Two cans of fizzy drink a day could cause long term liver damage, resulting in the need for a transplant, according to new research.
are now urging parents to cut back on their children’s consumption of fizzy drinks as well as fruit juices substituting them for water.
Liver damage is normally associated with alcohol but the new study has found that non-alcoholic drinks with a high sugar content can cause a called fatty liver .
from Israel found that people who drank a litre of fizzy drinks and fresh fruit juices were five times more likely to develop fatty liver disease.
Even a couple of cans of fizzy drinks a day raised the risk of liver damage in addition to causing and damage.
Doctors at the Ziv Liver unit in Haifa, Israel compared two groups of volunteers – neither of whom had a risk for developing fatty liver disease.
The group of 90 people, 45 men and 45 women aged 40-50, were about their level of physical activity, caloric intake and the amount of soft drinks they consume.
When they the study they found that 80 per cent of those who had consumed fizzy drinks and fruit juices had fatty liver changes. But only 17 per cent of the control group who had not fizzy drinks fatty livers.
Dr Nimer Assy, who led the study, said his research – published in the Journal of Hepatology – showed long term consumption could result in liver failure and the potential need for a transplant
“We found people who drink more than two cans of Coke a day have increased their chances for a fatty liver, and if left untreated their chances for heart disease and cirrhosis of the liver also increase,” he said.
The ingredient in fizzy drinks causing the damage is fructose, which is highly absorbable in the liver. It does not affect insulin production and goes straight to the liver where it is converted to fat.
Although there is inconclusive evidence on diet drinks, he believes those containing artificial sweetener may have a similar .
“While diet drinks do not contain fructose, they do have aspartame and caramel colourants: Both these can increase insulin resistance and may induce fatty liver.”
He said parents would be better replacing the juice in their children’s boxes with a bottle of water or limiting their children’s fizzy drink intake to no more than one can a day.
A for the British Soft Drinks Association said: “Moderate consumption of soft drinks is safe and people can continue to such drinks as part of a balanced diet and active .
“All ingredients used by the soft drinks industry are approved as safe for use in the UK by the Food Agency. The industry rigorously tests and monitors its products to ensure they meet the high levels of quality and safety expected by the public.
“The soft drinks industry is to encouraging responsible consumption of all its products. Nutrition labelling is included on pack so people can make an informed about the products they are drinking.
“61% of soft drinks are now low calorie, diet and no added sugar drinks and the industry provides a wide range of drinks and pack sizes to meet every occasion, taste and need

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