Benefits of exercise in fatty liver disease
Regular high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercise over a period of 12 weeks significantly decreased the study participants' fasting glucose and waist circumference, and improved their maximum oxygen consumption rate and maximum achieved workload.

The randomized controlled intervention study involved 46 subjects diagnosed with NAFLD. They were divided into an exercise intervention group that had a HIIT session twice a week, plus an independent training session once a week for 12 weeks, and into a control group that did not increase exercise during the study. Neither of the groups sought to lose weight nor changed their dietary habits during the intervention. In addition to conventional medical examinations and laboratory tests performed at the onset and end of the study, the researchers also performed untargeted metabolomics analyses to identity various metabolites and their abundance in adipose tissue, plasma, urine, and stool samples. Based on the results, exercise affected metabolic pathways differently in different tissues.

Exercise had a beneficial effect on fasting glucose concentrations, waist circumference, maximum oxygen consumption rate, and maximum achieved workload. These factors were also associated with many of the observed alterations in the abundance of various metabolites in the exercise intervention group. The most significant alterations were observed in amino acids and their derivatives, lipids, and bile acids.

In particular, exercise increased the levels of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, in adipose tissue. According to the researchers, their higher accumulations in adipose tissue may be associated with improved lipid and glucose metabolism, as well as with reduced insulin resistance.