Objective: To compare the effects of aerobic training (AT) with aerobic plus resistance training (AT+RT) in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) obese adolescents.
Design: Long-term interdisciplinary weight-loss therapy (1 year of clinical, nutritional, psychological, and exercise-related intervention).
Participants: Fifty-eight postpubertal obese adolescents were randomized to AT or AT+RT according to NAFLD diagnosis. Adipokine and neuropeptide concentrations were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, visceral fat by ultrasound, and body composition by plethysmography.
Results: The NAFLD group that followed the AT+RT protocol presented lower insulin, homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and alanine transaminase (ALT) values after intervention compared with AT. It was verified that there was a higher magnitude of change in the subcutaneous fat, glycemia, total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, ALT, and adiponectin in response to AT+RT than in the control group (AT). All patients who underwent the AT+RT exhibited significantly higher adiponectin, leptin, and Δadiponectin and lower melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) concentrations after therapy compared with the AT group. In the simple linear regression analysis, changes in glycemia, insulin, and HOMA-IR were independent predictors of significant improvement in adiponectin concentration. Indeed, ΔAST (aspartate transaminase) and ΔGGT (γ-glutamyl transpeptidase) were independent predictors of ΔALT, while Δfat mass and ΔAgRP (agouti-related protein) were independent predictors of ΔMCH. Although the number of patients was limited, we showed for the first time the positive effects of AT+RT protocol in a long-term interdisciplinary therapy to improve inflammatory biomarkers and to reduce orexigenic neuropeptide concentrations in NAFLD obese adolescents.
Conclusion: The long-term interdisciplinary therapy with AT+RT protocol was more effective in significantly improving noninvasive biomarkers of NAFLD that are associated with the highest risk of disease progression in the pediatric population.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01358773.