Fructose is a simple carbohydrate made from sugar that’s found in fruits, honey, and fruit juices. Fructose is found in foods that make up the bulk of our healthy diets. It’s the fructose that sets the liver of people with a high carbohydrate diet into overdrive. The liver becomes overloaded with fructose, and the body turns fructose into fat. When the liver is overburdened with fructose, it releases fatty acids into the blood and liver cells, and fructose content goes up to dangerous levels.

Sugar (sucrose) is a simple carbohydrate that humans can’t produce and must therefore get from its food sources. Unfortunately sugar (sucrose) is highly addictive and the more you eat of it, the more you crave it. Fructose, also known as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is made from a combination of glucose and fructose and is often seen as a worse form of sugar because it’s more complex than simple sugars (sucrose). This means your liver has to deal with a much higher concentration of fructose than sucrose. Unfortunately, the results of eating too much sugar are not pretty. A study that compared the effects of sugar (sucrose) with high-fructose corn syrup (

One of the most dangerous things you can eat is sugar. The more sugar you eat, the more damage it will do to your health. That’s why you should avoid sugar whenever possible. Sugar is harmful to your health in all of its forms, whether it’s found in the form of a ready-made food or a supplement. It needs to be avoided at all costs.


Obesity and diabetes are linked to fructose even more strongly than glucose. In terms of nutrition, neither fructose nor glucose include any necessary elements. The two products are comparable in terms of sweeteners. However, because of its unique metabolism in the body, fructose is more detrimental to health than glucose.

Glucose and fructose metabolism vary in a variety of ways. Unlike glucose, which can be used by nearly every cell in the body, fructose cannot be used by any cell. Only the liver can metabolize fructose after it has entered the body. Unlike glucose, which may be distributed throughout the body and utilized for energy, fructose is steered to the liver.

When a significant quantity of glucose is eaten, it circulates to almost every cell in the body, assisting in the distribution of the burden. Other body tissues metabolize 80 percent of the glucose that enters the body. This excess of glucose may help every cell in the body, including the heart, lungs, muscles, brain, and kidneys. As a result, the liver is responsible for digesting the remaining 20% of incoming glucose. The majority of this glucose is converted to glycogen for storage, although some glucose remains as a source of fat synthesis.


The same cannot be said for fructose. Because no other cells can assist with fructose metabolism or utilization, most of it travels straight to the liver, placing strain on it. Carbohydrate and insulin levels in this area of the circulatory system may be ten times greater than in other regions of the body. As a consequence, the liver is exposed to much more carbs than any other organ, including fructose and glucose.

The distinction between pressing with a hammer and pressing with a needle is as follows: All of the pressure is focused on a single spot. Sucrose is made up of equal parts glucose and fructose. When glucose is digested by the typical human’s 170 pounds of tissue, fructose must be aggressively metabolized by just 5 pounds of liver. In reality, this implies that fructose is 20 times more likely than glucose to induce liver fattening (one of the most common symptoms of insulin resistance). This helps to explain why many ancient civilizations were able to eat very high carbohydrate diets without developing hyperinsulinemia or insulin resistance.

Fructose is broken down by the liver into glucose, lactose, and glycogen. In this metabolic pathway, fructose has no restrictions. Your metabolism speeds up when you consume more. Excess fructose is converted directly to fat in the liver via de novo lipogenesis after the restricted glycogen stores are depleted. Fructose overfeeding may raise DNL by fivefold, and substituting glucose with the same amount of fructose increases hepatic tiredness by 38 percent in only eight days. The development of insulin resistance is dependent on hepatic steatosis.

Fructose is the only carbohydrate that has the ability to fatten the liver. Hepatic steatosis causes insulin resistance, which sets in motion a vicious cycle of hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance. Furthermore, fructose does not have to be present at high amounts of blood sugar or insulin to be detrimental. Furthermore, since obesity causes hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance, this impact occurs over time rather than in the near term.

Ethanol (alcohol) metabolism is extremely similar to fructose metabolism. Only 20% of the alcohol consumed by the tissues is metabolized by the tissues, while the other 80% enters the liver, where it is turned to acetaldehyde, which promotes de novo lipogenesis. In the end, alcohol is readily turned into fat in the liver.

Excessive ethanol intake has been linked to fatty liver disease. Excessive ethanol intake is a risk factor for metabolic syndrome, which is not unexpected given that hepatic steatosis is a crucial step on the path to insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance and fructose

In 1980, it was already recognized that eating too much fructose may lead to insulin resistance. After only seven days, healthy adults who were overfed 1,000 calories of fructose per day had their insulin sensitivity deteriorate by 25%! Those who were given an additional 1000 calories of glucose per day did not see the same decline.

The ease with which fructose induces insulin resistance in healthy individuals was verified in a recent 2009 research. Kool-Aid sweetened with glucose or fructose was given to subjects for 25% of their daily calories. Despite the fact that this figure seems to be high, many individuals eat a significant quantity of sugar in their diet. Insulin resistance developed so significantly in the group that got fructose but no glucose that they were clinically diagnosed as pre-diabetic. Even more surprising, this occurred after just eight weeks of high fructose intake.


