Consumption of fructose and sucrose in moderate quantities was found to double fat processing processes in the liver.
According to a new study led by scientists from the University of Zurich, moderate fructose and sucrose intake can significantly increase fat production in the liver. The findings also indicate that these sugar-induced improvements in fat metabolism will last for a long time.
Fructose, in particular, has been shown to hinder liver's ability to efficiently burn fat in previous studies. High fructose diets have shown to destroy mitochondria and cause the liver to switch from fat burning to fat storage. The new study looked at whether moderate amounts of sugar in the diet could cause the same metabolic abnormalities. A total of one hundred young people were enlisted and divided into three groups, which included a control group. Each group was asked to consume one beverage per day containing 80 grams of fructose, glucose, or sucrose, which accounts for the amount of sugar in two cans of coke.
According to Mr. Philipp Gerber, lead researcher on the study, in the fructose group, the body's own fat output in the liver was twice as high as in the glucose or control groups – and this was true more than twelve hours after the last meal or sugar intake. Importantly, the findings revealed that sucrose increased fat content in the liver to the same degree as fructose. Only fructose was previously thought to have this detrimental effect on liver fat metabolism.
Finally, the researchers say that these results should serve as a powerful reminder to minimize consumption of added sugars in one's daily diet. Men should eat no more than 37.5 grams of added sugar per day, and women should consume no more than 25 grams, according to the American Heart Foundation. The findings of the new research were published in the Journal of Hematology.