The rise in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) parallels the increase in obesity and diabetes.
A significant increase in dietary fructose consumption in industrialized countries has also occurred.
|Fructose consumption in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients was up to 3-fold higher vs. controls|
|Journal of Hepatology|
The increased consumption of high fructose corn syrup, primarily in the form of soft drinks, is linked with complications of the insulin resistance syndrome.
Furthermore, the hepatic metabolism of fructose favors de novo lipogenesis and ATP depletion.
Dr Xiaosen Ouyang and colleagues from Florida, USA hypothesized that increased fructose consumption contributes to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
A dietary history and paired serum and liver tissue were obtained from 49 patients with evidence of biopsy-proven non-alcoholic fatty liver disease without cirrhosis.
The patients were compared with 24 controls matched for gender, age, and body mass index.
The researchers noted that consumption of fructose in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease was nearly 2- to 3-fold higher than controls.
In 6 patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatic mRNA expression of fructokinase, an important enzyme for fructose metabolism, and fatty acid synthase, an important enzyme for lipogenesis were increased.
In an AML hepatocyte cell line, fructose resulted in dose-dependent increase in fructokinase protein and activity.
Dr Ouyang's team concluded, "The pathogenic mechanism underlying the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease may be associated with excessive dietary fructose consumption."