Study confirms long-term consumption of sugary drinks cause liver damage

Sodas are generally considered bad for the health, and sodas that contain aspartame — commonly used in diet sodas — are even worse. In a study published in the journal Nutrition Research, it was revealed that long-term consumption of soft drinks and aspartame induces liver damage by dysregulating adipocytokines and inducing of hyperglycemia, lipid accumulation, and oxidative stress.

Drinking beverages containing artificial sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup and aspartame is associated with the development of metabolic syndrome and obesity. Researchers at Alexandria University and Damanhour University in Egypt hypothesized that inflammatory cytokines play a role in lipid storage and induction of liver injury. They looked at the expression of adipocytokines and its link to liver damage.

To test their hypothesis, rats in the study received water, cola soft drink, and aspartame every day for two months. Then, the researchers measured the rats’ lipid profiles, liver antioxidants and pathology, and mRNA expression of adipogenic cytokines.

Based on their analysis, the rats that received soft drink and aspartame exhibited high levels of glucose, triacylglycerol, low-density lipoprotein, and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, as well as obvious visceral fatty deposition. These resulted in metabolic syndromes including hyperglycemia and hypertriacylglycerolemia. In addition, soft drink and aspartame intake also increased transaminases and induced changes in the antioxidant status of the rats’ liver, increasing oxidative stress and reducing antioxidant levels – all of which are indicative of oxidative liver damage. The researchers also saw degeneration, infiltration, necrosis, and fibrosis in the liver of rats, especially those that received aspartame.

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From these findings, the researchers concluded that long-term consumption of soft drink or aspartame causes liver damage. (Related: An hour is all it takes: Drinking a can of soda ‘overloads’ the body with sugar and damages it in just 60 minutes.)

Consuming diet sodas and artificially-sweetened drinks increase your risk of diseases

As it turns out, diet sodas and drinks containing artificial sweeteners can harm you in many ways. These toxic foods can increase your risk of heart attacks, strokes, dementia, and diabetes, according to a large study.

For 12 years, the researchers looked at the health and lifestyles of more than 80,000 women and found that women who consumed two or more artificially-sweetened drinks every day were 31 percent more likely to experience a stroke, 29 percent more likely to have heart disease, and 16 percent more likely to die early from any cause, compared to those who consume drinks less than once a week or none at all.

The researchers failed to determine what types of artificially-sweetened beverages the participants were consuming. However, many studies have provided enough evidence that diet sodas and artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and saccharine, are toxic to everyone.

Aspartame, saccharine, and other artificial sweeteners are toxic for your gut microbe, according to a study carried out by researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

For the study, researchers looked at the effects of six Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved artificial sweeteners: aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, neotame, advantame, and acesulfame potassium-k. They also examined 10 sports supplements that contain these sweeteners. Then, they introduced the sweeteners modified E. coli bacteria – a beneficial bacteria naturally found in small amounts in the gut – that emit light when exposed to toxins.

The researchers found that gut bacteria exhibited a toxic response when exposed to artificial sweeteners, even in concentrations as small as 1 milligram per milliliter. And when gut health is compromised, it can function normally, which can result in a wide range of health problems like inflammatory bowel disease, cancers, and autoimmune diseases.

Still unconvinced of the harmful effects of soft drink and aspartame consumption? Visit to learn more.

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