Short-term consumption of a high-sucrose diet has a pro-oxidant effect in rats.Br J Nutr. 2002 Apr; 87(4):337-42.BJ
The underlying mechanisms for the detrimental consequences of a high-fructose diet in animal models are not clear. However, the possibility exists that fructose feeding facilitates oxidative damage. Thus, the aim of the present study was to assess, in weaning rats, the effect of a high-sucrose diet v. starch diet for 2 weeks on oxidative stress variables. Plasma lipid levels were measured and lipid peroxidation was evaluated by urine and plasma thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS). The susceptibilities of several tissues to peroxidation were determined in tissue homogenates after in vitro lipid peroxidation. Antioxidant defence variables were evaluated by measuring plasma and heart vitamin E levels, and heart superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activities. Higher plasma triacylglycerol (P<0.01) and TBARS (P<0.01) levels were found in rats fed the sucrose diet as compared with the starch-fed group, whereas plasma alpha-tocopherol levels were significantly decreased in the sucrose-fed group compared with the starch-fed group (P<0.01). Higher urine TBARS (P<0.01) were found in the sucrose-fed group compared with the starch-fed group, suggesting increased production of these substances from lipid peroxidation in vivo. Higher susceptibility to peroxidation in heart, thymus and pancreas was also found in the sucrose-fed group v. the starch-fed group. No statistical differences were observed for liver TBARS level between the two groups. Heart SOD activity was significantly decreased (P<0.001) in the sucrose-fed group compared with the starch-fed group, whereas heart vitamin E level and GPX activity were not different between the groups. However, the in vitro generation of superoxide radical in heart homogenate, measured by electron spin resonance detection and spin trapping, was not increased in the sucrose-fed group compared with starch-fed rats. Altogether, the results indicate that a short-term consumption of a high-sucrose diet negatively affects the balance of free radical production and antioxidant defence in rats, leading to increased lipid susceptibility to peroxidation.