Fructose is a hexose that when ingested in high amount increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases. Type 2 diabetes is estimated to be the 7th leading cause of mortality by 2030, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The number of people with diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. Food security which is defined as the availability, stability, access and utilization of safe foods is a major determinant in the incidence of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases. Cost-effective food products are highly available and usually utilized abundantly. For example, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) found in numerous food products such as pastries, yogurt and ice cream are used excessively due to its low cost and versatility.
Fructose in its pure form or from HFCS supplemented in our diets can be one of the determining factors that cause type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases. Fructose, once ingested, can be oxidized, converted to glucose or converted to lactic acid or enter de novo lipogenesis. These metabolic pathways could lead to the development of type 2 diabetes and metabolic diseases such as obesity and metabolic syndrome. Avoiding excessive intake of fructose can reduce the propensity for type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases. In this research study, the methodology from human and animal studies were searched in PubMed and Google Scholar databases. The following key words were searched in each paper: fructose, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, sucrose, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, blood glucose, blood sugar, triglycerides, lipoproteins, high density lipoprotein, cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein. Overall, approximately 150 articles and books were gathered. In this review article, it has been concluded that high fructose ingestion increases risk of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome. The aim of this research study is to elucidate the role of fructose metabolism in type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases.