Diabetes diet: Eating THIS could irreversibly HARM liver as well as cause type 2 diabetes

Diabetes sufferers have blood sugar levels that rise too high in their bloodstream, and consuming a particular type of sugar is known to drive the type 2 form of the condition.

The sugar - called fructose - is found naturally in food including apples, cherries, mangoes, watermelon and pears. 

However, because of its very sweet flavour it is often added in large amounts to processed foods. From fizzy drinks to sweets, sweetened yogurts to canned fruit: all these foodstuffs contain added fructose. 

New research suggest it's this natural component that could also be responsible for fatty liver disease.

A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found fructose could cause harm to the liver which in turn could lead to cirrhosis and a liver transplant.

Previous research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2004 linked the growing use of high-fructose corn syrup as a sweetener in processed foods to obesity, while a 2015 study by the Mayo Clinic found it damaged the body’s metabolic systems and could cause type 2 diabetes.

In the new study, scientists found that fructose caused a worse metabolic effect than consuming similar calories as glucose sugar.

Glucose is another simple sugar found naturally in foods, but it cause less damage than fructose.

Researchers compared the metabolic effects of consuming fructose or consuming glucose.

"Fructose was associated with worse metabolic outcomes," said Samir Softic, first study author.

In order to metabolise fructose, an enzyme called Khk - or ketohexokinase - is produced.

High levels of this enzyme were found in obese human teenagers with fatty liver disease.

The Khk enzyme was only important in fructose, but not glucose, metabolism.

The findings show that while fructose and glucose are both sugars, cells deal with them differently.

People with fatty liver disease are more at risk of developing diabetes.

“These people are more at risk of developing fatty liver disease, just as those with fatty liver disease are more at risk of developing diabetes, since obesity is being a predisposing factor for both conditions," said Softic.

With fructose added to most processed foods, experts recommend sticking to foods where sugar naturally occurs, like fruit, in addition to lots of vegetables, legumes and whole grains.



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