High Levels Of Fructose And Trans Fats Lead To Liver Disease

by Gopalan on  June 23, 2010 at 10:56 AM Diet & Nutrition News
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High levels of fructose and trans fats could lead to significant fatty liver disease with scar tissue, say researchers with the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
 High Levels Of Fructose And Trans Fats Lead To Liver Disease
High Levels Of Fructose And Trans Fats Lead To Liver Disease

They conducted the study in a new mouse model of obesity and liver disease closely modeled on human disease. Hence it should now be possible to test therapies to determine their effectiveness, according to Rohit Kohli, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the study's main author.

"Fructose consumption accounts for approximately 10.2 percent of calories in the average diet in the United States and has been linked to many health problems, including obesity, cardiovascular disease and liver disease," says Dr. Kohli. "We've developed a mouse model that is very close to human disease, allowing us to better understand the process involved in the development and progression of obesity-related fatty liver disease."

The study also includes preliminary data on a simple blood test for a biomarker that differentiates the stages of disease in this model. Physicians currently monitor the progression of fatty liver disease by taking liver biopsies, which are invasive procedures.

The study, which was conducted with scientists from the Metabolic Disease Institute at the University of Cincinnati, is published online in the journal Hepatology.

The study was conducted in mice, some of which were fed a normal diet of rodent chow and some a 16-week diet of high fructose-enriched drinking water and trans-fat solids. Their liver tissue was then analyzed for fat content, scar tissue formation (fibrosis), and the biological mechanism of damage. This was done by measuring reactive oxygen stress, inflammatory cell type and plasma levels of oxidative stress markers, which are known to play important roles in the development of obesity-related liver disease and its progression to end-stage liver disease.

The investigators found that mice fed the normal calorie chow diet remained lean and did not have fatty liver disease. Mice fed high calorie diets (trans-fat alone or a combination of trans-fat and high fructose) became obese and had fatty liver disease.

"Interestingly, it was only the group fed the combination of trans-fat and high fructose which developed the advanced fatty liver disease which had fibrosis," says Dr. Kohli. "This same group also had increased oxidative stress in the liver, increased inflammatory cells, and increased levels of plasma oxidative stress markers."

Dr. Kohli hopes to further investigate the mechanism of liver injury caused by high fructose enriched drinking water and study a therapeutic intervention of antioxidant supplementation. Antioxidants are natural defenses against oxidative stress and may reverse or protect against advanced liver damage, according to Dr. Kohli.

The investigators also would like to use this model to better understand human fatty liver disease and perform clinical trials using novel therapeutic and monitoring tools.

"Our data suggest that supplementation with pharmaceuticals agents should be tested on our new model to establish whether one is able to reverse or protect against progressive liver scarring and damage," says Dr. Kohli.

The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Children's Digestive Health and Nutrition Foundation.

Source: Medindia

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A movement has begun on Facebook to ban HFCS in the US. This has worried Refiners Association which is right. The research against this sweetener actually comes from Princeton.


To the US and the rest of the world; I worked for a corn wet milling company that makes HFCS for 25 years. I have seen every chemical and process that goes into the converting corn starch into corn sugar. If you eat a spoon full of not so tasty corn starch and let your stomach do the rest you would basically get what we produced. To have a dietitian calm that HFCS turns off your feeling of fullness or that someone calm that HFCS has heavy metals in it, IS BULL. But No Matter how many years of clear tests results you have at hand, if someone makes an accusation over and over and over people will just want to believe them. So here is a fact, blame the parents and consumers that demand more and more sugary and salty foods, as the most obvious place to look declining health, but who wants to admit to how much junk we are eating. In 25 years I have seen sodas and snacks and salt intake quadruple. How do you expect to keep your kid thin on a 3500 cal. a day diet with no vitamins or exercise? Sugar cane, beet sugar, fruit sugar and HFCS made from corn, are all basically the same carbohydrate chains. We eat more sugar, starches, and processed food today then ever before and we do it year around. So for any study to focus on only one component as the whole cause is rather absurd and would need a really big smoking gun as proof and it is just not there. In my job I have unloaded the corn, milled it to recover the starch and then refined that into HFCS, then loading out the finished products into trucks, there is no mystery process or mad science in Making HFCS. It is simply breaking corn starch into shorter sugar chains. I drink HFCS sweetened drinks as do most of us and I like most of us buy the biggest drink and not the smallest. After making and using it for 25 years there is nothing about it that I don’t fully trust as being a safe sweetener. It is Not a food group and not meant to be. It is not only bad science but fear mongering to throw out all kinds of allegations against one product with no real evidence to back any of it up. With HFCS there are so many far simpler and more reasoned explanations to explain many of the allegation that HFCS has been accused of and a mouse study being fed 10% HFCS every day is not a smoking gun by any measure. What would happen if 10% of your diet were fried pork rinds?


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