Fructose Intake: Surprising Contributor for the Development of Psychiatric Disorders

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Psychiatric disorders are now common medical conditions suffered by millions of people in the United States. It is estimated that over 26% of Americans aged 18 or more suffer from a diagnosed mental disorder. Mental health problems, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, cause significant agony for both patients and their family members.

   

     

Obscure causes

    

Regrettably, our understanding of the root cause of how these psychiatric disorders develop remains poor. Currently, doctors know that these mental health problems may relate to a mixture of biological, psychological, and environmental factors. However, doctors do not know exactly how these factors interplay to influence the development of these disorders.

    

Surprisingly, a recent finding suggests that excessive intake of a type of sugar called fructose may contribute to the development of ADHD, bipolar disorder and even aggressive behaviors. 

   

   

The researchers found that fructose could lower energy in cells, triggering a response similar to what occurs when people are in starvation. As you can expect, people in extreme starvation could stimulate risk-taking, impulsivity, novelty seeking, rapid decision making, and aggressiveness to aid the securing of food as a survival response. 

    

Fructose: how much is too much?

     

The average fructose intake for a typical American is about 55 grams per day, which is a significant rise from an average of 15 grams per day in the past. It is generally believed that a typical western diet contains too much sugar. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar for women and 9 teaspoons for men, respectively 30g and 45g.

   

    

Common source of fructose

    

Fructose exists in various foods, including fruits, vegetables, and snacks. However, you do not need to worry too much about eating fruits, because many fruits contain satiating fiber and nutritive vitamins and antioxidants. What you really should watch out for are soft drinks, candy, cakes, sugars, cookies, pies, ice creams, and sweetened yogurt.

   

    

In addition to mental health problems, studies have shown that taking too much fructose would also cause other health problems, notably increased incidence of gout, fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

 

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