High Fructose Intake May Trigger Fatty Liver Disease

Medscape Staff

March 07, 2022

Adding drinks with a high fructose content to a diet that already includes high fat content can accelerate the chances of fatty liver disease, according to scientists at the University of Barcelona.

What to know:

  • A high intake of fructose may increase the risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, in which too much fat is stored in liver cells.

  • High-fructose corn syrup is one of the most common sweeteners in the food industry and is used to sweeten many products despite the scientific evidence that it is associated with metabolic disorders that are risk factors of cardiovascular disease.

  • Researchers found that consuming a high-fructose diet for long periods can lead to a deterioration of the layer of cells that creates the intestinal barrier that prevents bacteria and toxins from leaking into the bloodstream and affecting the liver.

  • Fatty liver disease can lead to liver inflammation and liver damage, resulting in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a more aggressive disease that in turn can progress to scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), liver cancer, and liver failure.

  • Severe fatty liver disease and liver tumors from the gut barrier deterioration created by excessive fructose intake can be prevented with medications.

This is a summary of the article, "A New Study Relates Liquid Fructose Intake to Fatty Liver Disease," published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research on March 4, 2022. The full article can be found on newswise.com.

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