Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Metformin and exercise combination less effective for glucose control

Date:
August 22, 2011
Source:
University of Alberta - Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation
Summary:
Researchers looking at the effects of metformin and exercise in Type 2 diabetes patients found that a combination of these modalities didn't lower glucose control as much as hoped. Surprisingly, study participants showed better glucose control when sedentary. Researchers think that because metformin and exercise both act to lower glucose levels, the combination may have triggered a counter regulatory response by the body to prevent glucose levels dipping too much.

It's common enough for researchers to look at the impacts of prescribed drugs on the body. And if you're a diabetes researcher who believes that exercise has great benefits for those with type 2 diabetes, you're hoping your research will show that. But when Normand Boulé looked at the dual impacts of exercise and metformin -- two of the most commonly-prescribed modalities for glucose control -- on that very outcome, the hoped-for double whammy wasn't the result.

Related Articles


"The study had three objectives: we wanted to look at the effect of metformin on exercise in people with type 2 diabetes, examine the effect of exercise on metformin concentrations in the body, and finally to look at the effects of metformin and exercise on glucose control, which is essential for people with diabetes," says Boulé, whose study -- a randomized, double-blind, crossover study -- involved a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from five faculties at the U of A.

Ten men and women between 30 and 65 with type 2 diabetes, but not taking glucose-lowering medication or insulin for their condition were recruited into the study. Participants were randomly assigned to take metformin or a placebo for the first 28 days of the study, then crossed over so those taking the placebo received metformin and vice versa for a second 28 day period. On days 27 and 28, participants spent six hours in the exercise physiology lab and performed different tests, including approximately 40 minutes of exercise on day 28.

"Metformin reduces glucose in the blood and many believe it does so by activating exercise-like pathways," explains Boulé. "As expected, in our study metformin lowered the blood glucose concentrations measured during a two-hour period after lunch. But we found that on the non-exercise day metformin led to better glucose control after lunch than on the day our participants took metformin and exercised."

Boulé thinks that because both metformin and exercise act to lower glucose levels, the combination may have triggered a counter regulatory response by the body to prevent glucose levels dipping too much. "During exercise, glucagon concentrations increased in the blood (a hormone secreted by the pancreas that raises glucose levels) but when we combined exercise and metformin the glucagon levels were almost twice as elevated."

He also said that the combination of metformin and exercise is not always worse than metformin alone. The findings of their study was likely impacted by the timing of meals relative to the exercise session participants underwent and that the intensity of exercise may have had an impact as well, including the fact that these levels were measured after a single bout of exercise as opposed to regular daily exercise.

In terms of the other foci of the study Boulé says the data for the impacts of metformin on exercise were consistent with previous studies looking at this: participants showed slightly increased lactate levels, and increased use of fats as an energy source during exercise. However, he believes his study was the first to document a significantly increased heart rate when performing aerobic exercise of various intensities with metformin (six beats per minute on average). "However, all participants were able to complete the exercise portion in both metformin and placebo conditions," he says.

"Also surprising is that throughout the day that they exercised, metformin concentrations were higher than on the day that they didn't," says Boulé. The reasons for this are not well understood.

Boulé says despite these findings, "exercise has hundreds of benefits" and should still be an important part of a healthy approach to glucose control for those with diabetes, including those taking metformin.

"What we've learned is that the relationship between exercise and metformin is complex, and this opens the door for more research to examine how different treatments work together, especially because exercise is widely prescribed for people with diabetes and metformin is often the first line drug of choice for treating type 2 diabetes."

This study was funded by the Alberta Diabetes Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta - Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation. The original article was written by Jane Hurly. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. N. G. Boule, C. Robert, G. J. Bell, S. T. Johnson, R. C. Bell, R. Z. Lewanczuk, R. Q. Gabr, D. R. Brocks. Metformin and Exercise in Type 2 Diabetes: Examining treatment modality interactions. Diabetes Care, 2011; 34 (7): 1469 DOI: 10.2337/dc10-2207

Cite This Page:

University of Alberta - Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation. "Metformin and exercise combination less effective for glucose control." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110819131523.htm>.
University of Alberta - Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation. (2011, August 22). Metformin and exercise combination less effective for glucose control. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110819131523.htm
University of Alberta - Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation. "Metformin and exercise combination less effective for glucose control." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110819131523.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
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