Long-term sucrose solution consumption causes metabolic alterations and affects hepatic oxidative stress in Wistar rats
The Company of Biologists -- Biology Open
DOI 10.1242/bio.047282
  1. Sucrose solution
  2. Metabolic syndrome
  3. Hepatic tissue
  4. Oxidative stress


As the number of overweight and obese people has risen in recent years, there has been a parallel increase in the number of people with metabolic syndrome, diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The consumption of artificially sweetened beverages contributes to these epidemics. This study investigated the long-term effects of ingestion of a 40% sucrose solution on serum and hepatic parameters in male Wistar rats (Rattus norvegicus). After 180 days, the glycemic response, lipid profile and hepatic oxidative stress were compared to those of rats maintained on water. Sucrose ingestion led to higher body weight, increased fat deposits, reduced voluntary food intake and reduced feeding efficiency. Rats that received sucrose solution showed early signs of glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, such as hyperinsulinemia. Serum triacylglycerol (TG), very-low density lipoprotein (VLDL), cholesterol, ALT and AST levels increased after sucrose consumption. Elevated malondialdehyde and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels and reduced glutathione levels characterize the hepatic oxidative stress due to sucrose ingestion. Liver sample histology showed vacuolar traces and increased fibrotic tissue. Our data showed the harmful effects of chronic consumption of sucrose solution, which can cause alterations that are found frequently in obesity, glucose intolerance and non-alcoholic hepatic disease, characteristics of metabolic syndrome.