Houston liver disease made worse by cigarette smoking and fructose

Houston liver disease may potentially worsen due to cigarette smoking and fructose consumption, according to new research. The number of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) cases, the most common cause of liver disease worldwide and the form most affected by smoking and fructose, will continue to rise due to high fat diets, obesity, lack of exercise, and an increase in diabetes.

With NAFLD, fat accumulates in the liver of overweight individuals despite little alcohol consumption, which causes, in some cases, liver scarring that can lead to liver failure. According to past studies, more than 30 million Americans suffer from NAFLD, and approximately 8 million may have nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

In their first study, Dr. Ramon Bataller and colleagues from the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, Spain investigated the effects of cigarette smoking in obese rats. The rats were divided into four groups: obese smokers, obese non-smokers, control smokers, and control non-smokers. Researchers discovered that obese rats who were exposed to cigarette smoke showed a significant increase in ALT serum levels (indicating liver disease), while control rats did not exhibit this effect.

In related research, prior studies have shown that heavy consumption of high fructose corn syrup, primarily in the form of soft drinks, have contributing to weight gain and a rise in obesity, especially in children and adolescents. Researchers from Duke University studied 341 adults who responded to questionnaires within three months of a liver biopsy. They found that subjects with NAFLD, daily fructose ingestion was associated with reduced fatty liver (steatosis), but increased fibrosis.

In another fructose study, lead by Dr. Ling-Dong Kong at the Nanjing University in China, the effect of Curcumin, an essential component of the Indian spice Turmeric, was investigated. The study focused on the effects of Curcumin in relation to immunity protection from Hepatitis C. The results suggest the first verifiable link between fructose fed rats and Curcumin’s effect on hepatic suppression.

Although further research is necessary to determine the long-lasting effects of cigarette smoke, fructose consumption, and Curcumin, these studies do suggest that modifying risks such as cigarette smoking and fructose consumption offer potential benefits for those suffering from liver disease. In addition, supplemental Curcumin research has been shown to build the body’s immune defenses against Hepatitis C.

If you are suffering from liver damage, liver disease, liver cirrhosis, or Hepatitis C, please contact Bay Area Gastroenterology clinic at 281-480-6264 to schedule an immediate appointment.

Additional Resources:
Houston Liver Transplant: New Research Improves Hepatitis C Immunity
Houston Liver Cirrhosis: Can Dark Chocolate and Turmeric Help?

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