Fructose: Is it Killing Your Liver?

WOW, what do you mean – Fructose is killing my liver?! Fructose is a natural fruit sugar, right? Well let’s take a look at this and see what we find.

Many studies are now showing us that our over indulgence with Fructose is the problem. Yup that same issue again, the one that makes us who we are comes back to get us, “Bigger is Better”. In this case it is killing us. I know you are asking where is all this Fructose coming from, here let’s look. We are getting large amounts of fructose from HFC (high-fructose corn syrup) which, is in many of the drinks and foods we consume. Over 50% of the sweeteners produced today are made from HFC. Here is how it causes problems with the liver.

Dr. Robert Lustig Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco, has been a pioneer in decoding sugar metabolism. His work has highlighted some major differences in how different sugars are broken down and used:

  • After eating fructose, 100 percent of the metabolic burden rests on your liver. But with glucose, your liver has to break down only 20 percent.
  • Every cell in your body, including your brain, utilizes glucose. Therefore, much of it is “burned up” immediately after you consume it. By contrast, fructose is turned into free fatty acids (FFAs), VLDL (the damaging form of cholesterol), and triglycerides, which get stored as fat.
  • The fatty acids created during fructose metabolism accumulate as fat droplets in your liver and skeletal muscle tissues, causing insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Insulin resistance progresses to metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes.
  • When you eat 120 calories of glucose, less than one calorie is stored as fat. 120 calories of fructose results in 40 calories being stored as fat.
  • Glucose suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates leptin, which suppresses your appetite. Fructose has no effect on ghrelin and interferes with your brain’s communication with leptin, resulting in overeating.

The largest source of fructose today is HFC. HFC is the sweeter used in today’s soda, energy drinks, and many common foods. Just take a look at the labels of the foods you eat and see if HFC is there, you maybe surprised. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, over indulgence of fructose is the issue, not a controlled enjoyment of fruit, honey and other sweet things.

Now we can see that all sugars are not created equal. So next time you go to drink a soda you may want to consider that basically you are just consuming fat. Here is a video that brings this point home, Caution This Video Can Be Gross.

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Disclaimer: The information in this post is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

About Jeff

Jeff Pearce is a board certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant and has coached hundreds of people in the Dallas/Fort Worth to help them achieve their health goals. If you would like more information about his services view the Health Consultations section. For those not in the physical area Distance Coaching is an option. A 15 minute "No Cost" informational consult is available, by phone, to chat and answer questions about services. To schedule your no cost informational consultation please contact us .

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