Credits: Augusta Health

Zero Calorie Artificial Sweeteners Prevent from Fatty Liver Disease

New research led by Rohit Kohli finds that stevia, a popular sweetener can make potential improvements in a common condition known as fatty liver disease. This pre-clinical research is published in the journal Scientific Reports and is available online to study.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that obesity affects 19 percent of children while a related condition known as the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease affects one out of each ten children. Fatty liver disease can lead to liver cancer and cirrhosis. Overconsumption of sugar can lead to fatty liver disease and obesity.

A 2018 study shows that oxidative damage in chronic liver damage can be prevented with stevia. Acute and chronic liver damage induced necrosis, cholestasis, and oxidative stress which were significantly improved by stevia.

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The lead author of the study, Dr. Kohli tells that scarring in the liver can be caused due to sugary foods and beverages. However, they don’t have the idea that how non-caloric sugars can affect the liver disease. Dr. Kohli addressed and responded to a question in the first of its kind study. The question is: Can non-caloric sugars prevent fatty liver disease?

In this study, he tested two non-caloric sugars, stevia extract and sucralose by using a preclinical model. Both are widely available and appear in many sweetened foods and drinks. He tells that they were interested in those two compounds because they are the most current and least concentrated in the context of obesity and liver disease.

Five artificial sweeteners including sucralose, acesulfame, neotame, aspartame, and saccharin are approved by the FDA. Stevia, a plant-derived noncaloric sweetener is also FDA approved.

A dietitian, Anna Taylor tells that artificial sweeteners do not raise blood sugar immediately as real sugar raises. Artificial bacteria may cause a change in gut bacteria and lead to more fat storage, which no one desires.

The outcomes of the study were striking. Researchers compared both these sweeteners, stevia extract, and sucralose with sugar. They found that stevia extract brings down glucose levels and makes improvements in markers of fatty liver disease.

A study finds that the utilization of sugars has increased extensively worldwide and soda refreshments appear to be a significant contributor for diabetes mellitus, obesity, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, insulin opposition, metabolic condition, and cardiovascular illness. The researchers looked to concentrate on the effect of soda drinks on the collection of fat in the liver. This has critical clinical implications, as the Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) presence corresponds firmly with diabetes, diffuse atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular disease.

The present study also revealed some potential mechanisms that could be accountable for reversing the markers of fatty liver disease.

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Dr. Kohli tells that they noted a few changes in the gut microbiome and a decrease in the markers of cellular stress. But there is a need to do more work to know the clinical relevance.

Researchers suggest larger and increasingly complete trials to determine whether lowering sugar intake and blocking uric acid generation, may help reduce NAFLD and its downstream complications of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis.

The preclinical study is funded by the Stanley W. Ekstrom Foundation. The outcomes of the study led by Dr. Kohli’s team into a clinical trial is also funded by the Stanley W. Ekstrom Foundation to test how stevia effects in pediatric patients.

Dr. Kohli says that interestingly, they have taken an issue that they find in the clinic, examined it preclinically and now they are back to test solution, all in less than two years.




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