University of Oulu

Cheng, S., Ge, J., Zhao, C., Le, S., Yang, Y., Ke, D., Wu, N., Tan, X., Zhang, X., Du, X., Sun, J., Wang, R., Shi, Y., Borra, R., Parkkola, R., Wiklund, P., Lu, D. (2017) Effect of aerobic exercise and diet on liver fat in pre-diabetic patients with non-alcoholic-fatty-liver-disease: A randomized controlled trial. Scientific Reports, 7 (1), 15952. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-16159-x

Effect of aerobic exercise and diet on liver fat in pre-diabetic patients with non-alcoholic-fatty-liver-disease : a randomized controlled trial

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Author: Cheng, Sulin1,2,3,; Ge, Jun4; Zhao, Can5;
Organizations: 1Exercise, Health and Technology Centre, Department of Physical Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
2Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä
3The Key Laboratory of Systems Biomedicine, Ministry of Education, Shanghai Center for Systems Biomedicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
4Shanghai Yangpu district Shidong Hospital
5School of Kinesiology, Shanghai University of Sport
6Clinical Nutrition Centre, Fudan University Huadong Hospital
7Bio-X, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
8Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital
9Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen
10Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Centre for Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London
11Center for Life-Course Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2017
Publish Date: 2018-02-09


The study aimed to assess whether aerobic exercise (AEx) training and a fibre-enriched diet can reduce hepatic fat content (HFC) and increase glycaemic control in pre-diabetic patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Six-hundred-and-three patients from seven clinics in Yangpu district, Shanghai, China were recruited. Of them 115 individuals aged 50–65-year fulfilled the inclusion criteria (NAFLD with impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance) and were randomly assigned into exercise (AEx n = 29), diet (Diet n = 28), exercise plus diet (AED n = 29), or no-intervention (NI n = 29) groups. Progressive supervised AEx training (60–75% VO2max intensity) was given 2–3 times/week in 30–60 min/sessions, and the diet intervention was provided as lunch with 38% carbohydrate and diet fibre of 12 g/day for 8.6-month. HFC was assessed by 1H MRS. We found that HFC was significantly reduced in the AEx (−24.4%), diet (−23.2%), and AED (−47.9%) groups by contrast to the 20.9% increase in the NI group (p = 0.001 for all) after intervention. However, only AED group significantly decreased HbA1c (−4.4%, p = 0.01) compared with the NI group (−0.6%). Aerobic exercise training combined with fibre-enriched diet can reduce HFC more effectively than either exercise or increased fibre-intake alone in pre-diabetic patients with NAFLD.

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Series: Scientific reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
ISSN-E: 2045-2322
ISSN-L: 2045-2322
Volume: 7
Article number: 15952
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-16159-x
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: Funding for this study was provided by the China State Sport General Administration (2013B040, 2015B039), the Chinese Nature Science Foundation (NSFC 31571219), and the Shanghai Jiao Tong University Zhiyuan Foundation (CP2014013). Funding to RB was provided by the Sigrid Juselius Foundation, the Instrumentation Research Foundation, the Finnish Medical Foundation, the Paulo Foundation and the Academy of Finland (130557, 270352).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 130557
Detailed Information: 130557 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2017. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.