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The effect of a novel low-volume aerobic exercise intervention on liver fat in Type 2 Diabetes: A randomized controlled trial

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 16:54 authored by Sabag, A, Way, KL, Sultana, RN, Keating, SE, Gerofi, JA, Chuter, VH, Nuala ByrneNuala Byrne, Baker, MK, George, J, Caterson, ID, Twigg, SM, Johnson, NA

Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of a novel low-volume high-intensity interval training (HIIT), moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT), or placebo (PLA) intervention on liver fat, glycemia, and cardiorespiratory fitness using a randomized placebo-controlled design.

Research design and methods: Thirty-five inactive adults (age 54.6 ± 1.4 years, 54% male; BMI 35.9 ± 0.9 kg/m2) with obesity and type 2 diabetes were randomized to 12 weeks of supervised MICT (n = 12) at 60% VO2peak for 45 min, 3 days/week; HIIT (n = 12) at 90% VO2peak for 4 min, 3 days/week; or PLA (n = 11). Liver fat percent was quantified through proton MRS.

Results: Liver fat reduced in MICT (-0.9 ± 0.7%) and HIIT (-1.7 ± 1.1%) but increased in PLA (1.2 ± 0.5%) (P = 0.046). HbA1c improved in MICT (-0.3 ± 0.3%) and HIIT (-0.3 ± 0.3%) but not in PLA (0.5 ± 0.2%) (P = 0.014). Cardiorespiratory fitness improved in MICT (2.3 ± 1.2 mL/kg/min) and HIIT (1.1 ± 0.5 mL/kg/min) but not in PLA (-1.5 ± 0.9 mL/kg/min) (P = 0.006).

Conclusions: or a low-volume HIIT approach involving 12 min of weekly high-intensity aerobic exercise may improve liver fat, glycemia, and cardiorespiratory fitness in type 2 diabetes in the absence of weight loss. Further studies are required to elucidate the relationship between exercise-induced reductions in liver fat and improvements in glycemia.


Publication title

Diabetes Care










School of Health Sciences


Amer Diabetes Assoc

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1701 N Beauregard St, Alexandria, USA, Va, 22311-1717

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Copyright 2020 American Diabetes Association

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