A recent article in The Atlantic illustrated the confusion surrounding fructose, glucose, sugar, and other sweeteners by interviewing several researchers whose conclusions on nutrition and sugar contradict each other to varying degrees. James Hamblin points to Mehmet Oz’s unqualified support—and later retraction—of agave syrup as a natural and healthy sweetener alternative to sugar or high-fructose corn syrup as an example of how the current scientific understanding of fructose and glucose is incomplete and difficult to draw conclusions from. Agave is composed of 90 percent fructose and 10 percent glucose, compared to an even split for table sugar and 55 percent fructose in high-fructose corn syrup. Because of its low glucose content, agave has a low glycemic index, which led many nutritionists to believe that it was a healthy alternative. Fructose has since been blamed for, among other diseases, liver damage and atherosclerosis, and described as “toxic,” a label that one researcher dismisses: “If you have too much oxygen, it is toxic. If you get too much water, you have water intoxication. That doesn’t mean we say oxygen is toxic.” Hamblin criticizes prematurely conclusive recommendations on nutrient-based eating, whether nutritionists advise low-fat diets as they did a decade ago or low-sugar diets as they do now. “If there is a problem in all of this,” he writes, “it’s that speaking definitively before definitiveness is due can spread more confusion.” See The Atlantic, June 5, 2014.