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Too much high fructose corn syrup may increase risk of liver disease, study finds

Experts warn against drinking too much soda or eating certain foods

Dispensing sugary drink or soda into cup
Photo (c) seksan Mongkhonkhamsao - Getty Images
A new study conducted by the Endocrine Society explored some of the health risks associated with high fructose corn syrup. According to their findings, consuming too much high fructose corn syrup may increase the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). 

“NAFLD is a serious problem and it is increasing in the population,” said researcher Dr. Theodore Friedman. “There is a racial/ethnic difference in the prevalence of NAFLD. People consume high fructose corn syrup in foods, soft drinks, and other beverages. Some studies suggested that consumption of high-fructose corn syrup is related to the development of NAFLD.” 

Long-term health risks

The researchers analyzed data from over 3,200 people enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2017 to 2018. Participants reported on their food and drink consumption in 24-hour windows, and the researchers compared their self-reports with their long-term health outcomes. 

Ultimately, the team found a link between consuming high fructose corn syrup and liver disease. Participants who consumed the most high fructose corn syrup had the highest risk of developing liver disease. 

The researchers also found that there were significant differences in high fructose corn syrup consumption among racial and ethnic groups. Nearly 50% of Mexican Americans consumed the highest levels of high fructose corn syrup, followed by 44% of non-Hispanic Blacks and 33% of non-Hispanic whites. 

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