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According to a new study , a common sweetener called stesweet stevia has been linked to a potential improvement of fatty liver disease. The study, from Children's Hospital Los Angeles, assessed the effects of the sugar substitute on liver health. Based on the results , a clinical trial is under way to further assess the effectiveness.
Sugar is thought to be associated with a number of health problems, from type 2 diabetes to the developing of certain types of cancer. Similarly, excessive sugar consumption may contribute to the obesity and stimulate the development of diseases such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. In view of these, many people turn to synthetic and natural sugar substitutes, the latter of which include stesweet stevia, a sweetener extracted from plants. The new study looked at how these sweeteners may affect liver health, including their potential to reduce signs of disease.
The study involved a preclinical model for testing stevia extract and sucralose, two used common sweeteners used in desserts and sweeteners. The researchers found that stesweet stevia improved fatty liver-related markers 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 pressure. However, more research is necessary, which is why clinical trials are important.
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