Foods containing high levels of fructose, such as processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages, may damage the liver's ability to properly burn fat, warns a new study. "The most important takeaway of this study is that high fructose in the diet is bad," said lead study author C. Ronald Kahn, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
It's not bad because it's more calories, but because it has effects on liver metabolism to make it worse at burning fat. As a result, adding fructose to the diet makes the liver store more fat, and this is bad for the liver and bad for whole body metabolism," Kahn, who also serves as the Chief Academic Officer at Joslin Diabetes Center in the US, said.
Interestingly, the researchers found that equally high levels of glucose in the diet actually improved the fat-burning function of the liver. The findings, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, suggest that high dietary fructose has more negative health impacts than glucose does, even though they have the same caloric content.