Diet including two sugary drinks each day may increase liver disease risk

According to a study by researchers from Tufts University, including two drinks, which are sweetened with sugar, into your diet each day increases your risk of developing liver disease. They also warned that it could increase your risk of developing heart disease or type 2 diabetes.
People consuming more than one drink of lemonade, cola or other sugar-sweetened drinks each day were found to have a higher prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, diet versions, which contain little to no sugar, did not appear to contribute to NAFLD. The study was published in the Journal of Hepatology.
NAFLD is when fat builds up in the liver cells, irrelevant of alcohol consumption, and often there are no symptoms. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of NAFLD.
Approximately 2,600 men and women (who were all middle-aged) participated in the study, which saw them provide details on the number of sugar-sweetened and caffeinated drinks they drank each day. They then had scans to measure how much fat was in the liver, with some being told they had NAFLD.
The link between sugary beverages and NAFLD remained even after factors such as age, alcohol consumption and calorie intake were accounted for.
“Our study adds 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,” said Dr Jiantao Ma, the study author.
Dr Nicola McKeown, a co-author of the study, said: “Although there is much more research to be done, sugar-sweetened beverages are a source of empty calories, and people need to be mindful of how much they are drinking, perhaps by reserving this habit for special occasions.”
To decrease your risk of NAFLD, you should reduce your consumption of sugary drinks. For a healthy lifestyle, you should consume fresh fruit and vegetables, whilst reducing your intake of processed food and sugar. Regular exercise is also highly important.

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