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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #331855

Research Project: Epidemiology Applied to Problems of Aging

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Potential link between excess added sugar intake and ectopic fat: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

Author
item MA, JIANTAO - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item KARLSEN, MICAELA - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item CHUNG, MEI - Tufts University
item JACQUES, PAUL - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item SALTZMAN, EDWARD - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item SMITH, CAREN - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item FOX, CAROLINE - Harvard University
item MCKEOWN, NICOLA - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University

Submitted to: Nutrition Reviews
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/4/2015
Publication Date: 10/29/2015
Citation: Ma, J., Karlsen, M.C., Chung, M., Jacques, P.F., Saltzman, E., Smith, C.E., Fox, C.S., Mckeown, N.M. 2015. Potential link between excess added sugar intake and ectopic fat: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Nutrition Reviews. 74(1):18-32. doi: 10.1093/nutri/nuv047.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Context: The effect of added sugar intake on ectopic fat accumulation is a subject of debate. Objective: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was conducted to examine the potential effect of added sugar intake on ectopic fat depots. Data Sources: MEDLINE, CAB Abstracts, CAB Global Health, and EBM (Evidence-Based Medicine) Reviews – Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases were searched for studies published from 1973 to September 2014. Data Extraction: RCTs with a minimum of 6 days’ duration of added sugar exposure in the intervention group were selected. The dosage of added sugar intake as a percentage of total energy was extracted or calculated. Means and standard deviations of pre- and post-test measurements or changes in ectopic fat depots were collected. Data Synthesis: Fourteen RCTs were included. Most of the studies had a medium to high risk of bias. Meta-analysis showed that, compared with eucaloric controls, subjects who consumed added sugar under hypercaloric conditions likely increased ectopic fat, particularly in the liver (pooled standardized mean difference=0.9 [95%CI, 0.6–1.2], n=6) and muscles (pooled SMD=0.6 [95%CI, 0.2–1.0], n=4). No significant difference was observed in liver fat, visceral adipose tissue, or muscle fat when isocaloric intakes of different sources of added sugars were compared. Conclusions: Data from a limited number of RCTs suggest that excess added sugar intake under hypercaloric diet conditions likely increases ectopic fat depots, particularly in the liver and in muscle fat. There are insufficient data to compare the effect of different sources of added sugars on ectopic fat deposition or to compare intake of added sugar with intakes of other macronutrients. Future well-designed RCTs with sufficient power and duration are needed to address the role of sugars on ectopic fat deposition.