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Systematic Review

Positive Effects of Exercise Intervention without Weight Loss and Dietary Changes in NAFLD-Related Clinical Parameters: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

1
School of Medicine, Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, 70200 Kuopio, Finland
2
Afekta Technologies Ltd., Yliopistonranta 1L, 70211 Kuopio, Finland
3
Department of Life Technologies, Food Chemistry and Food Development Unit, University of Turku, 20500 Turku, Finland
4
School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong 999077, China
5
Department of Medicine, Endocrinology and Clinical Nutrition, Kuopio University Hospital, 70210 Kuopio, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Christina Chrysohoou and Konstantinos Tsioufis
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 3135; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093135
Received: 19 August 2021 / Revised: 5 September 2021 / Accepted: 5 September 2021 / Published: 8 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet, Liver, Oxidative Stress and Metabolic Syndrome)
One of the focuses of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) treatment is exercise. Randomized controlled trials investigating the effects of exercise without dietary changes on NAFLD-related clinical parameters (liver parameters, lipid metabolism, glucose metabolism, gut microbiota, and metabolites) were screened using the PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane databases on 13 February 2020. Meta-analyses were performed on 10 studies with 316 individuals who had NAFLD across three exercise regimens: aerobic exercise, resistance training, and a combination of both. No studies investigating the role of gut microbiota and exercise in NAFLD were found. A quality assessment via the (RoB)2 tool was conducted and potential publication bias, statistical outliers, and influential cases were identified. Overall, exercise without significant weight loss significantly reduced the intrahepatic lipid (IHL) content (SMD: −0.76, 95% CI: −1.04, −0.48) and concentrations of alanine aminotransaminase (ALT) (SMD: −0.52, 95% CI: −0.90, −0.14), aspartate aminotransaminase (AST) (SMD: −0.68, 95% CI: −1.21, −0.15), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (SMD: −0.34, 95% CI: −0.66, −0.02), and triglycerides (TG) (SMD: −0.59, 95% CI: −1.16, −0.02). The concentrations of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol (TC), fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and glycated hemoglobin were non-significantly altered. Aerobic exercise alone significantly reduced IHL, ALT, and AST; resistance training alone significantly reduced TC and TG; a combination of both exercise types significantly reduced IHL. To conclude, exercise overall likely had a beneficial effect on alleviating NAFLD without significant weight loss. The study was registered at PROSPERO: CRD42020221168 and funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 813781. View Full-Text
Keywords: systematic review; meta-analysis; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; aerobic exercise; resistance training; lipid metabolism; glucose metabolism; transaminases systematic review; meta-analysis; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; aerobic exercise; resistance training; lipid metabolism; glucose metabolism; transaminases
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MDPI and ACS Style

Babu, A.F.; Csader, S.; Lok, J.; Gómez-Gallego, C.; Hanhineva, K.; El-Nezami, H.; Schwab, U. Positive Effects of Exercise Intervention without Weight Loss and Dietary Changes in NAFLD-Related Clinical Parameters: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients 2021, 13, 3135. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093135

AMA Style

Babu AF, Csader S, Lok J, Gómez-Gallego C, Hanhineva K, El-Nezami H, Schwab U. Positive Effects of Exercise Intervention without Weight Loss and Dietary Changes in NAFLD-Related Clinical Parameters: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 2021; 13(9):3135. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093135

Chicago/Turabian Style

Babu, Ambrin Farizah, Susanne Csader, Johnson Lok, Carlos Gómez-Gallego, Kati Hanhineva, Hani El-Nezami, and Ursula Schwab. 2021. "Positive Effects of Exercise Intervention without Weight Loss and Dietary Changes in NAFLD-Related Clinical Parameters: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis" Nutrients 13, no. 9: 3135. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093135

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