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J Sci Med Sport. 2017 Oct;20(10):932-936. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2017.04.006. Epub 2017 Apr 21.

Cardiorespiratory fitness, waist circumference and liver enzyme levels in European adolescents: The HELENA cross-sectional study.

Author information

1
Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU, Spain.
2
Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU, Spain. Electronic address: idoia.labayen@ehu.eus.
3
Department of Physical Education and Sport, School of Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Spain; Department of Biosciences and Nutrition at NOVUM, Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
4
Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zaragoza, Health Research Institute of Aragon (IIS Aragón), Spain.
5
Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Bonn, Germany.
6
Departament of Physiology, Medicine School, University of Granada, Spain.
7
Department of Health and Human Performance, Faculty of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences-INEF, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain.
8
Division of Nutrition and Metabolism, Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of Vienna, Austria.
9
University of Crete School of Medicine, Greece.
10
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University, Greece.
11
Department of Pediatrics, University of Pecs, Hungary.
12
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Spain; Department of Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

(1) To examine whether cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is related to liver enzyme levels independent of waist circumference (WC), and (2) To test whether having a high CRF is associated with an improved liver enzyme profile with a high WC.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional.

METHODS:

CRF (20m-shuttle-run test) and WC were assessed in 811 European adolescents (48.5% males) aged 12.5-17.5 years. Fatty liver biomarkers included fasting serum alanine-aminotransferase (ALT), gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase (GGT) and the aspartate-aminotransferase to ALT (AST/ALT) ratio. Participants were categorized as fit or unfit (CRF below or above 43.8mL/kg/min and 34.6mL/kg/min, for boys and girls, respectively) and as high or non-high WC (sex and age-specific cut-offs).

RESULTS:

CRF was associated with ALT (β=-0.106; p=0.049) and GGT levels (β=-0.225; p<0.001) and AST/ALT ratio (β=0.234; p<0.001), yet these relationships were attenuated after further controlling for WC (all p>0.1). High WC and fit adolescents had lower ALT levels (28±1U/L vs. 23±2U/L, unfit and fit respectively, p=0.018) and higher AST/ALT ratio (0.94±0.04 vs. 1.10±0.06, unfit and fit respectively, p=0.010) than those who were high WC but unfit.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results showed that CRF is not independently associated with liver enzymes, and that WC is a stronger predictor in adolescents. These findings also suggest that high CRF may have specific protective effects on liver enzyme levels in adolescents with high WC. Exercise programs focused on increasing CRF and decreasing abdominal adiposity could be a good alternative in the treatment and prevention of obesity related fatty liver disease in adolescents.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescents; Alanine-aminotransferase; Fitness; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Obesity; Waist circumference

PMID:
28483561
DOI:
10.1016/j.jsams.2017.04.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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