High-fructose feeding suppresses cold-stimulated brown adipose tissue glucose uptake independently of changes in thermogenesis and the gut microbiome
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Diets rich in added sugars are associated with metabolic diseases, and studies have shown a link between these pathologies and changes in the microbiome. Given the reported associations in animal models between the microbiome and brown adipose tissue (BAT) function, and the alterations in the microbiome induced by high-glucose or high-fructose diets, we investigated the potential causal link between high-glucose or -fructose diets and BAT dysfunction in humans. Primary outcomes are changes in BAT cold-induced thermogenesis and the fecal microbiome (clinicaltrials.gov, NCT03188835). We show that BAT glucose uptake, but not thermogenesis, is impaired by a high-fructose but not high-glucose diet, in the absence of changes in the gastrointestinal microbiome. We conclude that decreased BAT glucose metabolism occurs earlier than other pathophysiological abnormalities during fructose overconsumption in humans. This is a potential confounding factor for studies relying on 18F-FDG to assess BAT thermogenesis.
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