New research shows that overdoing it on sugar might harm the livers of even in healthy men. British researchers found that a sugar-rich diet associated with unhealthily high levels of fat in both the blood and liver.
Lead researcher Bruce Griffin from the University of Surrey, said, consuming high amounts of sugar can alter fat metabolism in ways that could increase risk of cardiovascular disease.
This study offers yet another valid reason to cut back on sugar. In addition to piling on the empty calories, sugar creates more metabolic work for the liver.
In the study, Griffin’s team tracked the liver health of a group of middle-aged men with either high (11 men) or low (14 men) levels of fat in their liver.
non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Excess fat accumulation in the liver considered unhealthy. The men with high fat levels already had a condition known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). According to the American Liver Foundation, NAFLD is tied to obesity and affects up to one-quarter of Americans.
The investigators found that the participants with NAFLD who followed the high-sugar diet developed changes in their fat metabolism. The processes body breaks down fats in the blood and uses them for energy. Those changes linked to a greater risk for heart disease, heart attacks and stroke.
But, similar changes also noted in the livers of otherwise healthy men who had a low level of liver fat.
In this group, men developed higher levels of fat in the liver after switching to the high-sugar diet. The researchers also found changes in their fat metabolism that similar to the men who already had NAFLD.
Our findings provide new evidence that consuming high amounts of sugar can alter your fat metabolism in ways that could increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, Griffin said.
The research findings particularly concerning, since the prevalence of NAFLD is on the rise among children as well as adults.
More information: [Clinical Science]