Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Even Modest Exercise Can Reduce Negative Effects Of Belly Fat

Date:
April 25, 2009
Source:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
A new study suggests that moderate amounts of exercise alone can reduce the inflammation in visceral fat -- belly fat, if you will -- that has been linked with metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that predict heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

A new University of Illinois study suggests that moderate amounts of exercise alone can reduce the inflammation in visceral fat—belly fat, if you will—that has been linked with metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that predict heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

"In the study, the benefits of exercise were apparent, even without a change in diet. We saw improvements in insulin sensitivity, less fat in the liver, and less inflammation in belly fat," said Jeffrey Woods, a U of I professor of kinesiology and community health and faculty member in the U of I Division of Nutritional Sciences and the Integrative Immunology and Behavior Program.

Belly fat is particularly dangerous because it produces inflammatory molecules that enter the bloodstream and increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes, he said.

"Scientists now know that obesity is associated with a low-grade systemic inflammation. Obese people have higher levels of circulating inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein (CRP), which are produced and secreted by fat tissue. This inflammation then triggers the systemic diseases linked with metabolic syndrome, such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease," he said.

In the study, Woods and his colleagues examined the effects of diet and exercise on the inflammation of visceral fat tissue in mice. A high-fat diet was first used to induce obesity in the animals. After 6 weeks, mice were assigned to either a sedentary group, an exercise group, a low-fat diet group, or a group that combined a low-fat diet with exercise for 6 or 12 weeks so the scientists could compare the effects in both the short and long term.

"The surprise was that the combination of diet and exercise didn't yield dramatically different and better results than diet or exercise alone," said Vicki Vieira, the lead author of the study.

"Unexpectedly, the only significant increase from 6 to 12 weeks in belly fat—the type of fat that triggers these inflammatory diseases--was in the mice who were sedentary, which suggests that exercise is an effective behavioral approach to reduce the accumulation of visceral fat even when fat in the diet is high," she said.

Woods says that is a promising finding. "The benefits of exercise were apparent even if the animals were still eating a high-fat diet. That tells me that exercise could decrease or prevent these life-threatening diseases by reducing inflammation even when obesity is still present."

"The good news is that this was a very modest exercise program. The mice ran on a treadmill only about one-fourth of a mile five days a week. For humans, that would probably translate into walking 30 to 45 minutes a day five days a week," he noted.

"Even if you struggle with dieting, we believe you can still reduce the likelihood of developing obesity-related inflammatory diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, by adding a modest amount of exercise to your life," said Woods.

These results were reinforced by the scientists' study of sedentary older adults published in a recent issue of Brain, Behavior and Immunity (BBI).

In that 10-month study, one group of sedentary older adults participated in three 45- to 60-minute cardiovascular exercise sessions per week, while another group focused on exercises to improve non-cardiovascular flexibility and balance for 75 minutes twice a week.

"At the end of the study, the 'cardio' group had lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), less belly fat, and improved general fitness than the 'flex' group," said Ph.D. candidate Vieira.

"The lower CRP levels were partially mediated by the reduction in trunk fat," she explained.

The mouse study was published in the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism. Co-authors are V.J. Vieira, R.J. Valentine, K. Wilund, N. Antao, T. Baynard, and J.A. Woods, all of the University of Illinois. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American College of Sports Medicine.

Co-authors of the BBI study are V.J. Vieira, L. Hu, R.J. Valentine, E. McAuley, E.M. Evans, T. Baynard, and J.A. Woods of the University of Illinois. Funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Even Modest Exercise Can Reduce Negative Effects Of Belly Fat." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090423154237.htm>.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2009, April 25). Even Modest Exercise Can Reduce Negative Effects Of Belly Fat. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090423154237.htm
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Even Modest Exercise Can Reduce Negative Effects Of Belly Fat." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090423154237.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins