Liver damage is often related to alcohol abuse, but non-alcoholic sugary drinks may also pack a toxic punch.
A new study found that consuming more than one sugary drink per day may increase the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
"Our study adds to a growing body of research that suggests sugary drinks may be linked to NAFLD and other chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease," said lead author of the study Jiantao Ma, PhD, Department of Agriculture from the USA Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University in Boston, MA, in a press release.
NAFLD is an extra fat buildup in liver cells that is not caused by excessive alcohol consumption. NAFLD can lead to a condition that causes swelling and inflammation of the liver. Over time, this can cause scarring (cirrhosis) and even liver cancer or liver failure. NAFLD affects 1 in 5 adults in the US, according to the American College of Gastroenterology.
Dr. Ma and the team examined responses from 2,634 participants who reported their eating habits. Most of the subjects were white, middle-aged men, and women.
Using questionnaires, participants indicated the types of sugary beverages they consumed. These beverages included caffeinated, non-caffeinated tails, carbonated drinks with sugar, fruit chips, lemonade, and other non-carbonated fruit drinks.
To measure the amount of fat in the liver, the participants were imaged by computed tomography (CT).
Dr. Ma and the team ranked participants who drank sugary drinks in three groups.
The first group included participants who drank between one serving per month and one serving per week of sugary drinks or diet soda. The second group included participants who drank between one serving per week and one serving per day. The final group included participants who drank one serving or more per day.
Dr. Ma and his team found that participants who drank one or more sugary beverages per day were 61 percent more likely to develop NAFLD compared to participants who did not drink sugary drinks.
The risk of NAFLD was also 16 percent higher in the first group and 32 percent higher in the second group
Video credits to dailyRx YouTube channel