First of all, please keep in mind that fructose is a very different substance from high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or glucose-fructose. And if you check the literature carefully, it is these two latter products that have been linked to all the health problems. We have an in-depth article on the distinction in Issue #18 of Good Health Is Real Wealth.

Because fructose must be changed to glucose in the liver in order to be utilized by the body, blood glucose levels do not rise as rapidly after fructose consumption compared to other simple sugars or even complex carbohydrates. For example, the glycemic load calculation for 10 grams of fructose is only 2. In comparison, the glycemic load for a slice of bread is 10, an apple is 7, and a cup of white rice is 26.

Fructose is not transported directly into the bloodstream after digestion and absorption, but is converted into glycogen in the liver where it is stored and used for energy at a later time. A recent trial demonstrated that no increase is seen in blood glucose after ingestion of fructose at 15 grams or less. This lowered glycemic response with fructose ingestion appeared to be most effective in those individuals who had the poorest glucose tolerance profiles. In non-diabetic individuals, fructose consumption results in little to no discernible rise in blood insulin levels.

Most meal replacement or elemental diet products use artificial sweeteners like aspartame, splenda/sucralose, or acesulfame-K. Independent research has shown all of these artificial sweeteners to be harmful to the body – for more information do an Internet keyword search on any of the sweeteners above.

Absorb Plus does not use any artificial or chemical ingredients, period. Our elemental formula is sweetened only with natural fructose, stevia, and 100% natural flavor extracts.

We also offer a fructose-free vanilla flavor for those who don’t want any added sweetener. It’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor if you are still unsure whether the product is right for you. If you have diabetes, you may not be able to use elemental shakes (like Absorb Plus), due to the rapid uptake of nutrients to the bloodstream – again, check with your doctor.

For more information about Absorb Plus, click HERE.

If you’re ready to try out the product, click HERE.


Ensminger AH, Ensminger ME, Konlande JE, et al. Foods and Nutrition Encyclopedia .Clovis, CA : Pegas Press; 1983.
Mann JI. Simple sugars and diabetes. DiabetMed 1987;4(2):135-39.

Uusitupa MIJ. Fructose in the diabetic diet. Am J Clin Nutr 1994;59(3 Suppl):S753-S57.

Shi X, Schedl HP, Summers RM, et at. Fructose transport mechanisms in humans. Gastroenterology 1997;113(4):1171-79.

Moore MC, Cherrington AD, Mann SL, et at. Acute & fructose administration decreases the glycemic response to an oral glucose tolerance test in normal adults. J Clm Endocrinol Metab 2000;85(12):4515-19.

Nuttall FQ, Khan MA, Gannon MC. Peripheral glucose appearance rate following fructose ingestion in normal subjects.Metabolism 2000;49(12):1565-71

Moore MC, Mann SL, Davis SN, et at. Acute fructose administration improves oral glucose tolerance in adults with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2001;24(11):1882-87

Osei K, Bossetti B. Dietary fructose as a natural sweetener in poorly controlled type 2 diabetes: a 12-month crossover study of effects on glucose, lipoprotein and apolipoprotein metabolism. Diabet Med 1989;6(6):506-11.

Daly ME, Vale C, Walker M, et al. Dietary carbohydrates and insulin sensitivity: a review ofthe evidence and clinical implications. Am J Clin Nutr 1997;66(5):1072-85.

Dr. Michael T. Murray’s Natural Facts Newsletter 2/3/2004

Why Does Absorb Plus Use Fructose As The Sweetener?

2 thoughts on “Why Does Absorb Plus Use Fructose As The Sweetener?

  • I’ve just started your elemental diet today and have had 2 shakes so far. I’m using the recipe from your book, not the Absorb Plus (still very delicious). Are there any alternatives to using the fructose for carb energy? I’m not used to eating anything so sweet and I’m using less than recommended. I can’t find maltodextrin or dextrose anywhere but I’m assuming they are as sweet as fructose anyway. I’m guessing maple syrup doesn’t count as an allowable sugar? You don’t mention it in your book but it is readily available here.

    Thanks, Bronwen

    1. Hi Bronwen,

      The carb component in Absorb Plus is tapioca maltodextrin. The fructose is used as a sweetener but we do have an Unsweetened Vanilla flavor available that contains no fructose and is perfect for people like you who prefer the sweetness level to be a bit lower and/or who like to use other sweeteners like stevia, flavor extracts, xylitol (be careful as can cause diarrhea), etc. See The IBD Remission Diet book for a list of allowable sweeteners (monosaccharides). Here’s a link to the Unsweetened Vanilla at our shoppe:

      Kind regards,
      Customer Care

      P.S. If maple syrup doesn’t cause any adverse effects for you then you can certainly use it but it is not an elemental ingredient.

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