Fructose Increases Uric Acid Levels, Reduces Liver Energy Stores
Fructose is a natural, simple sugar found in fruits and vegetables which provides energy to the body. The consumption of fructose among Americans has increased by more than twice in the last three decades due to the rising intake of high fructose corn syrup, a mixture of fructose and glucose, which is commonly used as a sweetener in soda and other food products.
Scientists have recently found that increased fructose consumption can affect uric acid levels and the way the liver is depleted of energy. In particular, they found that obese and diabetic patients who take a lot of fructose in the diet have reduced levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP– an energy source of cells, in the liver. This finding was associated with elevated uric acid levels, which they now believe may serve as a marker for excessive fructose intake.
The researchers evaluated the diets of 244 obese diabetic adults who participated in the Action for Health in Diabetes Fatty Liver Ancillary Study. They also assessed the changes in liver ATP levels by doing an intravenous fructose challenge, giving some participants greater than 15 grams of fructose/day, while others received less than 15 grams. Excessive fructose intake has been found to alter the body’s metabolism, leading to increased uric acid production, and energy depletion which is similar to liver injury, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Dr. Manal Abdelmalek from Duke University Medical Center, author of the study, believes that more studies have to be done to determine the relationship between the impairment of energy balance in the liver due to excessive fructose intake and its implication in liver disease, particularly non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. He notes that the rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease are on the rise in the US, with a concurrent increase in fructose intake.
Wiley. Increased dietary fructose linked to elevated uric acid levels and lower liver energy stores. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
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