Refined sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are found in many processed foods we eat daily. While sugar is not necessarily bad for you in moderation, consuming too much can lead to serious medical conditions. For example, some studies show that sugar can be as damaging to the liver as alcohol, even if an individual is not overweight.
Studies have shown a direct link between refined sugar consumption and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Some experts believe that sugar is more harmful to the liver than alcohol. This is because alcohol is metabolized differently by the liver, and it doesn’t increase insulin levels or cause fat accumulation in the same way sugar does.
When an individual consumes refined sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, the body breaks it down into glucose and fructose. These sugars are then metabolized by the liver, where they’re turned into fat. Over time, this fatty build-up can lead to inflammation and scarring of the liver, eventually leading to the liver not functioning properly. People who suspect they have fatty liver disease must consult a doctor so they can order diagnostic tests to confirm or rule out diagnosis of non-fatty liver disease.