Fructose, glucocorticoids and adipose tissue: Implications for the metabolic syndrome

Balázs Legeza, Paola Marcolongo, Alessandra Gamberucci, Viola Varga, G. Bánhegyi, Angiolo Benedetti, Alex Odermatt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

12 Citations (Scopus)


The modern Western society lifestyle is characterized by a hyperenergetic, high sugar containing food intake. Sugar intake increased dramatically during the last few decades, due to the excessive consumption of high-sugar drinks and high-fructose corn syrup. Current evidence suggests that high fructose intake when combined with overeating and adiposity promotes adverse metabolic health effects including dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, type II diabetes, and inflammation. Similarly, elevated glucocorticoid levels, especially the enhanced generation of active glucocorticoids in the adipose tissue due to increased 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 (11β -HSD1) activity, have been associated with metabolic diseases. Moreover, recent evidence suggests that fructose stimulates the 11β -HSD1-mediated glucocorticoid activation by enhancing the availability of its cofactor NADPH. In adipocytes, fructose was found to stimulate 11β -HSD1 expression and activity, thereby promoting the adipogenic effects of glucocorticoids. This article aims to highlight the interconnections between overwhelmed fructose metabolism, intracellular glucocorticoid activation in adipose tissue, and their metabolic effects on the progression of the metabolic syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number426
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2017



  • Adipogenesis
  • Fructose
  • Glucocorticoid
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

Legeza, B., Marcolongo, P., Gamberucci, A., Varga, V., Bánhegyi, G., Benedetti, A., & Odermatt, A. (2017). Fructose, glucocorticoids and adipose tissue: Implications for the metabolic syndrome. Nutrients, 9(5), [426].