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The Worst Drink For Your Liver (Not Alcohol)

This perhaps unexpected drink is seemingly contributing to an illness that impacts 25% of Americans.

Perhaps you intuitively comprehend that since the liver filters toxins from your body, it’s important to keep this vital organ healthy. And typically, when we speak about damage to the liver, the very first thing we think about is alcohol. However,  a new study reveals a completely different category of beverage is what frequently harms the liver… and unlike alcohol, there is no minimum required age for this type of drink.

A little background on this research study: The Framingham Heart research, which started in the Boston region in 1948, has actually been a continuous and important influence in informing the public that lifestyle choices (like diet and smoking) can considerably impact longevity and health.

Now, public and medical health scientists from the Boston University School of Medicine (with assistance from Harvard Medical School) have released a fascinating update in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, based upon the current phase of the Framingham Heart research.

For this recently released paper, the scientists state they carried out “a prospective observational research study of individuals from the FHS Offspring and Third Generation cohorts.” This sample has actually been under evaluation since around 2002.

This stage looked at 1,636 descendants of the initial study cohort. The typical age of the “offspring” participants was 63 years, while the average age for third generation cohort’s was 48. Fifty-two percent of this set were women.

The participants stated the rate at which they consume sugar-sweetened soda or beverages, and the scientists evaluated these self-reports versus the occurrence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease—“a condition in which extra fat is kept in your liver,” according to the National Institute of Health. The Mayo Clinic states that non-alcoholic fatty liver illness impacts one in four Americans.

The NIH states non-alcoholic fatty liver illness may not result in severe health problems, but it can trigger the enlargement of your liver and therefore, pain.

Based on this part of the Framingham Heart research, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease might be avoided by eliminating sugar-sweetened drinks. That is because, as the researchers mention, consumers who regularly drink sugar-sweetened beverages (who reported consuming it anywhere between more than once a day to more than once a week) had a two-and-a-half times higher chance of non-alcoholic fatty liver illness, compared to non-consumers.

“Periodic” sugary beverage consumers (that is, between once a month to less than once a week) also saw “a more unfavorable boost in liver fat when compared to non-consumers,” the scientists report.

Author: Steven Sinclaire

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