Research News


Working out decreases the liver fat without weight loss

In an issue of health for adults, controlling weight and body fat is the most important topic. But it is not quite easy to lose weight. For the ones to think like that, the research finding by Professor Jyunichiro Masada at the University of Tsukuba would be a helpful clue. The finding tells that we might not need too hard exercise to get rid of liver fat.

The research group by Professor Masada and other members analyzed the record of loosing weight program conducted for middle-aged obese males. The group looked at the influence of exercise to the status of liver in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), by comparing the strength and amount of exercises. The research candidates of the investigation were 169 obese males who participated in the test from 2009 to 2013 by Professor Kiyoji Tanaka at the University of Tsukuba.

The research group looked at the record, and the long-term data of daily exercise acquired by the life recorder is compared by the intensity of exercise (MVPA, less than 150 min per week, between 150 min to 250 min per week, or more than 250 min per week) and the decreasing of NAFLD status.

As a result, the candidates with more exercise showed better record in improving the liver situation such as body composition record, liver fat accumulation, glycolipid metabolism, adipokine disproportion, inflammation and oxidative stress. Notable point was that the candidates with the exercise of more than 250 min per week got better results in HDL-cholesterol, adiponection and ferritin as well as TBARS. That means, more exercise improves the status under oxidant stress and inflammation. So, exercises regulates lipid metabolism in livers such as fat accumulation, according to the analysis of peripheral mononuclear cells.

The research result proved that NAFLD could be treated not without weight loss, but with exercise, by decreasing liver fat accumulation and related disease-induce factors. Especially, the research team firstly in the world proved that MVPA is independent factor from weight control. It also suggests how to improve the program of treating NAFLD with MVPA's time and intensity of exercises. The journal HEPATOLOGY, from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, published the article of this research finding (Vol. 61, No. 4, 2015), and the editorial of the journal highly value the outcome.

Schematic summary

Schematic summary of the beneficial effects of varying MVPA doses in lifestyle intervention on the pathophysiology of obesity-related liver disease in obese, middle-aged men.

Original Paper

Sechang Oh, Takashi Shida, Kazumasa Yamagishi, Kiyoji Tanaka, Rina So, Takehiko Tsujimoto, and Junichi Shoda, Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity Volume Is an Important Factor for Managing Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Retrospective Study, HEPATOLOGY 61:1205-1215 (2015). DOI: 10.1002/hep.27570

Celebrating the 151st 50th Anniversary of the University of Tsukuba
Celebrating the 151st 50th Anniversary of the University of Tsukuba