Background: Growing evidence suggests a link between sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and metabolic disorders. We investigated the effect of SSBs that are commonly consumed by adolescents on glucose metabolism and fatty liver.
Methods: We treated 7-week old male C57BL/6 mice with water (control) or either of SSBs: carbonated soda (Coca-Cola®), sweetened milk coffee (Maxwell®), or chocolate-added cocoa (Choco-Latte®), for 13 weeks (n=10 in each group). Half of the animals were allowed a regular chow diet and the other half was allowed a high-fat diet (40% fat). Body composition and biochemical variables were investigated at the end of the treatments. Histology of the liver and adipose tissue, and molecular signaling related to glucose and lipid metabolism were also evaluated.
Results: During the 13-week treatment, the mice treated with chocolate-added cocoa or sweetened milk coffee showed significantly greater increase in body weight compared with controls, especially when allowed a high-fat diet. Fasting glucose levels were higher in the three SSB-treated groups compared with the control group. The lipid droplets in the liver, fat cell size, and numbers of CD68-positive cells in adipose tissue were greater in the SSB-treated groups than in the control group. The SSB treatments increased gene expression related to inflammatory processes in the liver and adipose tissue. Phosphorylation of AKT and glycogen synthase kinase in muscle was significantly reduced in SSB-treated groups.
Conclusion: Daily consumption of SSBs over three months leads to metabolic impairment together with weight gain, and may contribute to the development of metabolic diseases.
18 - 21 May 2019
European Society of Endocrinology