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Avatar universal


I was reading the thread about the glass of wine, and it made me think: refined sugar metabolizes like alcohol, no?  Why don't they tell us to stay away from that?  What do you guys know about sugar and the liver?  Is there a difference between the way refined and natural sugars affect the liver?  Could sugar be a factor in treatment?  Has this ever been studied, or is there even a need for that?  For those of you who have attained SVR, how much sugar did you eat during treatment?  Thanks, Aiuta
26 Responses
86075 tn?1238118691
Hi, hope youre doing better, if HR is around, he has something interesting to say on sugar and the liver...at the very least - I'd eat sugar in small doses, and seldomly if possible..but that's just me...
Avatar universal
Forseegood: Thanks for the feedback.  I appreciate it and I hope you are doing well.

Hepatitis Researcher:  If you are around and could spare a minute, I'd love to hear your opinion on this.  Thanks. Aiuta
Avatar universal
Read the book (actually a cookbook) by Sally Fallon.  It is called Nourishing Traditions.  It has tons of info on the immune system and how it is affected by what we eat. Refined sugar and grains is not at all good for the immune system. Joseph Mercola also has a website that has information on the dangers of sugar.
Avatar universal
To understand the impact of sugar on the liver, several areas of knowledge need to be combined:
1. Role of the liver in overall homeostasis of body fluids and in particular its unique role and position in between the site of absorption - the intestines - and the main circulation. The breakdown products of food macromoleculaes are not directly absorbed into the main bloodstream - that would be extremely toxic- they are being absorbed into a capillary bed that delivers all the intestinal blood with all the primary absorbed sugars, amino acids, large fatty acids etc. after collelcting it into the portal vein then INTO A NEW CAPILLARY BED  -the sinusoids - for processing and moderating/modulating in the liver. The liver is the shield between the intestinal food absorption and the main circulation.

2. Knowing how bad even minor deviations from optimum concentrations of glucose, fatty acids, amino acids mineral and pH are for most cells it is easy to imagine what the liver has to endure to deal with the onflow of biochemicals from the portal bloodstream. With rising sugar levels, insulin rise is triggered that enables the healthy liver to respond in its metabolic capacities to process and remove excess glucose into glycogen and triglycerides and sending some of this to the adipose tissue.
When the capacity of the liver to safely process excess sugar/carbohydrate influx is exceeded triglycerides accumulate in the liver cells itself, producing small droplets of fat that accumulate in the liver cells itself - starting fatty liver disease. A big blob of fat sitting in the middle of the busy metabolic machinery of a liver cell is obviously a severe hardship for the liver - damage to its macromolecules and organelles occcurs - causing reactive inflammation- and its capacities decrease. This condition in its chronic form is called NAFLD - Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver disease. It is now recognized as causing more liver fibrosis and cirrhosis than the viral hepatitis cases.

3. The toxicity of glucose to any cell at higher or even near normal concentrations results from several factors that need a lot of biochemical and molecular biology to understand in full, but basically:

a.Sugars stick to macromolecules due to to their multiple reactive hydroxyl groups - thats why sugars are so sticky - and form what is called AGEs Advanced Glycylation Endproducts, which renders an affected macromolecule useless and damaged with substantial negative consequences for the cellular functional machinery.

b. Glucose excess causes cell damage by several other pathways which have been researched extensively to explain the long term pathological consequences of even well treated diabetes. In a nutshell glucose excess can drive the mitochondrial membrane potential so high that by electic field deformation the embedded proteins of the electron transport chain start leaking electrons - leading to ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) that increase hydrogen peroxide that diffuses everywhere and oxidative free radical damage occurs in the affected tissues. This in turn activates inflammation via a stress sensor - NFkappa B - that leads to inflammation, that further increases the ROS production and activates bystander cells of the innate immune system - NOW YOU HAVE IMMUNE ACTIVATION- and in the liver activation of the stellate cells to transform into myofibroblasts, that leads to FIBROSIS.

3. From the foregoing it is understandable that we need to protect our livers from quick rise sugar levels in the intestinal circulation just as the liver tries to protect the main body from these spikes in toxic glucose. Therefore as a good principle ;
TREAT YOUR LIVER AS YOUR LIVER TREATS THE BODY: Protect it from excess sugar toxicity by handling it a slow, ongoing level of nutrients that it can use and process without toxic stress. Eat meals that will slowly release its carbohydrate content due to proper embedding in slow release fiber ( like veggies), small portions only, In other words "FEED IT AS IT NEEDS IT". Do not force it (the liver) into the need to store excess metabolites into fat causing metabolic stress and inflammation.
86075 tn?1238118691
whad I tell ya? is he great or what? ha ha! guess that answers your question, and then some Aiuta!
Avatar universal
I under stand sugar bad !to much to fast bad! can eny one break the rest of that down I am typ2 diabetic stag 4 liver so do I have extra liver problems because sugar level some times to high?????  simpler English thank you

