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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

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