A study from the University and University Hospital of Zurich revealed that eating small amounts of sugar doubles fat production in the liver. In high daily doses, fructose and especially sucrose can cause serious illness.
Just 80 grams of sugar is enough to stimulate fat production in the liver, a manager warnsPhilip Gerber, from the Clinical Nutrition, Diabetes and Endocrinology Clinic.
This would be the same as consuming eight dL of soda. From this dose the excessive fat production continues even for a long time without consuming more sugar.
One soft drink a day for seven weeks
The study collected data from 94 healthy male participants only. In fact, hormonal cycles and contraception could have made the results of the young women’s participation very uncertain, as Philip Gerber specifies. Therefore, taking these parameters into account would have been a major logistical hurdle.
Most guinea pigs drank a sweet drink daily for seven weeks. Part of them consume a drink that contains fructose (fruit sugar), another one that contains glucose (dextrose), and a third drink that contains sucrose (traditional beet sugar), which is made up of glucose and fructose. Finally, some of the participants drank a sugar-free beverage.
Sucrose is worse than fructose
Researchers have followed the path substances take in the body using tracers. Thus they were able to analyze the effects of soft drinks on the metabolism of guinea pigs.
Study participants did not consume more calories than usual. Despite this, researchers have found negative effects of sugar on the body.
Thus, 12 hours after their drink, the people who drank the fructose soda continued to produce twice as much fat compared to the people who drank the glucose soda or the drink without sugar.
The worst result was attributed to a drink containing traditional sugar, as it caused participants to produce more fats than those containing fructose, contrary to what scientists have so far believed.
Reduce consumption in Switzerland
Swiss residents consume an average of just over 100 grams of sugar per day. Since the high calorie content of sugar promotes weight gain and obesity, the World Health Organization recommends limiting your sugar intake to 50 or even 25 grams per day. However, according to Philip Gerber, Switzerland is still very far from that.
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The production of fats by the liver also promotes the development of common diseases such as fatty liver disease (liver damage caused by excess fat) or type 2 diabetes.
Therefore, the Zurich study constitutes “a crucial step in discovering the harmful effects of adding sugar,” as the University of Zurich affirms.
ATS / iar