Exercise-induced improvements in liver fat and endothelial function are not sustained 12 months following cessation of exercise supervision in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Int J Obes (Lond). 2016 Jul 21. Epub 2016 Jul 21. PMID: 27439593
C J A Pugh
AIMS: Supervised exercise reduces liver fat and improves endothelial function, a surrogate of cardiovascular disease risk, in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We hypothesised that after a 16-week supervised exercise program, patients would maintain longer-term improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness, liver fat and endothelial function.
MATHERIALS AND METHODS: Ten NAFLD patients [5/5 males/females, age 51±13years, BMI 31±3 kg.m(2) (mean±s.d.)] underwent a 16-week supervised moderate-intensity exercise intervention. Biochemical markers, cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2peak), subcutaneous, visceral and liver fat (measured by magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy respectively) and brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) were assessed at baseline, after 16 weeks supervised training and 12-months after ending supervision.
RESULTS: Despite no significant change in body weight, there were significant improvements in VO2peak [6.5 ml.kg(-1).min(-1) (95% CI 2.8, 10.1); P=0.003], FMD [2.9% (1.5, 4.2); P=0.001], liver transaminases (P<0.05) and liver fat [-10.1% (-20.6, 0.5); P=0.048] immediately after the 16-weeks supervised training. Nevertheless, 12-months after ending supervision, VO2peak [0.9 ml.kg(-1).min(-1) (-3.3 5.1); P=0.65], FMD [-0.07% (-2.3, 2.2); P=0.95], liver transaminases (P>0.05) and liver fat [1.4% (-13.0, 15.9); P=0.83] were not significantly different from baseline.
CONCLUSIONS: Twelve months following cessation of supervision, exercise-mediated improvements in liver fat and other cardiometabolic variables had reversed with cardiorespiratory fitness at baseline levels. Maintenance of high cardiorespiratory fitness and stability of body weight are critical public health considerations for the treatment of NAFLD.International Journal of Obesity accepted article preview online, 21 July 2016. doi:10.1038/ijo.2016.123.