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Aerobic Exercise Linked With Improved Liver Health

Metabolic associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) affects approximately one quarter of the global population and has no approved drug therapy. Two risk factors for developing MAFLD type 2 diabetes and obesity. A recent study suggests that aerobic exercise may help improve liver health.

Twenty-four people diagnosed with MAFLD participated in the study. Sixteen of them participated in a 12-week aerobic exercise intervention and the other eight served as the control group. The researchers measured various markers of liver health and cardiorespiratory fitness at baseline, after the aerobic intervention, and 12 and 52 weeks after completion of the aerobic intervention.

Participants in the aerobic group saw a 58% decrease in fibrosis and a 67% decrease in liver cell degeneration. They also saw a 17% improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness compared to the control group. However, this improvement was not maintained at 12 or 52 weeks after intervention completion.

The study was conducted by researchers from Trinity College Dublin. It was published online ahead of print on July 27, 2020 in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

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