It used to be that liver disease was associated with alcoholism, but current studies show that too much added sugar in your diet has the same effect of corroding the liver. This is primarily due to the increasing amount of fructose in our modern diet. Don’t consider yourself safe just because you don’t consume high fructose corn syrup, almost all sugars on the market are at least in part composed of fructose.
Fructose is a simple sugar found in many plants like sugarcane, sugar beets and corn. It binds with glucose to form sucrose. If the food label says sucrose on it then fructose is part of the formula automatically.
Higher intake of fructose is associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease because it is the liver that breaks down fructose for energy. Too much fructose and liver cells begin to accumulate fat. Glucose on the other hand can be broken down for energy use by any cell in the body.
Fatty Liver Disease on the Rise
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease affects 70 to 90 percent of people who are obese or have diabetes, and 30 percent of all adults in developed countries. This is a modern disease which has been on the rise since the late 70’s when high fructose corn syrup became a major ingredient in soft drinks and processed foods.
If more than 10 percent of the liver’s weight is fat, it’s considered to be a fatty liver. Fatty liver disease is reversible with significant lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, as well as limiting alcohol and over the counter drugs. However, without lifestyle changes a fatty liver can become inflamed and over time this can lead to cirrhosis, which is scar tissue that reduces the liver’s ability to function properly.
Fat metabolism is one of the primary functions of the liver, so an excess of fat in the diet can also contribute to the disease. When carbs, sugars and fats are metabolized the liver stores the excess fat in its own cells or in other cells in the body, especially around the waistline.
Excess Sugars Compromise Total Health
When the liver is compromised by too much fructose and fat it has to dump the excess somewhere and this is usually around the rest of the organs (visceral fat) which can lead to gallbladder problems. This excess fat storage can also make tissues insulin-resistant which is a precursor to diabetes. Scientists have recently found a link between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, colon cancer and cardiovascular disease. Here are some other concerns related to the compromised health a fatty liver can produce:
- elevated triglycerides
- more harmful LDL
- increased blood pressure
- increases in free radicals, which can damage cells and DNA.
Reduce fructose consumption by avoiding all added sugars, reduce carbs, and consume moderate amounts of healthy fats (avoid trans fats). SUGARDOWN® can help you reduce the amount of carbs and sugars that impact your health.