Fatty Liver Prevalence Lower with Regular Exercise

Fatty liver thought to be involved in pathogenesis of diabetes

FRIDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of fatty liver, which may be involved in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes, is lower in individuals who exercise regularly, researchers report in the March issue of Diabetes Care.

Gianluca Perseghin, M.D., and colleagues from the Universita degli Studi di Milano and San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan, Italy, assessed intrahepatic fat content by 1-H magnetic resonance spectroscopy and level of physical activity through a questionnaire in 191 healthy individuals. Fatty liver was defined as a greater than 5 percent intrahepatic fat content by weight.

The researchers found that 31 subjects (16 percent) had fatty liver. There was a significantly lower prevalence of fatty liver with increasing physical activity level, which remained the case even after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, insulin sensitivity and adiponectin.

"This study demonstrated that a higher level of habitual physical activity is associated with a lower intrahepatic fat content and suggested that this relationship may be due to the effect of exercise per se," Perseghin and colleagues conclude.

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