting specimens on You Tube:"Get the facts--You're in for a sweet surprise: Fructose is safe in moderation!"Two MomsTwo loversBeyond the fact that fructose stimulates liver production of glycerol, which thereby increases liver VLDL production and raises blood levels of triglycerides; likely stimulates appetite; increases cholesterol levels; fructose has also been clearly implicated in increasing blood levels of uric acid. Uric acid is the substance that, in some people, precipitates in joints and causes gout, the painful inflammatory arthritis that has been increasing in prevalence over the last four decades since the introduction of fructose in 1967. While blood levels of uric acid in the early part of the 20th century averaged 3.5 mg/dl, more recent population assessments have averaged 6.0 mg/dl or higher. (Non-human mammals who don't eat processed foods, drink fruit drinks or beer, and don't eat candy have uric acid levels of <2.0 mg/dl.)Uric acid is looking like it may prove to be an important risk factor for coronary disease and atherosclerotic plaque. It is no news that people with higher blood levels of uric acid are more likely to experience adverse cardiovascular events like heart attack. People with features of the metabolic syndrome also have higher uric acid blood levels; the more characteristics they have, the higher the uric acid level. However, the prevailing view has been that uric acid is simply an accompaniment of these processes, but not causal. However, more recent observations suggest that increased levels of uric acid may instead be a cause of metabolic syndrome and high blood pressure.Increased blood levels of uric acid have been shown to:--Increase blood pressure--Induce kidney damage (even in the absence of uric acid kidney stones)--Antagonize insulin responsesA diagnosis of gout is not required to experience all of the adverse phenomena associated with uric acid. (For not entirely clear reasons, some people, perhaps based on pH or other factors, are more prone to trigger crystallization of uric acid in joints, similar to the phenomena of sugar crystallization when making rock candy.) Which brings us back to fructose, a sweetener that clearly substantially increases uric acid levels. I suppose that the mothers and lovers in the Corn Refiners' commercials are right to a degree: Our kids will survive, as will you and I, despite increases in triglycerides, enhanced diabetic tendencies, amplified appetites, and increased uric acid due to fructose in our diet. We will also likely survive despite being 100 lbs overweight, partly due to the effects of fructose. But if long-term health is your desire for you and your family, fructose has no role whatsoever to play. Interestingly, the obviously expensive and slick ad campaigns from the Corn Refiners' videos have triggered some helpful video counterarguments:High-fructose corn syrupConspiracy for Fat AmericaHigh-fructose corn syrup truthA full discussion of uric acid, the scientific data behind uric acid as a coronary risk factor, and the nutritional means to reduce uric acid will be the topic of a thorough discussion in an upcoming Special Report on the Track Your Plaque website.