Could the Reduced Consumption of High-Fructose Foods Lower the Prevalence of NAFLD? - European Medical Journal

Could the Reduced Consumption of High-Fructose Foods Lower the Prevalence of NAFLD?

1 Mins
Hepatology

LATE-BREAKING RESEARCH presented at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting, ENDO 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, has found that limiting consumption of high levels of fructose could help to prevent the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

With 24% of adults in the USA presenting with NAFLD, recent studies have shown that the chronic build up of excess fat may be caused by the overconsumption of high-fructose foods. Although naturally occurring fructose forms part of a healthy diet in the form of fruits and vegetables, high-fructose corn syrup is often added by manufacturers to confectionery and fizzy drinks. Frequent consumption of these foods are a known contributing factor to the development of obesity and diabetes, which are also the two main causes of NAFLD.

Led by Theodore Friedman, Charles R. Drew University, California, USA, researchers examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2017–2018, which included 3,292 patients. Results from this analysis revealed that the population who consumed the highest amount of fructose were Mexican Americans, with 48% regularly exposed to these foods. The highest incidence of NAFLD was also displayed in individuals in this population who consumed 70% fructose.

Friedman explained: “We found that when adjusting for the demographics and behavioural factors (smoking, modest alcohol consumption, diet quality, and physical activity), high fructose consumption was associated with a higher chance of NAFLD among the total population and Mexican Americans.”

The authors began adjusting for body consumption and laboratory variables, which allowed for a superior study model. This led the researchers to find that this high consumption correlated with higher changes of NAFLD in Mexican American and White populations. Friedman and co-authors have encouraged healthcare providers to recommend that patients reduce their consumption of foods and beverages with high-fructose corn syrup, to prevent NAFLD development.

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