ISLAMABAD: According to New research provides further evidence of the harms of consuming too many sweetened beverages, after linking soda and other fructose-containing products with increased risk of liver disease.Senior investigator Dr. Valerio Nobili, of the Bambino Gesù Hospital in Italy, and colleagues recently reported their findings in the Journal of Hematology.

For this latest study, Dr. Nobili and team set out to investigate whether fructose and uric acid might be independently associated with NASH.

"Numerous studies have shown that high uric acid levels are associated with metabolic syndrome and NAFLD, but to date, to the best of our knowledge, no studies have tested the independence of associations among uric acid concentrations, fructose consumption, and NASH confirmed by biopsy," notes Dr. Nobili.

Using these data, the team calculated the participants' dietary fructose intake. They found that soda and other sweetened drinks were a major source of fructose; almost 90 percent of subjects reported drinking soda and other sweetened beverages at least once weekly.

Morning and afternoon snacks consisting of pizza, crackers, yogurt, and salty snacks were a regular occurrence for almost 95 percent of the participants, the team reports.
From the liver biopsies, the researchers found that 37.6 percent of the children and adolescents had NASH.

Importantly, the team found that fructose intake was independently associated with high uric acid concentrations, and fructose intake was more frequent among participants with NASH than those without NASH.

Dr. Valerio Nobili said that "In this study, we show for the first time that uric acid concentrations and dietary fructose consumption are independently and positively associated with NASH.

The development of NASH may markedly affect life expectancy and quality of life in affected individuals and therefore it is crucial to understand the risk factors for NASH in children and adolescents in order to design effective interventions which can be used safely to treat this young group of patients."

The researchers add that greater efforts should be made to reduce the consumption of soda and other sweetened drinks among children and adolescents, which may lower fructose intake.