Regular exercise may reduce your risk of liver disease
Exercising for the recommended 150 minutes a week could lower your risk of a common type of liver disease, say researchers from Penn State University and the University of California, San Diego.
According to the National Institutes of Health, an estimated 24% of Americans have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition in which excess fat builds up in the liver.
Using data from 14 previous studies, the researchers looked at 551 people with the disease. They evaluated attributes such as age, sex, body mass index and exercise habits to determine the effect of exercise on a clinically significant reduction in liver fat.
Findings show that 39% of people who engaged in brisk exercise for 150 minutes a week experienced a significant reduction, compared with 26% who exercised less.
“Our findings can give physicians the confidence to prescribe exercise as a treatment for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease,” said lead study author Jonathan Stine, associate professor of medicine and hepatologist at the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
Stine added that brisk walking or light cycling for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, is one strategy to meet the 150-minute criteria.
The study was published online in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.