Times have been kind of tough lately for high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a substance which has been coming under fire over the course of the past few years. The popular and rather ubiquitous sweetener has been disparaged in certain quarters of late, with some blaming it for contributing to an increase in obesity, among other things. Depending on who you ask the jury seems to still be out on this matter and while this is hardly the place to hash things out, it’s interesting to note that high fructose diets play a role in a recently released research study involving tea.
The study found that drinking tea may help offset some of the ill effects of high fructose diets and may also assist with weight loss and reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome. Results of the study were published in late 2011, in the journal Food and Function.
While it’s already known that green tea extracts may suppress hyperlipidemia, or the abnormally elevated levels of any or all lipids in the blood, researchers Hsiu-Chen Huang and Jen-Kun Lin took a look at how tea extracts affected fatty acid synthase expression in rats fed on a diet high in fructose. To do so they prepared extracts from four types of tea – green, oolong, black and pu-erh.
The high-fructose was diet fed to rats during the twelve weeks that the study was being carried out. It tended to increase serum triacylglycerols, cholesterol, insulin, and leptin concentrations. But, as the researchers noted, “rats fed with fructose/green tea and fructose/pu-erh tea showed the greatest reduction in serum TG, cholesterol, insulin and leptin levels.” In contrast, Huang and Lin noted, “serum cholesterol and insulin concentrations of the fructose/oolong tea-fed rats did not normalize.”
Of course, when it comes to HFCS or any other type sweetener, moderation is probably the best preventive medicine of all, not that I would ever discourage someone from drinking tea, whatever the reason might be.
For more information on the study, including a free copy of the full results (registration required), look here.
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