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Exercise can help control blood glucose, and trim waist size and body fat in diabetics regardless of fitness gains

Date:
June 17, 2015
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
Diabetics who exercise can trim waist size and body fat, and control blood glucose, even if they don’t see cardiorespiratory benefits, new research shows. Researchers found that waist circumference, percentage of body fat, and hemoglobin A1c levels ? a test of long-term blood sugar ? all improved in diabetic participants who exercised compared to those who did not.
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Diabetics who exercise can trim waist size and body fat, and control blood glucose, even if they don't see cardiorespiratory benefits, new research by UT Southwestern Medical Center cardiologists shows.

Researchers found that waist circumference, percentage of body fat, and hemoglobin A1c levels − a test of long-term blood sugar − all improved in diabetic participants who exercised compared to those who did not. And the beneficial effects of exercise were seen whether they participated in aerobics, resistance training, or a combination of the two compared to a control group that did not exercise.

"What we observed is that exercise improves diabetes control regardless of improvement in exercise capacity," said Dr. Jarett Berry, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Clinical Sciences at UT Southwestern, and co-senior author of the study.

Following an exercise training program generally improves fitness. Researchers typically measure fitness by the ability of the respiratory system to exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen. The more you train, the better your ability to take in oxygen.

But a sub-group of exercisers, considered non-responders, are unable to improve their cardiorespiratory fitness levels despite diligent exercise, explained Dr. Ambarish Pandey, a cardiology fellow at UT Southwestern and first author on the study appearing in Diabetes Care. About 30 percent of exercisers are considered non-responders.

Using data from the Health Benefits of Aerobic and Resistance Training in Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes (HART-D) trial, researchers looked at whether non-responders who exercised saw improvements in their diabetes control.

"We were interested in the relationship between the change in cardiorespiratory fitness, or exercise capacity, and change in metabolic parameters," said Dr. Berry, a preventive cardiologist and Dedman Family Scholar in Clinical Care.

Researchers divided people into four groups:

• Controls, who did not exercise;

• Individuals who did aerobic exercise;

• Individuals who did resistance training;

• Individuals who did a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training.

The UT Southwestern data analysis found that hemoglobin A1c, waist circumference, and percentage of body fat all improved in the groups that exercised, regardless of whether the participants improved their cardiorespiratory fitness. This outcome was true even for those participants who were fitness non-responders − those whose ability to take in oxygen did not improve.

"This finding suggests that our definition of 'non-responder' is too narrow. We need to broaden our understanding of what it means to respond to exercise training," Dr. Berry said.

The study proposes that exercise-training programs for people with Type 2 diabetes should measure improvements in glycemic control, waist circumference, and percentage of body fat.


Story Source:

Materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ambarish Pandey, Damon L. Swift, Darren K. McGuire, Colby R. Ayers, Ian J. Neeland, Steven N. Blair, Neil Johannsen, Conrad P. Earnest, Jarett D. Berry, and Timothy S. Church. Metabolic Effects of Exercise Training Among Fitness Nonresponsive Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: The HART-D Study. Diabetes Care, June 2015 DOI: 10.2337/dc14-2378

Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Exercise can help control blood glucose, and trim waist size and body fat in diabetics regardless of fitness gains." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150617104105.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2015, June 17). Exercise can help control blood glucose, and trim waist size and body fat in diabetics regardless of fitness gains. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150617104105.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Exercise can help control blood glucose, and trim waist size and body fat in diabetics regardless of fitness gains." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150617104105.htm (accessed May 26, 2017).

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