Rich carbohydrate diet with high glycemic index may cause liver failure in Children
Sep 25: A research at the Children's Hospital Boston suggests that a high carbohydrate diet having a high glycemic index (GI) can increase the risk of fatty lever disease in young overweight children.
The study was conducted on mice in laboratory by feeding them diet rich in carbohydrate with high glycemic index.
Diet containing white bread, white rice, breakfast cereals and concentrated sugar are high glycemic index foods and are linked with a rapid rise in blood sugar levels.
During study the mice were fed with cornstarch, one group of mice was fed with rapidly digestible starch, while other groups were given a slow digesting cornstarch.
Weight measures were taken after six month, both the groups of the mice weighed the same, but fat level was different in two groups. The group which was fed with high GI had more fat in their bodies, blood and livers whereas the group with low GI had normal amount of fat in their body.
"Our experiment creates a very strong argument that a high-glycemic index diet causes, and a low-glycemic diet prevents, fatty liver in humans," said lead researcher Dr. David Ludwig. "Just as type-2 diabetes exploded into our consciousness in the 1990s, so we think fatty liver will in the coming decade."
The study if confirmed will give new insight to prevent fatty liver in children by changing the dietary pattern.
The National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases and the Charles H. Hood Foundation funded this study and were published in the journal Obesity.
Boston researchers found that the first group which was fed with rapidly digested carbohydrates found in starchy foods, from white bread and potatoes to instant oatmeal, causes fat to accumulate in the liver found.
According to Dr David Ludwig, director of the Optimal Weight for Life program at Children's Hospital Boston said that unhealthy dietary habits with diet rich in carbohydrate with high glycemic is responsible for fatty liver.
He calls this, a "silent but dangerous epidemic" and that such children will have more chance to develop liver disease when become adult.
"Our experiment creates a very strong argument that a high-glycemic index diet cause and a low-glycemic index diet prevents fatty liver in humans," said Ludwig. "Two low fat Twinkies, billed as a health food, contain the same amount of sugar as an oral glucose tolerance test, a test used to determine how much sugar someone can digest," said Ludwig.
"I do not want children to grow up with liver disease because we forgot to tell them how to eat," says Dr. Eve Roberts, an adjunct scientist at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children.
Rapidly digested carbohydrates, triggers release of insulin by the pancreas, and after dealing with blood sugar, it discharges extra insulin towards liver, as a result liver takes more carbohydrate and store it by converting into fat.
Fatty liver is a case where fats are accumulated in the liver in excess amount causing inflammation of liver and may become hardened over time. This may lead to liver failure. Other then obesity, diabetes and alcohol abuse are also responsible for liver failure.
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