Exercise does not improve lipoprotein levels in obese patients with fatty liver disease

May 24, 2012

New research found that moderate exercise does not improve lipoprotein concentrations in obese patients with non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Results published in the June issue of Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, report that moderate physical activity produces only a small decrease in triglyceride and alanine transaminase (ALT) levels.

Obesity is a rampant health concern worldwide. In fact, the (WHO) reported in 2008 that 1.5 billion people, age 20 and older, were overweight, and of these, 200 million men and roughly 300 million women were considered obese. One common complication of obesity is NAFLD, which causes metabolic abnormalities that can lead to severe liver disease. Previous research found that weight loss and regular exercise improved metabolic disturbances associated with NALFD.

Evidence of the effects of on NAFLD, independent of weight loss, is limited. To further investigate, Dr. Samuel Klein and colleagues from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. evaluated the impact of physical activity programs recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services on ALT, cholesterol and in obese NAFLD patients.

This single-center trial included 18 obese participants with NAFLD who were randomized to 16 weeks of 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise at 5 days per week with 12 participating in physical activity and 6 in the control group. Researchers analyzed the impact of exercise on intrahepatic triglyceride (IHTG), very low density lipoproteins (VLDL), and apolipoprotein B-100 (apoB-100).

Analysis shows that exercise decreased IHTG content by 10%, but did not change total body weight or body fat percentage. Total body weight prior to exercise program was 103.1 kg and 102.9 kg after physical activity; body fat was 38.9 before and 39.2 after exercise training. The authors found no change in liver lipoprotein levels (VLDL or apoB-100) in obese NAFLD patients who engaged in physical activity training.

"Our data demonstrate that a moderate intensity exercise program followed by obese patients with NALFD causes a small decrease in IHTG content, even when body weight and total body fat mass are maintained," concludes Dr. Klein. "Current exercise recommendations seem to have only a modest effect on triglycerides and ALT levels, suggesting that improvement in lipoprotein metabolism and fatty liver (steatosis) may be due to weight loss and not increased physical activity." The authors suggest further study of the impact of moderate exercise on IHTG content in those with NAFLD.

More information: "Randomized Trial of Exercise Effect on Intrahepatic Triglyceride Content and Lipid Kinetics in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease." Shelby Sullivan, Erik P. Kirk, Bettina Mittendorfer, Bruce W. Patterson and Samuel Klein. Hepatology; April 25, 2012 (DOI: 10.1002/hep.25548); Print Issue Date: June 2012

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Google searches can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

July 20, 2017
An analytical tool that combines Google search data with government-provided clinical data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

MRSA emerged years before methicillin was even discovered

July 19, 2017
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) emerged long before the introduction of the antibiotic methicillin into clinical practice, according to a study published in the open access journal Genome Biology. It was ...

New test distinguishes Zika from similar viral infections

July 18, 2017
A new test is the best-to-date in differentiating Zika virus infections from infections caused by similar viruses. The antibody-based assay, developed by researchers at UC Berkeley and Humabs BioMed, a private biotechnology ...

'Superbugs' study reveals complex picture of E. coli bloodstream infections

July 18, 2017
The first large-scale genetic study of Escherichia coli (E. coli) cultured from patients with bloodstream infections in England showed that drug resistant 'superbugs' are not always out-competing other strains. Research by ...

Ebola virus can persist in monkeys that survived disease, even after symptoms disappear

July 17, 2017
Ebola virus infection can be detected in rhesus monkeys that survive the disease and no longer show symptoms, according to research published by Army scientists in today's online edition of the journal Nature Microbiology. ...

Mountain gorillas have herpes virus similar to that found in humans

July 13, 2017
Scientists from the University of California, Davis, have detected a herpes virus in wild mountain gorillas that is very similar to the Epstein-Barr virus in humans, according to a study published today in the journal Scientific ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.