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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2013, Article ID 309191, 5 pages
Review Article

Exercise for Hepatic Fat Accumulation in Type 2 Diabetic Subjects

Unit of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, University and Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata of Verona, Piazzale Stefani 1, 37126 Verona, Italy

Received 1 July 2013; Accepted 26 July 2013

Academic Editor: Ilias Migdalis

Copyright © 2013 Elisabetta Bacchi and Paolo Moghetti. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Type 2 diabetes is characterized by frequent ectopic fat accumulation in several tissues and organs. In particular, a number of studies showed that these subjects frequently have hepatic fat accumulation, which may play a role in the metabolic abnormalities typical of diabetes and has been also linked to increased risk for cardiovascular disease. In the last decade, the effect of exercise on ectopic fat content of type 2 diabetic patients has raised growing interest. However, there are only a few small randomized controlled trials on this topic. Results from these intervention studies indicate that exercise training, independent of dietary modifications, may reduce hepatic fat content and serum transaminases in these patients, suggesting that exercise per se may be an effective strategy to be combined with the traditional dietary interventions. As regards the different training modalities, there is recent evidence that both aerobic and resistance exercise may equally reduce hepatic fat accumulation in type 2 diabetic subjects. However, information regarding the effect of exercise on liver histology and fat accumulation in other ectopic sites is still very limited.