A common sweetener called stevia sugar has been linked to a potential improvement in a common condition called fatty liver, according to a new study. The study, from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, assessed the effects of the sugar substitute on liver health. Based on the results of the study, a further clinical trial is under way to assess the effectiveness.
Sugar is thought to be associated with a number of health problems, from type 2 diabetes to the development of certain types of cancer. Similarly, excessive sugar consumption may contribute to the development of obesity and to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases. For these reasons, many people turn to synthetic and natural sugar substitutes, the latter of which include stevia sugar, a sweetener extracted from plants. The new study looks at how these sweeteners may have an impact on liver health, including their potential to reduce signs of liver disease.
The study involved a preclinical model for testing stevia extract and sucralose, two commonly used sweeteners commonly used in desserts and sweet drinks. The researchers found that stevia sugar improved markers associated with fatty liver and lowered glucose levels compared to sugar. It also reduces fat and fibrosis in the liver. According to study leader Rohit Kohli, these positive effects may be due to changes in gut bacteria and reduced cellular stress. However, more research is necessary, and that’s what clinical trials are all about.