Background and significance
In the context of the fructose controversy, we found previously that giving rats access to (fructose-free) maltodextrin produced similar metabolic consequences, including enlarged fat pads, to those produced by access to sucrose (Kendig, Lin, Beilharz, Rooney & Boakes, 2014). The present study addressed the question of whether glucose would also produce such effects.
Experiment 1 contained three groups, each having unrestricted access to chow and water. The Glucose group were in addition given daily access to 30g of glucose-sweetened yoghurt over a period of 15 weeks; the Saccharin group were given identical access to 0.3% saccharin-sweetened yoghurt; and the Control group were given only unsweetened yoghurt. Experiment 2 contained a Glucose group given unrestricted access to 10% glucose solution for 4 weeks and a Saccharin group given 0.3% saccharin solution for the same period. Again, these drinks were in addition to unrestricted chow and water.
Although no group differences in body weight were detected in either experiment, in Experiment 1 the Glucose group was found to have larger fat pads than in the other two groups that did not differ from each other. This difference in overall fat pad mass arose mainly from greater visceral fat in the Glucose group. In Experiment 2 at cull there was a marginal trend for visceral fat to be greater in the Glucose group.
Consumption of rapidly absorbed carbohydrates can produce larger fat pads, with or without changes in total body mass. Importantly this increased adiposity is independent of whether the carbohydrates contain fructose or not.