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Improving Liver Health with a Low Free Sugar Diet


Low free sugar diet shown to reduce hepatic steatosis and fibrosis in NAFLD  patients

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common chronic liver disease affecting millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver, which can lead to liver damage, inflammation, and fibrosis. While the role of a diet rich in fructose and saccharose in the development of NAFLD is well known, a clinical trial has investigated the effects of a low free sugar diet on NAFLD's main features.


The study randomized participants with proven NAFLD to a 12-week dietary intervention (low free sugar diet or usual diet). The primary outcome was the change in hepatic steatosis measurement between baseline and 12 weeks, while the secondary outcomes included changes in anthropometric measurements, lipid profile, glycemic indices, liver enzymes, and inflammatory factors.

The study found that following a low free sugar diet resulted in significant improvements in various health markers compared to a usual diet. These improvements included decreased levels of ALT (a liver enzyme), TG (triglycerides), TC (total cholesterol), FBS (fasting blood sugar), insulin, HOMA-IR (a measure of insulin resistance), hs-CRP (a marker of inflammation), TNF-α (a marker of inflammation), and NF-kb (a protein involved in inflammation).

Additionally, the low free sugar diet led to reduced fibrosis and steatosis scores (measures of liver damage) and increased QUICKI (a measure of insulin sensitivity). However, there were no significant differences in levels of AST (another liver enzyme), GGT (a liver enzyme involved in bile production), HDL-C (good cholesterol), and LDL-C (bad cholesterol) between the two diets.

These findings suggest that a low free sugar diet in overweight/obese NAFLD patients may reduce hepatic steatosis and fibrosis while improving glycemic indices and decreasing the concentrations of biomarkers of inflammation, TG, and TC levels.

Adopting a low free sugar diet may be a feasible and effective way to improve liver health for individuals with NAFLD. A low free sugar diet involves reducing the consumption of foods and drinks high in added sugars, such as sugary drinks, candy, baked goods, and processed foods. Instead, individuals are encouraged to consume a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.

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A low free sugar diet may have beneficial effects on NAFLD main features in overweight/obese individuals with the disease. This dietary intervention may provide a non-pharmacological approach to managing NAFLD and can be easily adopted as part of a healthy lifestyle. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian before making any significant changes to your diet.

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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.