A high-fructose diet may hurt your liver more than glucose, according to a study by the Joslin Diabetes Center (Joslin) in Boston, US. The evidence of an animal study shows how fructose can disrupt the liver’s ability to metabolise fat and damage its mitochondria, leading to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
C. Ronald Kahn, a researcher at Joslin, said, “Fructose makes the liver accumulate fat. It acts almost like adding more fat to the diet. This contrasts the effect of adding more glucose to the diet, which promotes the liver’s ability to burn fat, and therefore actually makes for a healthier metabolism.”
Of the six different diets in study, including high-fructose or high-glucose additions, a high-fat and high-fructose diet suggested that there was excess fat burning processes occurring in the liver. This particular diet also seemed to be damaging mitochondria responsible for normal fat burning processes.
Kahn explains that healthy mitochondria have a distinct ovoid shape but mice fed with a high-fat, high fructose diet had fragmented mitochondria which could not burn fat as well. In contrast, mitochondria of the mice with high-fat, high-glucose diets appeared healthy. While this doesn’t mean that high-glucose diets are better,excess calories from a high-fat diet could be burned off more effectively when consumed with glucose instead of fructose, as fructose seems to help the liver store fat instead of burning it.