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DIABETES ROOTS

ANCHOR LEAD: DOES TYPICAL AMERICAN DIET CONSUMPTION LEAD TO DIABETES?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

An enzyme found in red blood cells may help identify those at risk for developing diabetes, Johns Hopkins biochemist Gerald Hart and colleagues have found.  Hart says this enzyme is elevated in response to factors like stress but also to consumption of that ubiquitous sweetener, fructose, in the form of corn syrup.

HART: People talk about good carbs and bad carbs but when you eat complex carbohydrates or polysaccharides generally your body can deal with that okay because it’s broken down at a slower rate and you don’t get this huge bolus of fructose going right into the main nutrient sensing pathways.  I think we’ve evolved to be able to eat grains and things that contain starches and complex carbohydrates it’s the old balanced diet kind of thing.      :21

Hart says that when too much fructose is available it causes the enzyme to add sugar molecules in lots of places where they essentially gum up the works, and eventually leads to type 2 diabetes.   At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

 


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