According to a new study, a sweetener used in ice cream, soda, cakes and biscuits is fuelling a potentially fatal liver disease in children.
Fructose, it turns out far more damaging to health than glucose
According to scientists, it triggers and early form of fatty liver diseases in youngsters, something akin to alcoholics, which cal lead to cancer, stroke, and heart ailments.
Present study indicates that one in four children are now clinically obese by the time they have become teenagers.
According to lead author of the study Dr Samir Softic, of Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, the disease is much more worrisome in a child of thirteen who goes from normal liver to fatty liver to liver inflammation over the span of several years than in somebody who has been overweight for 30 years.
High-fructose corn syrup is used in sweetened beverages and many other processed foods.
It is found naturally in fruit but manufacturers remove the fiber and nutrients to give an instant sugar rush.
During the course of the study, researchers also discovered production of an enzyme called Khk, required for the first step of fructose metabolism, was increased in the livers of mice who drank fructose.
When the scientists examined liver samples from obese human teenagers with fatty liver disease, they also found higher levels of Khk.
According to researchers, a healthy liver should contain little to no fat.