Insulin resistance may develop after only six days of eating too much sugar. Pre-diabetes may develop in as little as eight weeks. What happens if you eat fructose for decades? As a consequence, we have a diabetic catastrophe, which is precisely what we have today. Excessive fructose intake increases liver fattening and directly leads to insulin resistance.

Overconsumption of fructose has a terrible ring to it. Dr. Robert Lustig is correct. Sugar is a poisonous substance.


Factors that cause toxicity

Fructose is very harmful for a variety of reasons. To begin with, metabolism occurs solely in the liver, resulting in nearly all consumed fructose being deposited as newly produced fat. All cells, on the other hand, may contribute to glucose metabolism.

Second, fructose is not metabolized in any way. Fructose intake increases hepatic de novo lipogenesis, resulting in increased fat in the liver. There are no natural inhibitors that stop fat from regenerating excessively. Because dietary fructose has no impact on blood glucose or serum insulin levels, it activates DNL directly and independently of insulin.

Fructose metabolism is less well-controlled. This may cause the liver’s export system to become overburdened, resulting in excessive fat buildup in the organ. In the following chapter, we’ll look at how the liver attempts to get rid of newly produced fat.

Third, there is no alternate fructose outflow route. Excess glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver, which is a safe and convenient way to store it. Glycogen is broken down into glucose when it is required for energy. Fructose does not have a mechanism that allows it to be stored easily. It is converted into fat, which is difficult to reverse.

Despite the fact that fructose is a natural sugar that has been part of the human diet since ancient times, we must constantly remember toxicology’s fundamental principle. The poison is determined by the dosage. A little quantity of fructose may be processed by the body. This does not imply that it can ingest an infinite quantity without harming its health.


Because of its low glycemic index, fructose was previously thought to be safe. There are few apparent health concerns in the near term. Fructose, on the other hand, is harmful mostly because of its long-term effects on hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance. This impact is often estimated in decades, which causes a lot of controversy.

High fructose corn syrup, for example, is made up of equal parts glucose and fructose and has a role in the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes. These aren’t simply calories with no nutritional value. People are starting to understand it’s something far more evil.

Glucose is a refined carbohydrate that immediately increases insulin. However, the majority of them may be burnt directly for energy, with just a tiny fraction requiring liver metabolization. High glucose intake, on the other hand, may contribute to the development of fatty liver. The interaction of glucose and insulin in the blood shows the impact of glucose right away.

Excessive fructose intake induces hepatic steatosis, which promotes insulin resistance. Fructose is five to ten times more likely than glucose to induce liver fattening. A terrible cycle has begun. In order to overcome insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia is produced. Hyperinsulinemia, worsened by the contemporaneous glucose load, leads to increased insulin resistance, which is counterproductive.

Sucrose increases both short- and long-term insulin production. As a result, sucrose is much more formidable than glucose-containing starches like B. Amylopectin. The impact of glucose is apparent on the glycemic index, whereas the effect of fructose is totally concealed. This has caused scientists to underestimate the significance of sugar in obesity for a long time.

Insulin resistance has a long, perhaps decades-long, fattening impact before it becomes apparent. This impact is totally missed in short-term dietary trials. After evaluating many trials lasting shorter than one week, a recent systematic review found that fructose had no impact other than a caloric one. However, fructose’s consequences, such as obesity, take decades to manifest, not weeks. We might make the same error and conclude that smoking does not cause lung cancer if we just looked at short-term research on the subject.

In virtually every diet throughout history, cutting down on sugar and sweets intake has always been the first step toward weight reduction. Sucrose isn’t simply a source of empty calories or refined carbs. This is much more hazardous since it increases both insulin and insulin resistance at the same time. Even though they had no knowledge of physiology, our forefathers were constantly aware of this.


During our 50-year calorie addiction, we attempted to deny it. We have neglected to understand the risks of high fructose intake in our haste to blame it on calories. Truth, on the other hand, cannot be ignored indefinitely, and ignorance had to pay the price. The epidemics of type 2 diabetes and obesity have paid the price for this calorie feast. Sugar’s special fat-burning properties are now being recognized once again. It was a long-suppressed truth.

So the world listened riveted in 2009 when Dr. Lustig delivered his speech on a private platform, saying that sugar was poisonous. Because this endocrinologist professor confirmed what we previously suspected to be true. Despite the platitudes and promises that sugar was not the issue, the world already knew the reality. Sugar is a poisonous substance.

Jason Fung, Ph.D.

The fructose in soft drinks is a toxin that damages your liver and promotes insulin resistance, weight gain and inflammation. This is a widely held belief in the health community, which makes sense – after all, we now know that sugar (sucrose) is a toxin, and that liver damage is one of the symptoms of fructose toxicity.. Read more about fructose liver toxin and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is sugar a liver toxin?

Yes, sugar is a liver toxin.

Why sugar is as bad as alcohol fructose the liver toxin?

Alcohol is a toxin that has been shown to cause liver damage. Sugar, on the other hand, does not have any known negative effects on the liver.

Why is sugar toxic?

Sugar is toxic because it causes the body to release insulin, which can lead to a host of health problems.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • liver disease and sugar consumption
  • sugar and fatty liver disease
  • fructose liver metabolism
  • fructose fatty liver
  • fructose fatty liver and insulin resistance
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