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Sugar consumption accelerates fat production: study

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Zurich — Consuming even moderate amounts of the added sugars fructose and sucrose can double the production of fat in your liver, results of a recent study from researchers at the University of Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich show.

The researchers asked 94 healthy men to consume drinks sweetened with different types of sugar once a day for seven weeks. They used tracers to track the impact on how the men’s bodies stored fat.

Findings show that, among the men who consumed drinks sweetened with fructose and sucrose, fat production in the liver was twice as high as those who consumed drinks sweetened with glucose – a simple sugar that fuels the body. This remained true more than 12 hours after the participant’s most recent meal or sugar consumption.

 

Philipp Gerber, study lead author and part of the university’s Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Clinical Nutrition, said in a press release that an intake of 80 grams of sugar a day – equivalent to 27 ounces of a typical soft drink – triggers “overactive” fat production in the liver even if a person consumes no additional sugar thereafter.

The researchers note that the World Health Organization recommends consuming no more than 50 grams of sugar a day, with 25 grams an even more ideal target limit.

“Our results are a critical step in researching the harmful effects of added sugars and will be very significant for future dietary recommendations,” Gerber said in the release.

The study was published online March 5 in the Journal of Hepatology.

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