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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Fast-food can cause liver damage

We all know that eating fast food isn’t healthy. In the spirit of the movie ‘Supersize Me’ by Morgan Spurlock, Swedish researchers conducted their own study to see what happens to otherwise healthy people who ate two supersized fast-food meals over the course of a month, while taking on a sedentary lifestyle.

Their finding weren’t surprising. The 18 healthy, active medical students who volunteered for the study showed an average weight gain of 14 pounds, added 2.6 inches to their waistline and added 3.7% fat to their body during the month. They also showed an increase in liver enzymes called alanine aminotransferase (ALT), which can be a sign of liver damage.

While it’s not clear whether the increase in liver enzymes was due to eating fast-food or from being sedentary, the researchers were surprised to find that the main damage wasn’t from animal fat. It appeared that the healthy HDL cholesterol increased, even though the amount of animal fats was increased. What seemed to be the worst issue was an increase in carbs from sugar-laden soda, fries and bread products, which researchers feel were the main reason the liver enzymes were increased.

The end conclusion is no surprising: Don’t overeat sugar and starches and get plenty of exercise.

Beta Carotene







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