Why Does Eating Too Much Fructose Cause Metabolic Syndrome?

Fructose is a natural sugar found in fruits, vegetables, and honey. While it is not inherently bad for you in low qantities, consuming excessive amounts of fructose, especially in the form of added sugars, can have adverse effects on your health. Several studies have shown that excessive fructose consumption is linked to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and heart disease.

A review of studies published in the International Journal of Obesity found that consuming fructose can lead to insulin resistance and an increased risk of obesity (Tappy & Lê, 2010). Insulin resistance caused by excessive fructose consumption can also increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a review published in Diabetes Care (Johnson, 2010).

Moreover, a study published in the Journal of Hepatology found that consuming high amounts of fructose can lead to an increased risk of fatty liver disease, which can cause inflammation and scarring in the liver (Abdelmalek et al., 2010). In addition, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that high fructose consumption can raise blood triglyceride levels, which are a risk factor for heart disease (DiNicolantonio et al., 2015).

In conclusion, while fructose is a natural sugar found in many foods, consuming excessive amounts of fructose in the form of added sugars can have negative impacts on your health. Evidence suggests that moderate consumption of fructose from whole fruits and vegetables is not harmful and can be part of a healthy diet.


Abdelmalek, M. F., Suzuki, A., Guy, C., Unalp-Arida, A., Colvin, R., Johnson, R. J., & Diehl, A. M. (2010). Increased fructose consumption is associated with fibrosis severity in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Journal of Hepatology, 53(5), 837-841.

DiNicolantonio, J. J., Lucan, S. C., & O’Keefe, J. H. (2015). The evidence for saturated fat and sugar related to coronary heart disease. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, 58(5), 464-472.

Johnson, R. J. (2010). The role of fructose in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome. Diabetes Care, 33(11), 2477-2483.

Tappy, L., & Lê, K. A. (2010). Health effects of fructose and fructose-containing caloric sweeteners: where do we stand 10 years after the initial whistle blowings? Current Diabetes Reports, 10(4), 291-297.