Adding sugar to a high-fat Western diet could be worse than a high-fat diet alone

June 30, 2014

A high-fructose, high-fat diet can cause harmful effects to the livers of adult rats, according to new research published today [27 June] in Experimental Physiology, providing new insight into the effects of adding fructose to a Western diet high in fat.

The study showed that short-term consumption of a Western diet, rich in saturated fats and , is more damaging for healthy liver development than following a alone.

Dr Susanna Iossa, who led the study at the University of Naples, Italy, said:

"This result points to the harmful effect of adding fructose to the usual western, high-fat diet and, together with other related findings, should stimulate the discussion on the use of fructose and fructose-containing sweeteners in beverages and packaged foods.

"We performed the research by using an animal model of adult sedentary humans, consisting of , that were fed for two weeks with either a low-fat diet, a high-fat diet or a diet rich in fat and fructose. This latter diet is very similar in composition to the diet consumed by the large majority of the Western population. After the diet period, we evaluated liver function and we found that the presence of fructose in the high-fat diet exacerbated the impairment of this important metabolic organ, by increasing the build-up of fat in the liver, and decreasing liver insulin sensitivity.

"Much more research should be undertaken in the future, especially regarding the impact of the high-fat high-fructose diet on other metabolically important organs, in order to establish the real impact of this unhealthy dietary habit on health and well-being."

Explore further: Fructose dose too high, but exercise can offset

More information: Crescenzo R, Bianco F, Coppola P, Mazzoli A, Tussellino M, Carotenuto R, Liverini G, Iossa S. (2014) "Fructose supplementation worsens the deleterious effects of short-term high-fat feeding on hepatic steatosis and lipid metabolism in adult rats." Experimental Physiology. DOI: 10.1113/expphysiol.2014.079632

Related Stories

Fructose dose too high, but exercise can offset

June 13, 2014
A high-fructose diet is related to major health problems including diabetes, but can be offset by a moderate exercise regime, a Murdoch University scientist suggests.

Fatty liver disease prevented in mice

June 3, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Studying mice, researchers have found a way to prevent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, the most common cause of chronic liver disease worldwide. Blocking a path that delivers dietary fructose to the liver ...

New study finds neither HFCS nor table sugar increases liver fat under 'real world' conditions

February 12, 2013
A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism presented compelling data showing the consumption of both high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and sucrose (table sugar) at levels consistent with ...

Sugar intake is not directly related to liver disease

November 1, 2013
Despite current beliefs, sugar intake is not directly associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, according to a new study in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. Rather, ...

Dietary fructose causes liver damage in animal model, study finds

June 19, 2013
The role of dietary fructose in the development of obesity and fatty liver diseases remains controversial, with previous studies indicating that the problems resulted from fructose and a diet too high in calories.

Recommended for you

Breathing dirty air may harm kidneys, study finds

September 21, 2017
Outdoor air pollution has long been linked to major health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A new study now adds kidney disease to the list, according to ...

Excess dietary manganese promotes staph heart infection

September 21, 2017
Too much dietary manganese—an essential trace mineral found in leafy green vegetables, fruits and nuts—promotes infection of the heart by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus ("staph").

Being active saves lives whether a gym workout, walking to work or washing the floor

September 21, 2017
Physical activity of any kind can prevent heart disease and death, says a large international study involving more than 130,000 people from 17 countries published this week in The Lancet.

Frequent blood donations safe for some, but not all

September 21, 2017
(HealthDay)—Some people may safely donate blood as often as every eight weeks—but that may not be a healthy choice for all, a new study suggests.

Higher manganese levels in children correlate with lower IQ scores, study finds

September 21, 2017
A study led by environmental health researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine finds that children in East Liverpool, Ohio with higher levels of Manganese (Mn) had lower IQ scores. The research appears ...

One e-cigarette with nicotine leads to adrenaline changes in nonsmokers' hearts

September 20, 2017
A new UCLA study found that healthy nonsmokers experienced increased adrenaline levels in their heart after one electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) with nicotine but there were no increased adrenaline levels when the study ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.