Exercise can lead to meaningful reductions in liver fat for patients with NAFLD, research confirms

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

Penn State College of Medicine researchers confirmed exercise can lead to meaningful reductions in liver fat for patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. While prior research hadn't determined the required amount of exercise for clinically meaningful improvement, the College of Medicine found 150 minutes per week of brisk walking achieved significant reductions in liver fat.

Our findings can give physicians the confidence to prescribe exercise as a treatment for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Having a target amount of physical activity to aim for will be useful for health care and exercise professionals to develop personalized approaches as they help patients modify their lifestyles and become more physically active."

Dr. Jonathan Stine, associate professor of medicine and public health sciences, and hepatologist at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects close to 30% of the global population and over time, can lead to cirrhosis, also known as liver scarring, and cancer. There are no approved drug treatments or an effective cure for this common condition, however, research has shown that exercise can improve liver fat, physical fitness, body composition and quality of life for patients.

"Exercise is a lifestyle modification, so the fact that it might match the ability of in-development therapeutics to achieve the same outcome is significant," said Stine, a Penn State Cancer Institute researcher. "Clinicians counseling patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease should recommend this amount of activity to their patients. Brisk walking or light cycling for a half an hour a day five times a week is just one example of a program that would meet these criteria."

The results were published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Kara DiJoseph and Rohit Loomba of the University of California San Diego; Zach Pattison, Alex Harrington, Kathryn Schmitz and Vernon Chinchilli of Penn State College of Medicine also contributed to this research. Penn State researchers have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

This research was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (Award Number K23DK131290). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Expanding research and clinical options for children with cancer