High fructose corn syrup may affect liver

Sept. 15, 2012 at 1:01 AM   |   Comments

DURHAM, N.C., Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Obese patients with type 2 diabetes who eat higher amounts of fructose display reduced levels of liver adenosine triphosphate, or ADP, U.S. researchers say.

Lead author Dr. Manal Abdelmalek of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., said ATP is a compound involved in the energy transfer between cells.

The study, published in Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, indicate elevated uric acid levels -- hyperuricemia -- were associated with more severe hepatic ATP depletion in response to fructose intake.

The findings suggest uric acid levels -- produced by the breakdown of purines, natural substances commonly found in food -- might serve as a marker for increased fructose consumption and hepatic ATP depletion.

Increased dietary fructose could alter the body's metabolism and energy balance. Energy depletion in the liver might be associated with liver injury in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, the study said.

High fructose corn syrup -- used as a sweetener in consumer food products such as bread, cereal and soda -- consumption has more than doubled in the past 30 years, Abdelmalek said.

"Our findings suggest that increased dietary fructose intake may impair liver 'energy balance," Abdelmalek said in a statement. "Further research to define the clinical implications of these findings on metabolism is necessary."

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