Green tea with exercise may reduce fatty liver disease

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is one of the biggest health problems in the modern society.  Because of the high prevalence of risk factors such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease is forecast to afflict more than 100 million people by 2030.  There are currently no validated therapies for the disease.  However, life and dietary combination may be used to reduce the risk of the disease.  In a study, published recently in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Penn State researchers reported that the combination of green tea extract and exercise may reduce the severity of obesity-related fatty liver disease.

In the Pen State study, the researchers fed four groups of mice a high-fat diet for 16 weeks.   One group was also fed green tea extract.  One group was put on exercise regularly by running on a wheel.  And a third group had the combination treatment of both green tea extract and exercise.  The researchers found that mice that were treated with green tea extract alone or exercise alone had roughly half as much fat in their livers as the control group.  The combination group has just a quarter of the lipid deposits in their livers compared to those seen in the livers of a control group of mice. 

Through further study, the Penn State researchers noted that the mice that consumed green tea extract and exercised processed nutrients differently and their bodies handled food differently by reducing the absorption of fat and protein.  The researchers hypothesized that the polyphenols in green tea interact with digestive enzymes secreted in the small intestine and partially inhibit the breakdown of carbohydrates, fat and protein in food.   It is also noted that mice treated with both green tea extract and exercise had higher expression of genes related to the formation of new mitochondria, energy metabolism and energy utilization, suggesting the increased energy utilization.

In previous related research, the same Penn State group has demonstrated that green tea extract and exercise together sharply reduced body mass and improved cardiovascular health of high-fat-fed mice. 

The benefits of green tea and exercise are well known and established.  This new study just provided one more reason for you to drink your tea and get your 10,000 steps in.

Thanks for reading.Journal Reference:  Weslie Y. Khoo, Benjamin J. Chrisfield, Sudathip Sae-tan, Joshua D. Lambert. Mitigation of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in high-fat-fed mice by the combination of decaffeinated green tea extract and voluntary exerciseThe Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 2020; 76: 108262 DOI: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2019.108262