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Featured Profile: Scott Rector

Scott Rector

Could inactivity lead to liver disease? University of Missouri researcher Dr. Scott Rector thinks so.   

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) occurs when excess fat accumulates in the liver. This change disrupts glucose regulation, and it contributes to insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes.  NAFLD is the most common chronic liver condition among U.S. adults.

One focus of Rector’s research is the relationship between physical inactivity and NAFLD. Through a series of studies, Rector and his colleagues have found that, for obese rodents, being physically active is very effective in preventing the development of NAFLD. However, transitioning to an inactive lifestyle rapidly results in negative physiological changes. These changes are associated with the development of NAFLD and Type 2 diabetes.

People might not think past physical appearance when deciding on an exercise regime, but Rector warns that health considerations are more important: “Our studies suggest that physical activity should occur on a daily basis.”

Rector has had numerous peer reviewed publications and has presented at a number of national conferences, including the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. He also has received grants from the National Institute of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs to aid in his research.

Dr. Scott Rector is an associate professor with joint appointments in internal medicine and the interdisciplinary Department of Nutrition & Exercise Physiology which spans the School of Medicine and the Colleges of Human Environmental Sciences and Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

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Related Initiative(s):
One Health/One Medicine