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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Aug;28(8):1064-71.

Effects of introducing physical training in the course of a 16-week high-fat diet regimen on hepatic steatosis, adipose tissue fat accumulation, and plasma lipid profile.

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Département de Kinésiologie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada.



We recently reported that an 8-week high-fat diet-induced hepatic steatosis was completely prevented if an exercise training programme was introduced and pursued concurrently with the diet. The purpose of the present study was to determine the extent to which introducing exercise training at mid-point in the course of a 16-week high-fat diet regimen contributes to the reversal of liver lipid infiltration and the reduction of blood lipid profile deterioration and body fat accumulation.


Two groups of rats were fed a high-fat diet (42% kcal) for 16 weeks, one remaining sedentary during this entire period (HF-Sed) and the other being exercise trained for the last 8 weeks (HF-Tr). A third group was fed a standard diet and remained sedentary for all 16 weeks (SD-Sed). Training (5 days/week for 8 weeks) began 8 weeks after introducing the high-fat diet and consisted of treadmill running that was progressively increased to reach 60 min at 26 m/min, 10% grade, for the last 4 weeks.


Various parameters including liver lipid infiltration, fat depots and blood lipids.


Unexpectedly, liver lipid infiltration was not significantly higher in HF-Sed than in SD-Sed rats (means+/-s.e.: 14.9+/-1.7 vs 12.3+/-0.4 mg/g; P>0.05). High-fat compared to age-matched standard fed rats also showed an absence of difference (P>0.05) in the weight of total visceral fat pads (13%), plasma nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA), and leptin concentrations, but depicted significantly (P<0.01) higher values for subcutaneous fat pad weight and plasma triacyglycerol. Exercise training largely decreased visceral and subcutaneous fat accumulation by 30 and 26%, respectively (P<0.01) as well as NEFA, triacylglycerol, and leptin concentrations (P<0.01).


Liver lipid infiltration does not seem to progress linearly over 16 weeks of high-fat feeding in light of what has previously been observed after 8 weeks of high-fat feeding. Introducing a training programme in the course of a 16-week high-fat diet protocol reduced adiposity, plasma NEFA, and leptin concentrations below the levels observed in standard fed rats. These data indicate that, exercise training, whether conducted concurrently or introduced during the course of a high-fat diet, is an asset to reduce the deleterious effects of a high-fat diet.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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