Inactivity May Lead to Fatty Liver Disease

As if there is not already a multitude of problems awaiting those who lead an inactive lifestyle, researchers recently found yet another inactivity-related condition that threatens human health, a condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to Medical News Today.

In an article published in The Journal of Physiology, Dr. John Thyfault of the University of Missouri reports his research group’s findings that established a link between low aerobic fitness level and fatty liver disease. His group carefully bred two groups of rats of different levels of intrinsic aerobic capacity, so that after 17 generations the rats in the “fit” group can run 1500 meters, whereas the “unfit” rats can undertake only 200 meters.

Rats in the “fit” group normally live healthy lives, even though they are not more active than those in the unfit group. However, those in the “unfit” group often display clear symptoms of NAFLD, including fibrosis, which is a form of liver damage seen in alcohol abuse patients.

Fatty liver disease causes fat deposit in patients’ livers and elevated levels of fat in their blood. The “unfit” rats in Thyfault’s study also were found to have poor fat processing power. These effects together result in high fat retention in patients, making them prone to obesity and its related risks of heart disease, strokes and diabetes.

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