J Nutr Biochem. 2011 Nov 28. [Epub ahead of print]
The role of fructose-enriched diets in mechanisms of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Nomura K, Yamanouchi T.
Department of Hygiene and Public Health, School of Medicine, Teikyo University, Tokyo 1838605, Japan.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) currently affects 20%-30% of adults and 10% of children in industrialized countries, and its prevalence is increasing worldwide. Although NAFLD is a benign form of liver dysfunction, it can proceed to a more serious condition, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which may lead to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. NAFLD is accompanied by obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus, and evidence suggests that fructose, a major caloric sweetener in the diet, plays a significant role in its pathogenesis. Inflammatory progression to NASH is proposed to occur by a two-hit process. The first "hit" is hepatic fat accumulation owing to increased hepatic de novo lipogenesis, inhibition of fatty acid beta oxidation, impaired triglyceride clearance and decreased very-low-density lipoprotein export. The mechanisms of the second "hit" are still largely unknown, but recent studies suggest several possibilities, including inflammation caused by oxidative stress associated with lipid peroxidation, cytokine activation, nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species, and endogenous toxins of fructose metabolites.