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Background: While aerobic training is generally recommended as therapeutic exercise in guidelines, the effectiveness of resistance training has recently been reported in the management of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Acceleration training (AT) is a new training method that provides a physical stimulation effect on skeletal muscles by increasing gravitational acceleration with vibration. AT has recently been indicated as a component of medicine. In this study, we evaluated the effectiveness of AT in the management of NAFLD in obese subjects.
Methods: A total of 18 obese patients with NAFLD who had no improvement in liver function test abnormalities and/or steatosis grade after 12 weeks of lifestyle counseling were enrolled in an AT program. These patients attended a 20-minute session of AT twice a week for 12 consecutive weeks.
Results: During the AT program, the NAFLD patients showed a modest increase in the strength (+12.6%) and cross-sectional area (+3.1%) of the quadriceps, coupled with a significant reduction in intramyocellular lipids (-26.4%). Notably, they showed a modest reduction in body weight (-1.9%), abdominal visceral fat area (-3.4%), and hepatic fat content (-8.7%), coupled with a significant reduction in levels of aminotransferase (-15.7%), γ-glutamyltransferase (-14.4%), leptin (-9.7%), interleukin-6 (-26.8%), and tumor necrosis factor-α (-17.9%), and a significant increase of adiponectin (+8.7%). On a health-related quality of life survey, the patients showed an improvement in physical functioning (+17.3%), physical role (+9.7%), general health (+22.1), and social functioning (+6.0%).
Conclusion: AT reduced hepatic and intramyocellular fat contents and ameliorated liver function test abnormalities in obese patients with NAFLD, which was coupled with improved physical function and body adiposity. AT is clinically beneficial for the management of NAFLD.
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