92903 tn?1309908311
Thank you very much for that informative post. Without asking you for a detailed analysis on how alcohol boogers up the liver, is it similar reaction to the sugar?
Avatar universal
86075 tn?1238118691
hi, hopefully you still have my email, cause I can't find yours! I'm such a ninnie sometimes...anyway, please email me, I have something to send you that you might find helpful! be well...
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
As a diabetic, I've run into Joseph Mercola and his minions on other web sites.  He is a stevia pusher and notorious quack.  His main thesis is that aspartame causes something like 95 different diseases, which is a crock.  The internet has been plagued almost from its beginning by Mercola and other followers of "Mad Betty" Martini, who spams people constantly with her diatribes against all artificial sweeteners except for stevia, which is "natural" (and not allowed as a food additive in most nations of the world, because it's not healthy).

Yes, sugar is not good for anybody, because it contains empty calories and causes diabetes, but most of Mercola's information has been discredited by 99% of medical authorities.  Stay away from him.
86075 tn?1238118691
of course I wouldn't answer for HR, no way! but if I could say something just as far as my humble little interpretation? I think he's saying that we have to really curtail simple sugars from our diet, for me I only eat them on special occasions, and instead of a whole piece of cake, I just have a little bit of it...once in awhile I have Japanese lowsugar soy ice cream, once in a great while I have real ice cream, but not too often...

For breakfast, I have little bit of oatmeal, berries, a little soy milk and cinnamon, along with a medium boiled egg...

if I drink fruit juice, I cut it with a lot of water and only put maybe a quarter of juice in the glass, if that much...I try to stay away from too many carb foods like pasta, the pasta I do eat is artichoke based, or veggie based, and like I was discussing with Goof, he says he tries to eat "a lot more of the sauce then the pasta"...this way you can partake of some of the foods you like if you eat them in a smart way...

I also think he's saying to eat veggies throughout the day if you can, I like to have at least two or three servings per day...along with protein, etc, maybe some fish or chicken...Sometimes I have just a cut up avocado with a tomato, some olive oil and a sesame seed cracker...smaller meals that are good for you...never overeat cause that stresses the digestive system...when I have a sweet tooth, I eat cranberries and almonds and walnuts...I personally try to stay away from dairy, I have goat cheese on occasion and goat or soy milk...

this is all relative, and some people would think I was really radical for the way I eat, and some people would think not radical enough...and of course if youre on treatment, with your taste buds, etc. altered, it's just important to eat the best you can...this is just my interpretation, maybe HR can correct me and add something if he wants to and is not too busy...

I'm sure there are diabetes diets, etc.. that you can follow...
Avatar universal
Hmmmmmm.... what kind -- chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, gingerbread, or, best yet, SUGAR?????  You make me laugh, which is vital when we are dealing with something as serious as we are.  Thanks, Move.  Aiuta
Avatar universal
I'Ve never ever been a sweets type person UNTIL treatment. Now I literally CRAVE sugar of all kinds CONSTANTLY.  I can't stop it either. It's too hard - almost like an addiction I crave it so bad.

And for me that is odd - it's exactly the opposite of how I was pre treatment. So for some reason my body must be begging for it.

I don't know if it happens to other people or not but...it's quite annoying. For someone who has watched every calorie they've eaten all of their life - it's bizarre but the little size bag of M&Ms doesnt' work...that is the appetizer portion to me now.  One cookie - forget it! Let me dunk 10 Oreos in my tea!

It's pathetic. But.........it's worth than heroin so I'm sticking with it for now. ;)
Avatar universal

146 reasons why sugar is bad. scroll down to #146,thats enough reason to watch sugar intake alone


(how it effects the immune system is what helps me to stay away from it, though hard at times) Excerpt below

Sugar suppresses the immune system by causing the pancreas to secrete abnormally large quantities of insulin, which is required to break it down.

Insulin remains in circulation in the bloodstream long after sugar has been metabolized, and one of its main side effects is to suppress the release of growth hormone in the pituitary gland.

Growth hormone is a primary regulator of the immune system, so anyone who eats a lot of sugar every day is going to experience critical growth hormone deficiency and consequent immune deficiency caused by the constant presence of insulin in the bloodstream.

Furthermore, refined white sugar is treated as a toxic foreign agent by the immune system, owing to its unnatural chemical structure as well as the industrial contaminants it retains from the refining process.

Sugar thus triggers an unnecessary immune response while simultaneously suppressing immune function, thereby debilitating the immune system with a double edged sword.

