Open Access Open Badges Letter to the Editor

Fructose in obesity and cognitive decline: is it the fructose or the excess energy?

Laura Chiavaroli12, Vanessa Ha1, Russell J de Souza123, Cyril WC Kendall124 and John L Sievenpiper156*

Author Affiliations

1 Toronto 3D Knowledge Synthesis and Clinical Trials Unit, Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada

2 Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

3 Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

4 College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

5 Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

6 Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada

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Nutrition Journal 2014, 13:27  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-27

Published: 25 March 2014


We read with interest the review by Lakhan and Kirchgessner, proposing that high fructose intake promotes obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and cognitive decline. Their focus on the role of fructose seems premature due to confounding from energy and the heavy reliance on low quality evidence from animal models. There is a lack of high quality evidence directly assessing the role of fructose in cognitive decline. Although one cannot exclude the possibility of a link, it remains an unconfirmed hypothesis.

Dietary fructose; Cognitive decline; Obesity; Energy