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July 23, 2000

Complications, Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Cali, Colombia:

I just had an appointment with my daughter's dietitian and she mentioned that fructose uses a different way to metabolize but it accumulates around eye globe and in the long term use will cause damages into retina. I will highly appreciate your help on this matter because we use a lot of fructose as sweetener in a regular daily meal plan and don't want to create another problem solving one little one.

Answer:

High doses of fructose administered both as sucrose and as fructose has been reported to produce damage to retinal blood vessels in laboratory rats. I could find no evidence however that these sugars in normal dietary quantities have any effects on the retina in man. The initial metabolism of fructose is different from glucose; but after the first step it is the same. There is likewise no evidence that the sugar accumulates preferentially around the globe of the eye.

JM