Liver Disease: Expert discusses risks and symptoms
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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) describes a range of conditions characterised by a build-up of fat in the liver. This disease is common in people who are overweight or obese, the NHS reports. New research has found a drink that could lead to higher levels of fat in the liver.
A new study from the Boston University School of Medicine has found that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages can lead to an increase in liver fat.
The study published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology looked at 945 third-generation participants and 691 offspring.
The average age of the “offspring” participants was around 63 years.
And the average age of the “third-generation” was 48.
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The study participants reported the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages or soda they usually drink.
The researchers then weighed this drink consumption data against the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
It’s estimated that the early stages of this condition affect one in every three people in the UK, according to the NHS.
This means that these people have small amounts of fat in their livers, the health body explains.
A healthy liver should contain only a little fat or none at all.
The study has found that frequent consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks had two and a half times higher prevalence of NAFLD.
Frequent consumers were those who reported drinking these beverages between more than once a day to more than once a week.
The researchers also looked at “occasional” consumers who had the drink between once a month to less than once a week.
However, those who drank sugar-sweetened beverages occasionally also saw “a more adverse increase” in liver fat.
This evidence suggests that non-alcoholic fatty liver disease could be prevented by skipping sugar-sweetened beverages.
The participants in this study have been under examination since around 2002.
This new study is part of ongoing research educating people about lifestyle choices and their impact on health called The Framingham Heart Study.
NAFLD in the early stages doesn’t cause any harm in most cases, bactrim f para staphylococcus aureus however, it can lead to serious liver damage later on.
This damage includes cirrhosis, scarring of the liver that can prevent the liver from working properly, the NHS says.
People with advanced stages of NAFLD can have these symptoms:
- Dull or aching pain in the top right of the tummy (over the lower right side of the ribs)
- Extreme tiredness
- Unexplained weight loss
High levels of fat can also increase your risk of other “serious” health problems, ranging from diabetes to high blood pressure, the NHS explains.
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