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Originally published November 11 2008

Prevent Fatty Liver Disease with Exercise

by Joanne Waldron

(NaturalNews) A press release by the University of Missouri reports that a new study shows that it doesn't take long for someone who stops exercising and becomes more sedentary to develop symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (hepatic steatosis). This study, "Cessation of Daily Exercise Dramatically Alters Precursors of Hepatic Steatosis in Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) Rats," was published in The Journal of Physiology. This is bad news for the many people who are in the habit of yo-yo dieting and exercising.

Yo-yo Exercising Bad For The Liver

Jamal Ibdah, professor of medicine and medical pharmacology and physiology in the MU School of Medicine, stated: "We found that the cessation of daily exercise dramatically activates specific precursors known to promote hepatic steatosis." Ibdah added, "This study has important implications for obese humans who continually stop and start exercise programs. Our findings strongly suggest that a sudden transition to a sedentary lifestyle increases susceptibility to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease." Moreover, hepatic steatosis affects at least 75% of obese people.

Symptoms of Fatty Liver Develop in a Week

The study was conducted using obese rats. The chubby rodents were given voluntary access to exercise wheels for 16 weeks. At the end of this time period, none of the rats showed any signs of fatty liver disease. After the sixteen-week period, however, the scientists locked the running wheels, forcing the rats to remain sedentary. After about a week, the rats began showing indications of the development of fatty liver disease.

Exercise Prevented Fatty Liver in 100% of Study Cases

Frank Booth, a professor in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine and the MU School of Medicine and a research investigator in the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, said, "Physical activity prevented fatty liver disease by 100 percent in an animal model of fatty liver disease. In contrast, 100 percent of the group that did not have physical activity had fatty liver disease." This is very unusual. Booth noted, "This is a remarkable event. It is rare in medicine for any treatment to prevent any disease by 100 percent."

Stay Fit During Winter Months

The good news is that fatty liver disease is a reversible condition. For people who live in cooler climates, it may be tempting to slack off on exercise programs during the winter months. This, of course, is a very bad idea. For a healthier liver, find a way to continue some form of exercise (walking, rebounding, jumping rope, doing pilates) throughout the year.

About the author

Joanne Waldron is a computer scientist with a passion for writing and sharing health-related news and information with others. She hosts the Naked Wellness: The Gentle Health Revolution forum, which is devoted to achieving radiant health, well-being, and longevity.

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