Research press release


Nature Communications

Nutrition: Challenging ‘safe’ levels of sugar consumption


砂糖の健康に対する悪影響を調べる動物実験では、通常、ヒトの摂取量を大きく上回るレベルでの砂糖の摂取が行われている。今回、Wayne Potts、James Ruffたちは、マウスに健康な食餌と比較的少量の添加砂糖を与えて実験を行った。Potts、Ruffたちによれば、この砂糖の量は、ヒトが1日に摂取する健康な食事と炭酸飲料3缶(各354 ml)に含まれる砂糖にほぼ匹敵し、現在、米国人の13~25%が摂取する量だとされる。このマウスは、軽度の代謝障害を示したが、その後、半自然状態のケージに入れ、通常の食餌を与えたマウスと縄張り、資源と交尾相手の競争をさせた。ただし、実験用マウスの一般的系統は自然な縄張り行動を起こさないので、Potts、Ruffたちは、野生のハツカネズミで研究を行った。その結果、砂糖分の多い食餌を与えた雄のハツカネズミは、支配できた縄張りが26%少なく、仔の生産数も25%少なかった。一方、雌のハツカネズミは、全死亡率が倍増した。


The consumption of comparatively low amounts of sugar decreases the competitive performance and reproductive output of mice, a study in Nature Communications reports. The finding suggests that even low levels of sugar intake, which are commonly considered ‘safe’ and do not cause large metabolic derangements, can have negative health effects in mammals.

Animal experiments that study the detrimental health effects of sugar usually involve the consumption of sugar quantities that far exceed those consumed by humans. Wayne Potts, James Ruff and colleagues fed mice a healthy diet with a modest amount of added sugar. According to the researchers, this amount of sugar - roughly equivalent to a human consuming a healthy diet plus three cans of soda (354 ml each) per day - is currently consumed by 13-25% of Americans. The mice, which showed minor metabolic defects, were then put in semi-natural enclosures where they competed for territory, resources and mating partners with mice previously fed a normal diet. As common strains of laboratory mice do not show natural territorial behaviors, the researchers conducted the study with wild house mice. They show that male house mice fed the sugar-enriched diet controlled 26% fewer territories and produced 25% less offspring, while female house mice experienced a two-fold increase in overall mortality.

The findings represent the lowest level of sugar consumption shown to adversely affect mammalian health. The researchers caution, however, that further studies are needed to delineate the mechanisms responsible for the observed changes in fitness and mortality.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms3245


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