The researchers also noted that more uric acid is produced in the body when excess fructose is consumed. Too much uric acid is associated with conditions that include gout, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and uric acid stones, a form of kidney stones.
The silver lining is that measuring the amount of uric acid in these individuals may help doctors predict the presence and monitor the severity of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, Abdelmalek said.
Research Abdelmalek published in the Journal of Hepatology in 2008 showed that, within a small subset of patients, fructose-containing beverages were associated with NAFLD compared to patients with comparable weight, age, and gender. Her 2010 research, published in Hepatology, went further and linked fructose with the liver injury and scarring (fibrosis).
The current study evaluated adults enrolled in the NIH-sponsored Look Ahead Fatty Liver Disease Ancillary Study headed by senior author Jeanne M.Clark, M.D., MPH, at Johns Hopkins University. The researchers analyzed dietary questionnaires collected in patients who underwent a magnetic resonance imaging to measure liver fat as well as an intravenous fructose challenge to evaluate the liver's ATP stores and response to ATP depletion.
Patients enrolled in the Look Ahead study had been counseled on lower dietary sugar consumption for the management of diabetes. Despite the overall lower levels of fructose use in this study population, the researchers found evidence of liver ATP depletion in those who consumed more fructose.
"The fact we found a difference in liver ATP stores at lower levels of dietary fructose intake does suggest that higher fructose consumption (as would occur with the consumption of processed food and sweetened beverages) could deplete the liver of energy and thus risk causing worse metab
|Contact: Mary Jane Gore|
Duke University Medical Center