Exercise doesn’t always improve blood sugar in type 2 diabetics

by Barbara Hewitt on November 25, 2014

As many as one in five people with type 2 diabetes do not see any improvement in blood sugar management when they take part in a supervised exercise regime, according to a new scientific review.

Since obesity and lack of physical activity are two key risk factors for type 2 diabetes, health care personnel frequently recommend exercise and other lifestyle changes to prevent or manage the disease.

Runners

As many as 1 in 5 diabetics may not benefit from regular exercise due to their metabolism

While most people do benefit from an exercise regime, the study by a team at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in Orlando, Florida, found that a significant minority of individuals with type 2 diabetes do not experience the same improvements in metabolism due to their genes.

The scientists examined clinical studies where people with Type 2 diabetes participated in exercise regimens, as well as animal and genetic studies on the topic.

The researchers found that around 15% to 20% of people with type 2 diabetes did not see any improvement in their blood sugar control, insulin sensitivity or a measurement of fat burning capabilities, known as muscle mitochondrial density.

Genetic and animal studies indicate this resistance to exercise is encoded in DNA and can be handed down through generations.

‘More research is needed to determine which people with or at risk of developing type 2 diabetes will respond to an exercise programme and which will not,’ said one of the authors Dr. Lauren Marie Sparks.

‘Genetic and epigenetic patterns could hold the key to differentiating between the two groups. With that information in hand, we can target specific interventions and treatments to the individuals who will benefit most and identify novel treatment approaches to help those who do not respond to exercise,’ she explained.

‘With that information in hand, we can target specific interventions and treatments to the individuals who will benefit most and identify novel treatment approaches to help those who do not respond to exercise,’ she added.

UK diabetes specialists agree that more research is needed and a minority of patients should take heart that exercise has plenty of health benefits, regardless of whether it specifically helps manage blood sugar levels.

‘This study shows that more research needs to done on which forms of exercise work best for different groups of people with type 2 diabetes,’ said Tracy Kelly, head of care at leading charity Diabetes UK.

‘What we need to bear in mind is that there are lots of additional benefits to exercising that have not been highlighted here. For example, if people with the condition are overweight and want to lose weight, then combining exercise with a healthy diet can help them achieve this,’ she pointed out.

‘We also know that exercising regularly reduces your risk of heart disease and can also improve your mental wellbeing,’ she added.

 


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: