Regular aerobic exercise lowers risk of fatty liver

Sydney: Patients with a sedentary lifestyle who engage in routine physical activities have a lower risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

The lower risk of problems associated with fatty liver did not depend on weight loss, but was a direct result of increased aerobic exercise. NAFLD affects 30 percent of the adult population and a majority of obese individuals.

The condition, where fat accumulates in the liver of those people who drink little or no alcohol, can cause inflammation or scarring of the liver with more serious cases, known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, possibly progressing to liver failure.

A study, led by Jacob George at the University of Sydney (U-S), included 19 obese adults who reported a sedentary lifestyle. At the end of the four-week period, measurements were again taken from each participant.

Body weight and body mass index (BMI) remained unchanged, but cardio-respiratory fitness significantly improved in the exercise group versus the placebo.

"Our data provides the first direct experimental evidence that regular aerobic exercise reduces fatty liver in obesity without concurrent changes in body weight or abdominal fat," explained George.

The results are slated for publication in the October issue of Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Bureau Report