Pumping Iron May Ward Off Type 2 Diabetes

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According to a recent UCLA study, boosting muscle mass may help reduce the risk of insulin resistance and developing Type 2 diabetes.

A study conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles showed an association between muscle mass and minimizing insulin resistance which can lead to Type 2 diabetes. Pumping iron and resistance training could help people ward off this disease.

My Health News Daily reports UCLA study researcher Dr. Preethi Srikanthan said, “This research suggests a role for maintaining fitness and building muscle. This is a welcome message for many overweight patients who experience difficulty in achieving weight loss, as any effort to get moving and keep fit should be seen as laudable and contributing to metabolic change.”

A key to warding off Type 2 diabetes is remaining physically active. The study examined a sampling of 13,644 people over 20 years old. Subjects with a higher muscle mass in accordance with their body size were more sensitive to insulin with a lower risk of diabetes or pre-diabetes. Previous studies showed a low muscle mass could be a risk factor for insulin resistance.

The UCLA study indicates losing weight is not the only way to ward off pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes. Building muscle also has an impact on insulin resistance. As obesity increases across the globe, diabetes and related cardiovascular complications are expected to rise. The study will appear in the September issue of the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Srikanthan continued, “Our research shows that beyond monitoring changes in waist circumference or BMI, we should also be monitoring muscle mass. Further research is needed to determine the nature and duration of exercise interventions required to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism in at-risk individuals.”

When the body cells cannot properly intake insulin, the metabolic disorder of insulin resistance occurs. The pancreas produces insulin to help the body get energy from blood glucose from digested food. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease and insulin resistance is a factor in developing it.

Genetics, being overweight and a lack of exercise can contribute toward the development of insulin resistance. A lack of sleep may also contribute toward insulin resistance. Glucose levels become higher than normal which can lead to Type 2 diabetes and heart problems. Blood tests are done to determine pre-diabetes. A fasting glucose test Is done to test for both pre-diabetes and diabetes.

Risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes include overweight or obesity, lack of exercise and physical activity, a family history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and low levels of good cholesterol. Women who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy and people over 45 are also at risk and should be tested.

Proper nutrition, minimal weight loss and physical activity helps to halt insulin resistance and ward off pre-diabetes. Metformin is an FDA-approved drug used for diabetes prevention in high risk people under 60.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), several health complications can arise in diabetes patients with insulin resistance. Patients are at risk to develop heart disease, stroke, bladder problems in women, nerve damage, retinopathy, erectile dysfunction, hypoglycemia, kidney disease or failure, urologic problems, stomach nerve damage and assorted problems with the feet.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

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