The Interaction Between Dietary Fructose and Magnesium Adversely Affects Macromineral Homeostasis in Men

David B. Milne, PhD, and Forrest H. Nielsen, PhD

United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, Grand Forks, North Dakota

Objective: Studies with rats have found that an interaction between fructose and magnesium affects macromineral metabolism; high dietary fructose significantly increased kidney calcification in both male and female rats, particularly when dietary magnesium was low. This study tests the hypothesis that an interaction between dietary fructose and magnesium adversely affects macromineral homeostasis in men.

Methods: Eleven men aged 22 to 40 years were fed a mixed, Western diet for four 42-day dietary periods in which dietary magnesium was either approximately 170 or 370 mg/d, and dietary fructose was either 4% or 20% of energy. A decaffeinated beverage containing high fructose corn syrup replaced cornstarch, bread and rice in the low fructose diet to give the high fructose diet.

Results: High dietary fructose significantly (p<0.01) increased magnesium balance during both low and high dietary magnesium intakes. Ultrafilterable and ionized serum magnesium also apparently were related to magnesium and fructose intakes; they were higher when fructose was fed and when Mg intakes were high. High fructose depressed calcium balance: the effect tended to be more marked when dietary Mg was low. High dietary fructose also significantly p<0.005) decreased phosphorous balance. Urinary phosphorous losses were significantly (p<0.001) higher when high dietary fructose was fed. High dietary fructose also increased the concentration of serum alkaline phosphatase (p<0.005).

Conclusion: These findings indicate that dietary fructose adversely affects macromineral homeostasis in humans and suggests further studies to see if a high fructose diet coupled with low dietary magnesium and marginal calcium leads to bone loss.

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