How Different Food Sources of Sugars Impact Liver Health
Does the consumption of sugars impact liver health? A recent systematic review and meta-analysis (SRMA) found that the effect of sugars on markers of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is mediated by food source and energy intake.
Key findings include:
- Consuming high amounts of sugars-sweetened beverages (SSBs), which provided excess calories, was associated with an increase in liver fat and enzymes.
- However, when fructose-containing foods and drinks were substituted for other sources of carbohydrates without changing the total calorie intake, there was no independent effect of fructose-containing sugars on NAFLD markers.
- Based on limited evidence, no effect was seen for other important food sources of fructose-containing sugars, such as fruit, 100% fruit juice, dried fruit, sweetened dairy, sweets and desserts, and mixed sources at different levels of intake.
- These findings are in line with those from a previous SRMA by this group.
The researchers note that most current studies have focused on SSBs. They therefore call for more high-quality trials assessing a broader variety of food sources at different levels of energy control to confirm these results. This information may be useful to help consumers make informed dietary choices to maintain optimal liver health.
To read the full paper:
- Lee D, et al. Important Food Sources of Fructose-Containing Sugars and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Controlled Trials. Nutrients. 2022; 14(14):2846.
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