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Listen to Alexander Bartelt on Bayerischer Rundfunk

On the occasion of 'Eat Healthy Day', IPEK scientist Alexander Bartelt was interviewed by Anna Dannecker from Bayerischer Rundkunk on the role of sugar on the liver and hormone balance.

Sugar has an impact on the entire body, explains Bartelt. It starts in the mouth and basically ends with absorption in the intestines.


But sugar also affects the liver "If you eat too many calories over a long period of time, including sugar in particular, then this sugar is not only deposited in the fatty tissue but also in the liver". This is called non-alcoholic fatty liver. The liver swells and sometimes throws large white fat bubbles. If diet is not altered, the liver can eventually become inflamed or tissue can die. In Germany, one out of four people over 40 already suffers from such fatty liver.



Sugar also alters our hormone balance by boosting the production of insulin. Bartelt: "Insulin is one of the most important metabolic hormones." This is known "above all from diabetes, where insulin no longer functions or where you congenitally have no insulin at all." Insulin is produced in the pancreas. It stimulates body cells to absorb glucose from the blood, and lowers blood sugar levels. If you eat too much sugar, your insulin levels rise. "In the long run, that can overwhelm the islet cells that make insulin and increase the risk of diabetes",  Bartelt says.






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