Fructose, a commonly used sweetener in sugary drinks, cakes, ice cream, and biscuits, seems to up the risk of deadly liver disease in children.
Researchers found that the sweetener can lead to a fatty liver disease in children, even though this disease is commonly associated with alcoholism. Past studies have confirmed fructose is the most dangerous type of sugar, but new research suggests it can be far more damaging than previously estimated.
The fructose-associated liver disease can trigger cancer, heart issues, and strokes later in life.
In the U.S., the problem is even more serious as 25 percent of youngsters are deemed obese before age 15 and being overweight has often been associated with the fatty liver disease. However, in obese people, the disease usually leads to inflammation and cancer in decades. In the case of teens consuming fructose, they can develop cancer and other major health problems in several years.
Children At Higher Risk than Adults
Children are also more likely to consume the sweetener than adults as they crave sweets more often. High-fructose corn syrup in sodas and a wide range of prepackaged foods has been modified to trigger an instant sugar rush which may explain why laboratory animals fed on fructose developed more severe metabolic conditions than the animals given glucose, another type of sugar.
The recent findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
During the trial, laboratory mice were put on a high fat diet and drank water, or a liquid containing fructose or glucose. After nearly 3 months, none of the lab animals in the control group was diagnosed with insulin resistance, which is a risk factor for diabetes.
Both groups that consumed sugar gained weight, but there were some differences between the fructose and the glucose groups respectively. The research team found a statistically significant link between fructose and more severe negative metabolic outcomes.
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