Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, is a serious condition that causes excess fat to build up in the liver, and recently scientists discovered something interesting about its connection to sugary soft drinks.

People with NAFLD tend to drink more soft drinks than those without the disease. In fact, 80 percent of people with NAFLD were shown to drink excessive amounts of soft drinks (over 16.9 ounces per day). What’s more, those same soda drinkers were also found to live more sedentary lifestyles, eat less fiber and fewer dairy products, and consume on average more saturated fats and trans fats—all of which are components of the Standard American Diet, or SAD… talk about an appropriate acronym!

Unfortunately, cases of NAFLD are increasing, and the disease has been linked to other health problems including metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease and liver disease. The scary thing is that most people with NAFLD have no symptoms, similar to people with high cholesterol or triglycerides. You may feel just fine, think you eat just fine for the most part, exercise when you can, take a multivitamin when you remember…and then all of a sudden something like NAFLD shows up and you’re completely caught off guard.

Because of this study and so many others, I can’t stress enough how important it is to be proactive when it comes to your health, especially the health of your liver—it’s your body’s detox powerhouse after all! So it may take a little time and research, but it’s worth it to really look at your diet and lifestyle and make adjustments where you can. Learn about the benefits of natural health supplements for liver support, and cut back on the soda for crying out loud! Your liver will thank you.