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What Happens to Your Liver When You Expose It to Too Much Sugar?

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Drinking alcohol can wreck your liver. You probably were very well aware of this fact. But did you know that sugar is an equally formidable adversary for your liver


Think about it. What happens when you develop a habit of taking too much sugar via different means almost every day? The quick answers are cavities, sugar rush, insatiable hunger, weight gain, obesity, and diabetes.

However, a not so highlighted effect of sugar abuse is a messed up liver metabolism. It leaves you more vulnerable to diabetes and other similar conditions.

Sugar, Fructose, and Your Liver Metabolism

Sucrose, or sugar, is half glucose and half fructose. Upon breaking down the sucrose, your body uses glucose for energy and stores the remaining for when it may require another energy dose.

Almost all human body cells can metabolize glucose. But, only the liver can metabolize and transport fructose. And it does so all the time, pulling fructose from your blood and storing it post-breakdown.

When your body disintegrates fructose, it gets part glycogen and part fat cells. The glycogen is kept for energy purposes, as usual. A part of the fat is turned into triglycerides and sent out via the bloodstream. The remaining fat stays in the liver. Over time, when the fat cells accumulate and run out of storage space, it leads to the gradual development of the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Excess Sugar Use Can Also Lead to Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a hormone that helps in regulating the nutrients present in your bloodstream. It’s role in blood sugar management, however, is vital.

Insulin prompts your body’s cells to absorb sugar from the blood, thereby reducing the blood sugar level to a healthy point and allowing different organs to extract the energy they need by breaking down the sugar.

The amount of insulin that your pancreas release in your blood is directly affected by the sugar level in your body. Be it from carbs, artificial sweeteners, or carbonated drinks, as the organs get exposed to more and more sugar, their response rate to insulin prompts begin decreasing.

Over time and with excess sugar intake, your liver may stop responding as well and become insulin resistant. Following this event, the pancreas usually begins releasing insulin in large quantities in hopes to coax the organs into better blood sugar absorption.

It leads to elevates insulin amounts in your body and may cause damaged pancreas, type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, skin tag, liver cirrhosis, hypertension, etc.

Minimising the Damage- Here's What You Can Do

Fructose only gets as dangerous as described above when it’s a part of high-calorie diets. It is the added sugar in several food items that pose harm to your liver and other body organs. 

In small amounts, as in fruits, fructose is harmless. Although, if you have diabetes, or carb sensitivity, or are following a low-carb diet, it’d be safer to steer clear of many fruits.

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