Treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis: The effects of regular exercise
Achten J., Sutedja D., Johnson J., Jeukendrup A., Jones D., Elias E.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of supervised regular aerobic exercise on clinical, biochemical, and metabolic features in patients with NASH. Nine male patients diagnosed with NASH were randomly divided into an exercise group (E) and a non-exercise group (NE). Patients in the E group followed a 12-week supervised aerobic exercise program. All patients were reviewed at 6 and 12 weeks for symptomatology, anthropometry, liver panels, and lipid profiles. In addition, the fitness level of the patients was measured every 6 weeks during a graded exercise test to exhaustion on a cycleergometer. Patients in the E group who performed, on average, 45 min of moderate intensity exercise 4 times a week significantly increased their maximal work rate (p < .05), while no change was seen in the NE group. A trend towards decreased respiratory exchange ratios and lactate concentrations during exercise in the E group suggested a greater reliance on fat metabolism. After 12 weeks, body and fat mass and waist:hip ratio changed significantly in the E group, while no changes were seen in the NE group. Serum ALT activity decreased significantly after 12 weeks in the E group (88 ± 6 vs. 53 ± 10 U ·L -1 ), while values remained the same in the NE group. The data of the present study suggest that regular exercise can be a valuable tool in the treatment of NASH. © 2003 by Human Kinetics Publishers and the European College of Sport Science.