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Exercise Helps Control Fatty Liver

Fatty liver often occurs in overweight and obese type 2 diabetics. Not only could fatty liver lead to an increased risk of liver cirrhosis, liver failure and cancer, it could also disrupt metabolism, promote fuel inflammation in the body and can increase lipid levels, all of which could harm the heart.

However, based on the study done by Dr. Kerry Stewart, an exercise physiologist from Johns Hopkins University, exercise can help overweight type 2 diabetics control the onslaught of fatty liver.

Dr. Stewart and his team randomly assigned 77 type 2 diabetics to supervised exercise or to no exercise for six months. Those in the exercise group were asked to ride a bicycle,run on a treadmill or brisk walk for 45 minutes, three times a week. Lifting weights were also part of the curriculum for 20 minutes thrice weekly. The control group was asked not to join any formal aerobic fitness or gym classes.

Reporting during the annual meeting of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation
in Indianapolis, Dr. Stewart said that liver imaging studies were performed at the beginning and end of the study. It showed that those in the exercise group had lower levels of liver fat, while levels remained the same in the control group. He added that there had been a 40 percent reduction in liver fat in those who were in the exercise group.

“People with type 2 diabetes have added reason to be active and to exercise, not just because it is good for their overall health, but also because our study results pinpoint a key benefit to trimming the fatty liver that complicates their illness and which could accelerate heart disease and liver failure,” Dr. Stewart told Reuters Health.

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