Human fatty liver disease: 0 sodas for the liver

The consumption of sugary drinks is associated with the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or commonly called human fatty liver disease (NASH) unlike that of light drinks, according to a new study from the Journal of Hepatology.

We know the devastating effects of an overconsumption of fructose on the liver, exposing to the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NASH). Sugary drinks are a significant food source. Researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University studied the impact of daily consumption of sugary drinks and ‘light’ drinks on the development of this liver disease.

The risk increases from one soda a day

The researchers determined the frequency of intake of sugary drinks and sweetened sodas of nearly 5,910 participants. They also measured the concentration of a NASH marker, alanine transaminase. After adjusting with several factors the results indicate an increased risk of NASH for daily consumers of sugary drinks, especially those who drink more than one per day. On the other hand, no association was observed for the consumption of light sodas and hepatic risk.

Ideally, it’s 0 sodas

The researchers estimate that if the habit of consuming a sugary drink is regular, a ‘light’ soda should be preferred or even not consumed at all. They add that these consumers, especially obese and overweight people, need to be aware of the amount of unnecessary calories they are ingesting, and that this consumption needs to remain occasional.


Ma J et al: Sugar-sweetened beverage, diet soda, and fatty liver disease in the Framingham Heart Study cohorts Journal of Hepatology, doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2015.03.032

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