Physical activity, sedentary time, and liver enzymes in adolescents: The HELENA study

Jonatan R. Ruiz, Idoia Labayen, Francisco B. Ortega, Luis A. Moreno, Gerardo Rodriguez, Christina Breidenassel, Yannis Manios, Anthony Kafatos, Denes Molnar, Stephaan De Henauw, Frederic Gottrand, Kurt Widhalm, Manuel J. Castillo, Michael Sjöström

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Background:To examine the association between physical activity (PA) and liver enzyme levels in adolescents from nine European countries.Methods:The study comprised 718 adolescents (397 girls). PA was measured by accelerometry and expressed as total PA (counts/min), and time (min/d) engaged in moderate to vigorous intensity PA (MVPA). Time spent sedentary was also objectively measured. We measured serum levels of alanine aspartate aminostrasferase (AST), alanine aminostransferase (ALT), and γ-glutamyltrasnferase (GGT), and the AST/ALT ratio was computed.Results:There was an association between MVPA and AST and AST/ALT (age, sex, and center-adjusted β = 0.096, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.016 to 0.118; and β = 0.090, 95% CI: 0.006 to 0.112, respectively). Meeting the PA recommendations (60 min/d of MVPA) was significantly associated with higher AST and AST/ALT, which persisted after further adjusting for sedentary time and waist circumference. Sedentary time was not associated with any of the studied liver enzyme levels.Conclusion:Meeting the current PA recommendations of 60 min/d of MVPA is associated with higher levels of AST and AST/ALT regardless of time spent sedentary as well as total and central body fat in European adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)798-802
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Ruiz, J. R., Labayen, I., Ortega, F. B., Moreno, L. A., Rodriguez, G., Breidenassel, C., Manios, Y., Kafatos, A., Molnar, D., De Henauw, S., Gottrand, F., Widhalm, K., Castillo, M. J., & Sjöström, M. (2014). Physical activity, sedentary time, and liver enzymes in adolescents: The HELENA study. Pediatric Research, 75(6), 798-802.