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04.07.2017 | Original Contribution | Ausgabe 6/2018

European Journal of Nutrition 6/2018

Chronic consumption of fructose in combination with trans fatty acids but not with saturated fatty acids induces nonalcoholic steatohepatitis with fibrosis in rats

European Journal of Nutrition > Ausgabe 6/2018
Sugeedha Jeyapal, Uday Kumar Putcha, Venkata Surekha Mullapudi, Sudip Ghosh, Anil Sakamuri, Suryam Reddy Kona, Sai Santosh Vadakattu, Chandana Madakasira, Ahamed Ibrahim



Consumption of Western diet high in fat and fructose has been attributed to the recent epidemic of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, the impact of specific fatty acids on the progression of NAFLD to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated the chronic effects of consumption of fructose in combination with saturated fatty acids (SFA) or trans fatty acids (TFA) on the development of NAFLD.


Male Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly assigned to six isocaloric starch/high fructose (44% of calories), high fat (39% calories) diet containing either starch–peanut oil, fructose–peanut oil, fructose–palmolein, fructose–clarified butter, fructose–coconut oil or fructose–partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and fed for 24 weeks. Palmolein, clarified butter and coconut oil were used as the source of SFA whereas partially hydrogenated vegetable oil was used as the source of TFA. Peanut oil was used as the reference oil.


Long-term feeding of fructose in combination with SFA or TFA induced hepatic steatosis of similar extent associated with upregulation of stearoyl CoA desaturase-1. In contrast, fructose in combination with TFA induced NASH with fibrosis as evidenced by upregulation of hepatic proinflammatory cytokine and fibrogenic gene expression, increased hepatic oxidative stress and adipocytokine imbalance. Histopathological analysis revealed the presence of NASH with fibrosis. Further, peanut oil prevented the development of NAFLD in fructose-fed rats.


Fructose in combination with TFA caused NASH with fibrosis by inducing oxidative stress and inflammation, whereas, fructose in combination with SFA caused simple steatosis, suggesting that the type of fatty acid is more important for the progression of NAFLD.

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