Sugar and Fat Synthesis
If you’ve read the blog post Sugar Leads to More Sugar you’ll understand that sugar rewards the brain in a way that makes you want to eat more. This, coupled with the high calorie content of sugar, means it is highly likely to cause weight gain and associated diseases if eaten in excess. This may be due to the effect of sugar on fat synthesis in the body.
Researchers in Zurich found that even moderate amounts of sugar lead to a change in metabolism which result in an increase in fat synthesis. Participants in the study were given drinks that contained either fructose, glucose or sucrose. Sucrose is table sugar which is a combination of fructose and glucose. They consumed about 0.8 litres of the drinks a day (1).
Sugar leads to fatty liver
The participants did not consume more calories than before the study, as the sugary drinks increased satiety which meant they reduced their calorie intake from other sources. The researchers observed that fat production in the liver was twice as high in the fructose group as in the glucose group or the control group. This was still the case more than twelve hours after the last meal. Sucrose boosted fat synthesis slightly more than the same amount of fructose (1).
Prevention is better than cure
Increased fat production in the liver is the first step in the development of common diseases such as fatty liver disease and type-2 diabetes. Avoidance of sugar and fructose should be key recommendations in the prevention of fatty liver disease and diabetes.
If you want to find out about an alternative to sugar that has fewer calories and many health benefits read the blog post Sugar – What’s the Alternative? You’ll also find a recipe for a delicious gluten free, vegan Orange and Almond Cake.
1. J Hepatol. 2021 Mar 6;S0168-8278(21)00161-6. Fructose- and sucrose- but not glucose-sweetened beverages promote hepatic de novo lipogenesis: A randomized controlled trial. Geidl-Flueck B et al.