A sweetener used in ice cream and soda may cause potentially fatal liver disease, a new study suggests. Researchers have found that high fructose consumption is triggering an early form of fatty liver disease in children, a condition that is normally associated with alcohol consumption, which can lead to cancer, stroke, and heart problems. Clinically obese children and adolescent are more susceptible to the illness.
Fatty liver, or hepatic steatosis, is a term that describes the buildup of fat in the liver. It is normal to have some fat in your liver, but too much causes serious health problems. Fatty liver develops when the liver can’t metabolize fructose at the same rate that the body is consuming it.
Our children are vulnerable
The research, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, found that mice fed with a high fructose diet became obese and developed greater insulin-resistance than those fed with the same amount in glucose. An important factor in fructose metabolism, Khk enzyme, was also found to develop in the animals fed with the high fructose diet.