Drinking a soft drink can make a slice of gooey, cheese pizza taste better, but it may be risky when it comes to the health of your liver. A new study published in the Journal of Hepatology shows that drinking soft drinks may increase the risk of fatty liver disease. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common non-alcohol related liver disorder in this country and has the potential to progress to cirrhosis of the liver – a serious condition that requires a liver transplant.
The Risks of Drinking Soft Drinks: The Study
This study looked at a group of a group of individuals who had non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and risk factors for metabolic syndrome, a group who had non-alcoholic fatty liver disease but no metabolic syndrome risk factors, and a group of healthy people. They found that the groups with non-alcoholic liver disease drank significantly more soft drinks prior to their diagnosis than did healthy controls – regardless of whether they had metabolic syndrome or not. Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that increases the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. In other words, drinking soft drinks appeared to increase the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease whether or not the people were already at risk of fatty liver disease due to metabolic syndrome.
Why Does Drinking Soft Drinks Increase the Risk of Fatty Liver Disease?
The researchers aren’t sure why, but they emphasize that drinking soft drinks may be associated with other poor dietary choices which could also contribute to the elevated risk of fatty liver disease. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is more common in people who are obese and those who have diabetes ‘” suggesting that insulin resistance plays an important role. It’s believed that insulin resistance leads to a chronic inflammatory state that can directly contribute to fatty liver disease. According to studies, drinking soft drinks is also associated with insulin resistance and contributes to weight gain and obesity ‘” another risk factor for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Time to Kick the Habit of Drinking Soft Drinks?
Nixing the habit of drinking soft drinks can have multiple health benefits including reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome, a condition which can lead to heart disease. It can also lower the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and reduce the risk of weight gain and obesity. Although switching to diet sodas may help; artificial sweeteners aren’t the best choice for everyone. Plus, there’s little nutritional value or benefit to drinking diet sodas. A healthier option would be to explore the world of teas, particularly green tea and white tea. Try substituting a cup of tea in place of one of your soft drinks each day until you can gradually wean yourself off of soft drinks entirely. Give it a try ‘” for the health of your liver.
You already know that soft drinks increase the risk of weight gain and obesity. What you may not know is that drinking soft drinks can be bad for your liver. Here’s why.