Worldwide one in four persons suffers from non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD, also called metabolic liver disease MAFLD). Those affected often have type 2 diabetes as well as an increased risk of liver cirrhosis and cardiovascular diseases. In addition, NAFLD is associated with increased mortality. An imbalance between energy intake and consumption is discussed as a cause for the disease. This leads to fat deposits in the liver and over time impairs the function of the mitochondria * – both risk factors for the development of hepatic insulin resistance and liver inflammation.
How exercise modifies the adaptation of the liver to increased energy intake
To prevent and treat NAFLD, lifestyle modification with increased physical activity is recommended. To what extent regular exercise alters the adaptation of the liver to increased energy intake and what role skeletal muscle plays in this process was investigated by scientists at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry at Tübingen University Hospital and at the Institute of Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases (IDM) of Helmholtz Munich at the University of Tübingen. The researchers collaborated with the Institute of Experimental Genetics (IEG) at Helmholtz Munich, the Leibniz Institute for Analytical Sciences in Dortmund, and the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics in China.
Hoene, M. et al.: Exercise prevents fatty liver by modifying the compensatory response of mitochondrial metabolism to excess substrate availability. Molecular Metabolism.
Release date: 20 December 2021
Source: Deutsches Zentrum fuer Diabetesforschung DZD