About Careers MedBlog Contact us

Sugar Consumption and Serum Uric Acid Concentrations Increase Risk of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis

Font : A-A+

  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a type of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
  • NASH affects life expectancy and quality of life and therefore it is important to understand the risk factors for NASH in children and adolescents.
  • Study states that sugar (fructose) intake and uric acid concentration are the main risk factors for NASH that independently contribute to the incidence and progression of liver disease, mainly non-alcoholic steatohepatitis(NASH).

Sugar Consumption and Serum Uric Acid Concentrations Increase Risk of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis

Dietary fructose intake may increase serum uric acid concentrations and that both uric acid concentration and fructose consumption may be increased in individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

But, both dietary fructose consumption and serum uric acid concentrations can increase the risk of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis(NASH) independently.

Listen to this article

Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis

NAFLD, is the accumulation of extra fat in liver cells in people who drink little or no alcohol. It is the fastest growing cause of liver disease in both Western and developing countries.

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a type of NAFLD. In NASH there is inflammation and liver cell damage, in addition to fat accumulation in the liver.

Around 30%-40% of the general population in United States have NAFLD and 3%-12% of adults in U.S have NASH. About 20% of people with NAFLD have NASH.

Up to 9.6% of all children and 38% of obese children are affected by NAFLD, including NASH.

Although NASH is a less aggressive form of NAFLD, it can progress to severe fibrosis and cirrhosis, with development of liver carcinoma in adults.

"It is plausible that dietary fructose intake and uric acid concentrations are potential risk factors for liver disease progression in NAFLD. Numerous studies have shown that high uric acid levels are associated with metabolic syndrome and NAFLD, but to date, to the best of our knowledge, no studies have tested the independence of associations among uric acid concentrations, fructose consumption, and NASH confirmed by biopsy," explained senior investigator Valerio Nobili, MD, Chief of the Hepatometabolic Unit Liver Diseases Laboratory, Bambino Gesù Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.


A team of researchers in Italy and the UK studied 271 obese children and adolescents with NAFLD among whom 155 were males with mean age 12.5 years. They had undergone liver biopsy.

The participants completed a food frequency questionnaire, indicating :
  • when specific foods were consumed (breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, etc.)
  • how often (every day of the week, sometimes, or never)
  • portion size
Children and adolescents reported that soda and other sweetened beverages were their major dietary source.

Nearly 90% reported drinking sodas and soft drinks one or more times a week. Almost 95% of patients regularly consumed morning and afternoon snacks consisting of crackers, pizza and salty food, biscuits, yogurt, or other snacks.

Results showed that 37.6% of patients had NASH and 47% of patients with NASH had high uric acid compared with 29.7% of patients who did not have NASH.

Fructose consumption was independently associated with high uric acid, which occurred more frequently in patients with NASH than in not-NASH patients.

"In this study, we show for the first time that uric acid concentrations and dietary fructose consumption are independently and positively associated with NASH. The development of NASH may markedly affect life expectancy and quality of life in affected individuals and therefore it is crucial to understand the risk factors for NASH in children and adolescents in order to design effective interventions which can be used safely to treat this young group of patients," Dr. Nobili concluded.

Fructose consumption can be reduces by directing efforts towards behavior modification, nutrition education, and limiting access to soda and other sweetened beverages. Many countries have already launched campaigns to ban soda vending machines in schools.

Thus the results state that both dietary fructose consumption and serum uric acid concentrations independently contribute to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and its progression.

The findings are published in the Journal of Hepatology.


  1. Definition & Facts of NAFLD & NASH(NASH) - (https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/nafld-nash/definition-facts
  2. Valerio Nobili et al. Serum uric acid concentrations and fructose consumption are independently associated with NASH in children and adolescents. Journal of Hepatology; (2017) doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2016.12.025

Source: Medindia

Cite this Article   close



Recommended Reading

Latest Health Watch

 Unraveling the Link Between E. Coli in Meat and Urinary Tract Infections
Consuming uncooked or undercooked pork products may lead to urinary tract infections caused by E. coli leading to 480,000 UTIs in the United States each year.
 Why Do Your Migraine or Cluster Headaches Always Strike at the Same Time?
The timing of headaches may be related to the body's internal clock, the circadian rhythm, paving the way for potential novel treatments.
 Exploring the Potential of Electronic Skin Patches in Sports, Fertility Tracking, and Workplace Safety
Discover the expanding possibilities of electronic skin patches and their potential to revolutionize daily life beyond healthcare.
Liquid Biopsy: A Useful Tool for Cancer
Liquid biopsies are a useful diagnostic tool in cancer diagnosis and so much more.
 Why Do Conventional Antidepressants Fail in Alzheimer's Patients?
Depression in Alzheimer's patients has different risk factors than depression in older persons without the condition, with potential implications for treatment.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Sugar Consumption and Serum Uric Acid Concentrations Increase Risk of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests