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Sugary drinks can give you fatty liver disease

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Making a habit of drinking sugar sweetened drinks on a daily basis can prove harmful for liver, as new study claims that it increases the risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Tufts University researchers analysed 2,634 self-reported dietary questionnaires from mostly Caucasian middle-aged men and women enrolled in the National Heart Lunch and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Framingham Heart Study’s Offspring and Third Generation cohorts.

The sugar-sweetened beverages on the questionnaires included caffeinated- and caffeine-free colas, other carbonated beverages with sugar, fruit punches, lemonade or other non-carbonated fruit drinks. The participants underwent a computed tomography (CT) scan to measure the amount of fat in the liver and the authors of the current study used a previously defined cut-point to identify NAFLD. They saw a higher prevalence of NAFLD among people who reported drinking more than one sugar-sweetened beverage per day compared to people who said they drank no sugar-sweetened beverages.

First author Jiantao Ma, Ph.D, said that their study added to a growing body of research suggesting that sugar-sweetened beverages may be linked to NAFLD and other chronic diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The study is published in the Journal of Hepatology.

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