Aerobic Exercise Improves Stiff Arteries and Fatty Liver

October 30, 2009 | Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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 Aerobic Exercise Improves Stiff Arteries and Fatty Liver
Several new studies are showing that aerobic exercise can have a rather profound effect on promoting health. One study showed that in older adults with type II diabetes just three months of aerobics produced noticeable improvement in the elasticity of arteries. Another study showed that one month of aerobic exercise reduced the fatty build up in the liver of overweight individuals.

The first study1 involved adults between the ages of 65 to 83 with controlled type II diabetes and high blood pressure. They gradually worked up to performing three 1 hour aerobic exercise sessions at 70% of their maximum heart rate (fairly vigorous exercise). Lead researcher, Dr. Kenneth Madden, reported “There was an impressive drop in arterial stiffness after just three months of exercise. In that time we saw a 15 to 20 per cent reduction….There seems to be a knee-jerk reluctance to getting these older adults to exercise yet we used a vigorous level of activity and didn't have any trouble keeping participants in our study. They enjoyed the activity. People always underestimate what older adults can do.”

In the second study2 sedentary obese men were put on a four week program of aerobic cycling. At the end of the study they had on average a 21% decrease in liver fat. Interestingly, weight loss was not required in order to see the improvement in liver fat. This is because when you do aerobics it is like taking your liver out for a drive. Your liver must perform in order to sustain the energy needed to do the exercise – with the benefit of improved liver fitness and a reduction of fat within the liver. The researcher said, “Our data provides the first direct experimental evidence that regular aerobic exercise reduces fatty liver in obesity.”

Referenced Studies

  1. ^ Aerobic Exercise Helps Arteries  Canadian Cardiovascular Congress  Kenneth Madden
  2. ^ Aerobic Exercise Improves Fatty Liver   Hepatology  A. Johnson, Toos Sachinwalla, David W. Walton, Kate Smith, Ashley Armstrong, Martin W. Thompson, Jacob George.

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