New Research Take 1 – Review of Research Article Dated October 20th, 2019

This is my brief take on a article recently published in Molecular Metabolism and outlined on Medical News Today.

A recent study in Molecular Metabolism (Togo J, et al. 2019) examined a genetic breed of mice predisposed to metabolic perturbations (C57BL/6J mice). Sucrose was given either as a solid (in pellet chow) or as a liquid for 8 weeks and changes to body weight, body composition, energy intake, expenditure, glucose and insulin tolerance, expression of sweet receptors on tongue, as well as glycogen and fat contents of liver. Observations included: a) Body fat gain was seen with intake of liquid sucrose but not the equivalent amount of solid sucrose; b) Glucose intolerance was correlated with body fatness and not sucrose intake; c) Liquid sucrose contributed to increases to hepatic (liver) fat as marked by increases in PPAR (gamma) expression. This study supports prior observational studies (LIST) that implicated sweet beverages in weight gain, body fat increases and progression of metabolic syndrome into type 2 diabetes.

Some of the theories put forth by the authors include no relationship between liquid sucrose intake and total energy intake by concomitantly decreasing solid food intake, changes to hepatic fat levels and metabolism due to liquid sucrose intake. Furthermore, intake of solid sucrose (even at 73% calories) resulted in significant up regulation of sweet taste receptors, however no changes were observed with liquid sucrose intake.

The study concludes that the mode of dietary sucrose delivery has a significant impact on regulation of body composition in C57BL/6J mice. Sucrose consumption in solid form (even at 73% calories) did not lead to increased food intake. As a result, mice fed solid sucrose were leaner & more metabolically healthy, possibly due in part to up-regulation of sweet taste receptors. Contrarily, the liquid sucrose intake was responsible for greater body weight gain and body fatness, and accumulation of fat in the liver, while suppressing hepatic insulin receptor substrate 2, which correlated with higher serum insulin levels, that were related to impaired insulin action and perturbed glucose homeostasis with elevated adiposity.

My 2 cents:

This seems to be a well designed study that corroborates previous suggestions that beverages high in sucrose could contribute to increased body weight, body fatness, hepatic fat accumulation, worsening glucose tolerance and overall seems to increase the risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

Obviously, we can’t go basing our whole life on one study (and who would want to), but the this in combination with previous observational studies and some common sense blended in, should suggest that we could all be healthier if we cut down on the amount of sugar/processed foods that we consume regularly. And, sucrose containing beverages are highly processed.


Togo J, et al. 2019. Impact of dietary sucrose on adiposity and glucose homeostasis in C57BL/6J mice depends on mode of ingestion: liquid or solid. Molecular Metabolism. Article recently published in Molecular Metabolism and outlined on Medical News Today.