PHARMACY

Fructose study shows gender differences in metabolism

BY Drew Buono

NEW YORK A new report has shown that men and women appear to differ in how they metabolize high levels of the sugar fructose, according to Reuters. Women appear to metabolize the sugar in a less harmful way, researchers found.

Short-term high fructose intake among young men resulted in increased blood triglycerides and decreased insulin resistance, factors associated with an elevated risk for cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, reported Luc Tappy and colleagues.

Tappy and colleagues enlisted 16 healthy, nonsmoking men and women of normal weight and about 23 years of age, to follow two different 6-day diets separated by a 4-week wash-out period. The 8 men and 8 women did not participate in sports or exercise while following either the “control” diet or the diet that included a lemon-flavored drink containing 3.5 grams of fructose.

“The fructose load used in this study was quite large (corresponding to several liters of sodas per day),” noted Tappy. He and colleagues tested 12 fasting metabolic parameters the day after participants completed each diet, they report in Diabetes Care.

In the men, fructose supplementation caused significant increases in 11 of the 12 factors, including a 5 percent increase in fasting glucose and 71 percent increase in triglyceride levels.

By contrast, women showed a 4 percent increase in glucose and a “markedly blunted,” 16 percent increase in triglycerides after the high fructose diet, the investigators said. Overall, the women showed significant increases in only 4 of the 12 factors tested.

The researchers concluded that more studies would have to be done with a larger group of people to identify gender differences in metabolic pathways.

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PHARMACY

FDA issues third approvable letter for Wyeth’s bazedoxifene

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Wyeth Pharmaceuticals’ new drug for treating postmenopausal osteoporosis has hit another speed bump.

The Food and Drug Administration sent a third approvable letter to Wyeth for the drug bazedoxifene pending analyses about the incidence of stroke and venal thrombosis in patients who use it. The FDA made a similar request in a letter sent in December.

Merck reported that its postmenopausal osteoporosis drug Fosamax (alendronate sodium) had worldwide sales of $3.05 billion in 2007.

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Longs plans drive-through windows at Hawaiian locations

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Longs Drug Stores plans to open drive-through windows at some of its stores in Hawaii, the company announced recently.

The drugstore chain, based in Walnut Creek, Calif., will add a drive-through window to its store in Maui later this year. The new store it plans to open in Honolulu will also have a window.

Walgreens, which recently opened its first locations in Hawaii, credits itself with inventing the concept of the drugstore with a drive-through pharmacy more than 15 years ago.

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