High Fructose Corn Syrup May Raise the Risk of a Certain Type of Liver Disease

High Fructose Corn Syrup May Raise the Risk of a Certain Type of Liver Disease

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  • June 17, 2022
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High Fructose Corn Syrup May Raise the Risk of a Certain Type of Liver Disease

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a broad term used to describe a wide range of liver conditions that affect those who drink little to no alcohol.

This is opposed to alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD), which is the damage done to the liver from years of excessive drinking.

Now, new research is showing that people who consume a higher amount of high fructose corn syrup also may be at higher risk of liver disease.

The research was presented at ENDO 2022, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting. In the study, researchers analyzed data from 3,292 participants enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination SurveyTrusted Source between 2017 and 2018.

The study hasn’t been peer-reviewed or published yet.

In their findings, the researchers reported that the highest proportion of those who consumed the most fructose were Mexican Americans (48 percent) and non-Hispanic Black Americans (44 percent). Non-Hispanic whites had a reported percentage of 33 percent.

The highest prevalence of NAFLD was among Mexican Americans, who consumed the most fructose at 70 percent. the prevalence of NAFLD in Mexican Americans who consumed low amounts of fructose was reduced at 52 percent.

Overall, the researchers found that people who consumed high levels of fructose were more likely to develop NAFLD than individuals who consumed lower levels.

They noted that this effect was particularly true in Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic whites.

Fructose is a natural sugar found in fruit, fruit juices, certain vegetables, and honey. While it’s a naturally occurring sugar, it is also an ingredient in high fructose corn syrup, a component in a number of unhealthy foods.

In addition to being a contributing factor to obesity and diabetes, researchers suggest that high-fructose corn syrup may also be a contributing factor to NAFLD.

“An analysis of the deleterious effect of high fructose corn syrup on the development of fatty liver disease presented at the Endocrine Society meeting confirms the importance of controlling the intake of this harmful ingredient found in most sodas and candies,” Dr. Hillel Tobias, the director of hepatology at the Concorde Medical Group in New York who is associated with Lenox Hill Hospital, told Healthline. “The Endocrine Society presentation found a direct relationship in all segments of the population between the extent of high fructose consumption and the incidence of fatty liver disease.”

“The findings of this study are in line with the literature that high fructose consumption is associated with increased risk of developing NAFLD,” Dr. Na Li, a gastroenterologist and hepatologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, also told Healthline. “We have now recognized that high fructose precipitates not only fat accumulation but also inflammation in the liver.”

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