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Physical exercise is an important part of resolving obesity-related illnesses; especially, research demonstrate that it lowers the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, research on the effect of exercise on hepatic triglyceride content (HTGC) and metabolism is limited; this prompted the researchers to conduct randomized control experiments on NAFLD patients in the United Kingdom who consume alcohol to test the significance of various predictors on HTGC, which is the study's outcome variable (Houghton, et al., 2017).
The study's hypothesis is to assess 'between group differences' for two groups of NAFLD patients who drink alcohol.The first category of this set was subject to various forms of exercises, such as aerobics and resistance, over a review period of 12 weeks. The second subset comprised patients that were under continued standard care and maintained their baseline weights. The alternative hypothesis of the research is that the mean HTCG of the above groups of patients are different.
The researcher employed randomized controlled trials in grouping of patients into the categories discussed above; to reduce bias, each of the 27 patients participating in the study had an equal chance of selection into either groups. The mean age of participants is 43-65 years with BMI ranging between 28 and 35 kg/m2; their HTGC levels are greater than 5% and they consume 146-296g/ week. The first category had 14 participants and the second one had 13 patients. The researchers adopted a longitudinal study on the sample, which examined and recorded data pertaining to participants at baseline and at the end of 12 weeks. The variables recorded are HTGC, fibrosis markers, body composition, circulating inflammatory, abdominal fat, and metabolic control.
The researcher tested the difference between the means of the above indicators to establish if they differ significantly between NAFLD patients based on HTGC measured in the two groups using the student’s t-test. The outcomes of the study primarily focus on analyzing changes in HTGC, the outcome variable, between the baseline and 12 weeks for patients in each group.
Research outcome and Recommendations
Findings of the study indicate that the mean HTGC of the two groups- exercise and control- did not have significant statistical differences, which leads to adoption of the null hypothesis; the computed p-value is greater than 0.05. Furthermore, means of markers of inflation and changes in metabolic factors were not statistically different between the above groups over the 12-week period of the study. At the end of the study, however, the exercising group recorded significant reductions in subcutaneous fat and whole body fat; both predictors had a low p-value of 0.1. The exercising group further witnessed an increase in lean body mass and a significant reduction in cytokeratin-18. Consumption of alcohol blurs the outcome of exercise in mitigating effects of NAFLD; advocating strategies for weight management and alcohol reduction by clinicians will help in alleviating the disease.
Houghton, D., Hallsworth, K., Thoma, C., Cassidy, S., Hardy, T., Heaps, S., . . . Trenell, M. (2017, May 10). Effects of Exercise on Liver Fat and Metabolism in Alcohol Drinkers. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol, n.p. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2017.05.001
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