In a new study, researchers found that vigorous physical exercise such as strength and weight training may help control type 2 diabetes in obese individuals
These exercises can reduce accumulated liver fat and improve blood sugar control.
The health benefits can happen quite fast, even before there is a big weight loss.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of Campinas.
Previous research has shown that excess fat in the liver causes local inflammation, which makes liver cells less sensitive to the action of insulin.
This condition can progress to cirrhosis and eventually to liver failure.
In the study, the team found that two weeks of strength exercise was enough to modify gene expression in liver tissue in ways that “burned” more stored fats.
This contributed to the treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
In addition, cellular insulin signaling in tissue improved, and hepatic synthesis of blood sugar decreased.
The team says that in obese individuals at high heart disease and metabolic syndrome risk, reducing liver fat is vital to help control diabetes.
The liver should produce blood sugar only under fasting conditions.
It insulin signaling in tissue is impaired, the liver releases blood sugar into the bloodstream even after ingestion of carbohydrate, and this can raise the level of blood sugar.
The team previously had shown overtraining can contribute to the development of the nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
They found excessively strenuous exercise can do more harm than good.
They hope the finding can help develop new methods to help obese people control type 2 diabetes in the future.
The lead author of the study is Leandro Pereira de Moura, a professor at UNICAMP.
The study is published in the Journal of Endocrinology.
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