Avatar universal
I'd love to say I was going to or I COULD. But I'm sitting here muching on a box of Cinammon Toast Crunch (God I love the sugar on them!) with a cup of Vanilla Nut coffee with about ten sugars and a bunch of half and half and I know I'm not going to.

Even though I KNOW I should stop!

My brain goes well you quit drinking, you quit drugging - it's ok if you have some sugar as long as it's real sugar it's NATURAL.....................you see - it tries to trick me and even if I'm not it wins out in the end.

Only a few more weeks. I cannot WAIT for this vice to be GONE. Thanks for posting that it might help me in the long run because I have a feeling the sugar withdrawl is going to be worse than the meds. For real.
Avatar universal
With all you have been through, I think God himself is filtering your blood of all the excess sugar.ha

You are an inspiration to us all! I probably will be eating twinkies all day once I start treatment,,,haven't had them since I was a child,,but whatever stays down in my stomach, I'll eat.

Remember I'm not tx yet,,,easy for me to preach what not to eat...I may wind up being the worst offender!

Praying ya Svr!!! Hang in!
Avatar universal
Every day I go to the health food store and get 3 chocolate chips cookies.  Their big and soft, baked every day.
I hope I would never have to choose either those 3 chocolate chip cookies every day or sex. That would not be fair.
Avatar universal
I also would guess that anything we read about sugar, for example, 'supressing the immune system', we can apply that also to alcohol consumption, since alcohol converts to sugar. This then would lead me to think that alcohol is not only harmcul to the liver itself,,,but,,also lowers immune system,,,,,even after svr. Don't want to have the weak/lame virons more powerful than the immune system if in a weakened state, due to foods(sugar),stress,alcohol. Sometimes it seems science only looks at drugs that supress the immune system as culprits(prednisone? or whatever)

Makes me wonder how many ways relapse can occur. People with insulin problems etc, which effects immune system, lowereing it, causing the virus to raise its head? Who knows?

We can only do our part and that is to minimize stress, exercise, which helps normalize blood sugar and eat a balanced diet.

Avatar universal
The damage pathways for alcohol and sugar/metabolic overload are similar in major aspects i e they partially overlap. Free radical species damage after exhaustion of your glutathione reserves triggers stress response elements in both scenarios - leading to hepatocyte apoptosis and necrosis and most importantly to inflammatory cell responses/infiltrations hence the term " alcoholic steatohepatitis". This in turn activates the stellate cell system and not just inflammation but fibrosis results.
Alcohol damage and nutritional/metabolic damage will add up and accelerate each other. And viral hepatitis adds on top of these.
Thus if someone wants the triple road to fast fibrosis, here is the recipe.....
92903 tn?1309908311
Thanks again.
92903 tn?1309908311
Andiamo and others were interested in this medhelp classic...so I'm posting to see if I can pull it up to the light of day...
Avatar universal
Thanks for lifting this from the basement at the right time. It helps to be organized. I just could not rewrite all these fundamental topic introductions - it is a good ideaa to print out, using the selct button whatever somebody wants to use in the future and FILE IT PROPERLY IN A BINDER.

The other leg of liver protection mentioned in the antifibrosis thread was described in length also about a year ago (LPS, profibrotic, lactulose, Inulin, kupfer cells, bacterial toxins reaching the liver stimulating profibrotic inflammatory activity etc) in at least three threads. Unfortunately I do not possibly have the time to rewrite everything.
If ALL  treatable aspects of fibrogenesis are actually addressed, and liver fibrosis is monitored twice a year with fibrosures and fibroscans, it might be possible to halt fibrosis in a substantial portion of "waiting to treat at better future chances" and "all current antiviral options exhausted"  patients AND they will know that this approach actually worked. Lots of effort.
92903 tn?1309908311
Organized? Ha-ha-ha-ha. You would have no way of knowing, but that would be the last trait attributed to me. OK - it might precede dashing and dapper - but not by much ;-) I just happen to be pretty handy with google.

As long as I have you on board - maybe I can indulge you into a private consult :)  - It stands to reason that protective agents such as PCP and Milk Thistle could be advantageous over the longer term for someone like myself - trying to improve a mild case of cirrhosis. Would you agree?

Also - in my case, after 1.5 yrs SVR - no real improvement in WBC and platelets counts - still mildly out of range to the low side. I hear that this could remain indefinitely- yet it's not neccessarily a marker for lack of improvement in the liver --- does that sound right?

I've never really understood the significance of the transition from stage 3 fibrosis into cirrhosis. Apparently some significant physical changes occur - but I've never understood them. Would you mind sharing a bit of your wisdom on that subject?  

You have tough so many so much here - it's so great of you to take the time....
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