Strength training may reduce risk of obesity complications

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Vitamin D, exercise

Strength training found to reduce the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and diabetes in obese mice, finds study

Strength training over a short time period can reduce fat stores in the liver. It can also improve blood glucose control in obese mice, according to a study published in the Journal of Endocrinology.

The study showed that strength training over a short time-period was sufficient to reduce the accumulation of liver fat and improve regulation of blood glucose in obese mice. This could be achieved even without overall loss of body weight.

These findings suggest that strength training may be a fast and effective strategy for reducing the risk of fatty liver disease and diabetes in obese people.

The report shows that every fifth Indian is obese and one in three people in urban area are above the cut-off BMI level

Obesity is a growing, global health epidemic that is increasing rapidly in developing nations like India. Obesity increases the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes and its associated serious complications, including heart, nerve and kidney damage. Although increased physical activity is a widely accepted method of improving health and aiding weight loss, the relative benefits of muscle-building strength and resistance training has not been adequately studied.

The number of obese people has doubled in India in 2015-16, according to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) when compared to NFHS-3 (2005-06). In the survey, people having Body Mass Index (BMI) more than 25 kilogram per metre square have been considered as obese. The report shows that every fifth Indian is obese and one in three people in urban area are above the cut-off BMI level.

Researchers investigated the effects of strength-based exercise on liver fat accumulation, blood glucose regulation and markers of inflammation in obese mice. Obese mice performed strength training over a short time-period that resulted in less fatty livers, reduced levels of inflammatory markers and their blood glucose regulation was improved, despite no change in their overall body weight.

“The fact that these improvements in metabolism occurred over a short time, even though the overall amount of body fat was unchanged, suggest that strength training can have positive effects on health and directly affect liver function and metabolism. so may be a more effective, non-drug and low-cost strategy for improving health in obesity,” said lead author, Leandro Pereira de Moura of the School of Applied Sciences at the University of Campinas in Brazil.

Dr Pereira de Moura and colleagues now plan to investigate the mechanisms underlying these findings, to identify how they may be maximised and to help devise real guidance for obese individuals.

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