Although lifestyle interventions are considered the first-line therapy for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is extremely common in people with type 2 diabetes, no intervention studies have compared the effects of aerobic (AER) or resistance (RES) training on hepatic fat content in type 2 diabetic subjects with NAFLD. In this randomized controlled trial, we compared the 4-month effects of either AER or RES training on insulin sensitivity (by hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp), body composition (by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), as well as hepatic fat content and visceral (VAT), superficial (SSAT), and deep (DSAT) subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue (all quantified by an in-opposed-phase magnetic resonance imaging technique) in 31 sedentary adults with type 2 diabetes and NAFLD. After training, hepatic fat content was markedly reduced (P < 0.001), to a similar extent, in both the AER and the RES training groups (mean relative reduction from baseline [95% confidence interval] -32.8% [-58.20 to -7.52] versus -25.9% [-50.92 to -0.94], respectively). Additionally, hepatic steatosis (defined as hepatic fat content >5.56%) disappeared in about one-quarter of the patients in each intervention group (23.1% in the AER group and 23.5% in the RES group). Insulin sensitivity during euglycemic clamp was increased, whereas total body fat mass, VAT, SSAT, and hemoglobin A1c were reduced comparably in both intervention groups.
Conclusion: This is the first randomized controlled study to demonstrate that resistance training and aerobic training are equally effective in reducing hepatic fat content among type 2 diabetic patients with NAFLD.
Copyright © 2013 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.