Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Study Reveals that Soda Drinks May Cause Liver Damage


A new Israeli study reveals that too much sweetened soda and fruit juice may cause long-term liver damage.

Switching to water is the best preventive measure to contribute to long-term health.

A health conscious Israeli physician has bad news for the beverage industry. According to Dr. Nimer Assy, people who drink more than one liter (about four cups) of sweetened beverages a day have a five times greater risk of developing fatty liver.

The ingredient in the sodas and juices that causes the damage is a fruit sugar called fructose, which is highly absorbable in the liver. It does not affect insulin production and goes straight to the liver where it is converted to fat. Fructose ups the chances that you will suffer from a fatty liver, which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer, Assy says.

Diet drinks are suspect as well

When Assy refers to soft drinks, he's including diet soft drinks in the mix. With inconclusive data on diet drinks, he believes that those containing artificial sweeteners may have a similar effect. While diet drinks do not contain fructose, they do have aspartame and caramel colorants: “Both these can increase insulin resistance and may induce fatty liver,” says the doctor.

Assy plans to conduct a more extensive study of the health effects of artificially sweetened drinks and he suspects that his findings may not be to the taste of the world's beverage industry.


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