IIT Mandi Researchers Decode How Excess Sugar Intake Causes
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A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mandi has unravelled the molecular mechanism by which excess sugar consumption causes fatty liver disease. According to the team, the research will prompt the public to reduce sugar intake to stop Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) in its early stages.

"One of the causes of NAFLD is the overconsumption of sugar -- both table sugar (sucrose) and other forms of carbohydrates. The consumption of excess sugar and carbohydrates causes the liver to convert them into fat through a process called hepatic De Novo Lipogenesis or DNL, which leads to fat accumulation in the liver," said Prosenjit Mondal, associate professor, School of Basic Sciences, IIT Mandi.

Mondal said the prevalence of NAFLD in India is found in about 9 percent to 32 percent of the population. Kerala alone has a prevalence rate of 49 percent. There is a staggering 60 percent prevalence rate among obese school-going children. "Through a complementary experimental approach involving mice models, the team has shown the hitherto unknown link between the carbohydrate-induced activation of a protein complex called NF-kB and increased DNL.

"Our data indicates that the sugar-mediated shuttling of hepatic NF-kB p65 reduces the levels of another protein, sorcin, which in turn activates liver DNL through a cascading biochemical pathway," he said. The research team claimed that unravelling the molecular link between sugar and fat accumulation in the liver is key to developing therapeutics for the disease.

"From the preventive angle, the IIT Mandi team's research has conclusively shown that excessive sugar intake leads to a fatty liver. This should offer an incentive to the public to reduce sugar intake to stop NAFLD in its early stages," he said.

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