In a new study from the University of California, Davis, researchers found consuming sucrose, the more “natural form of sugar,” may be as bad for your health as consuming high fructose corn syrup.
They found that consumption of both sucrose- and high fructose corn-sweetened beverages increase liver fat and decrease insulin sensitivity.
People often have a skewed perspective of aspartame and give sucrose a pass, but this study suggests that consumers should be equally concerned about both major added sugars in our food supply.
In the study, participants (18 to 40 years old) were assigned to beverage groups matched for sex, body mass index, fasting triglyceride, lipoprotein and insulin concentrations.
They drank three servings a day of either a sucrose-sweetened beverage, a high fructose corn-sweetened beverage, or an aspartame-sweetened beverage for 16 days.
Within the span of two weeks, the team observed a big change in liver fat and insulin sensitivity in the two groups consuming sucrose- or high fructose corn syrup-sweetened beverages.
The team says that’s concerning because the prevalence of fatty liver [nonalcoholic fatty liver disease] and Type 2 diabetes continues to increase globally.
Decreased insulin sensitivity is an important risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, and seeing a clinically significant change within two weeks highlights the need for consumers to read labels carefully and be aware of the source of added sugars.
Sucrose may be labeled as sugar, cane sugar or evaporated cane juice among other names, but they’re all sugar.
The team says the study is important because many consumers consider high fructose corn syrup to be more detrimental to health than sucrose. Many consumers also believe consuming sucrose is safer than consuming aspartame.
Previous human and animal studies have shown that sugar-sweetened beverages are associated with increased fat in the liver.
This study further substantiates that those beverages can promote fat accumulation in the liver and lead to metabolic syndrome.
If you care about liver health, please read studies about keto diet could help you lose weight, but also harm your liver health and findings of diet high in fruit sugar may harm your liver health.
For more information about liver diseases, please see recent studies about this popular herb supplement may cause liver damage and results showing that coffee drinkers could halve their risk of liver cancer.
The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. One author of the study is Kimber Stanhope.
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