A whopping 80% of all obese adults also suffer from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
While it might be easy to tell them to get off the couch and exercise, a new study published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology reports that it’s not as easy as it sounds.
If you are obese and sick of hearing that you need to exercise to lose weight, you might be in good company.
You might even have a legitimate excuse not to work out!
… you are too tired!
OK, so it’s not usually a great excuse, but according to a research team from Western Australia’s Edith Cowan University, your tiredness may be caused by your being deficient in this one mineral, which is available in many common foods as well as supplements.
The team looked at previous research that showed people with an iron deficiency were physically less capable of exercising than people with enough iron. Iron is essential for many reasons—in this case, it helps convert food to energy.
The scientists wondered whether this could explain the exhaustion reported by obese people and those with fatty liver disease when they exercised as instructed by doctors.
They collected information regarding physical work capacity, fatty livers, iron bioavailability, and other metabolic measurements from 390 female and 458 male subjects.
Consistent with their hypothesis, they found that their subjects had enough iron but that the bodies of those with fatty liver disease simply could not use this iron to help with energy production because it never reached their bloodstreams in sufficient amounts. The adolescents with healthy livers had no such problem.
They concluded that nonalcoholic fatty liver disease impedes our bodies’ ability to make this iron available.
This scientific explanation doesn’t give people with fatty liver disease even more of an excuse to stay in and not exercise. Regardless of their tiredness, they should still try to be more active and eat healthy diets to combat liver disease.