Effect of aerobic exercise training dose on liver fat and visceral adiposity

Keating, Shelley E., Hackett, Daniel A., Parker, Helen M., O'Connor, Helen T., Gerofi, James A., Sainsbury, Amanda., Baker, Michael K., Chuter, Vivienne H., Caterson, Ian D., George, Jacob. and Johnson, Nathan A. (2015) Effect of aerobic exercise training dose on liver fat and visceral adiposity. Journal of Hepatology, 63 1: 174-182. doi:10.1016/j.jhep.2015.02.022

Author Keating, Shelley E.
Hackett, Daniel A.
Parker, Helen M.
O'Connor, Helen T.
Gerofi, James A.
Sainsbury, Amanda.
Baker, Michael K.
Chuter, Vivienne H.
Caterson, Ian D.
George, Jacob.
Johnson, Nathan A.
Title Effect of aerobic exercise training dose on liver fat and visceral adiposity
Journal name Journal of Hepatology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1600-0641
Publication date 2015-07
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jhep.2015.02.022
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 63
Issue 1
Start page 174
End page 182
Total pages 9
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background & Aims

Aerobic exercise reduces liver fat and visceral adipose tissue (VAT). However, there is limited data from randomized trials to inform exercise programming recommendations. This study examined the efficacy of commonly prescribed exercise doses for reducing liver fat and VAT using a randomized placebo-controlled design.


Inactive and overweight/obese adults received 8 weeks of either; i) low to moderate intensity, high volume aerobic exercise (LO:HI, 50% VO2peak, 60 min, 4 d/week); ii) high intensity, low volume aerobic exercise (HI:LO, 70% VO2peak, 45 min, 3 d/week); iii) low to moderate intensity, low volume aerobic exercise (LO:LO, 50% VO2peak, 45 min, 3 d/week); or iv) placebo (PLA). Liver fat (spectroscopy) and VAT (magnetic resonance imaging) were measured before and after intervention.


Forty-seven of the 48 (n = 12 in each group) participants completed the trial. There were no serious adverse events. There was a significant change in group × time interaction in liver fat, which reduced in HI:LO by 2.38 ± 0.73%, in LO:HI by 2.62 ± 1.00%, and in LO:LO by 0.84 ± 0.47% but not in PLA (increase of 1.10 ± 0.62%) (p = 0.04). There was a significant reduction in VAT in HI:LO (−258.38 ± 87.78 cm3), in LO:HI (−386.80 ± 119.5 cm3), and in LO:LO (−212.96 ± 105.54 cm3), but not in PLA (92.64 ± 83.46 cm3) (p = 0.03). There were no significant differences between the dose or intensity of the exercise regimen and reductions in liver fat or VAT (p >0.05).


The study found no difference in efficacy of liver fat reduction by either aerobic exercise dose or intensity. All of the aerobic exercise regimens employed reduced liver fat and VAT by a small amount without clinically significant weight loss.
Keyword Physical activity
Abdominal fat
Weight loss
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 22 Sep 2015, 15:21:41 EST by Shelley Keating on behalf of Examinations