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Liver disease link to carbohydrates

Liver disease link to carbohydrates

Eating foods rich in certain carbohydrates not only increases waistlines, but can also cause serious liver problems, new research shows.

The condition fatty liver is becoming more common in developed countries, and can lead to liver failure, and eventually death.

Now a new study suggests it may be linked to high glycaemic foods - carbohydrates that are digested quickly and release their energy rapidly into the blood stream.

Dr David Ludwig, director of the Optimal Weight for Life programme at the Children's Hospital Boston, who led the research, said fatty liver is becoming more common in America, especially among children.

Just one childhood case was reported in the US in 1980, but now between a quarter and a half of all overweight children in the US are believed to suffer from the condition.

And Dr Ludwig said many of these children will be at risk of full blown liver disease as they grow up.

"This is a silent but dangerous epidemic. Just as type 2 diabetes exploded into our consciousness in the 1990s, so we think fatty liver will in the coming decade," he added.

Children's Hospital Boston

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Related story: The pros and cons of the glycaemic index (GI) diet
Related video: GI and its value in special diets

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