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Exercise, Diet Cut Diabetes Risk in Sedentary Men
Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2004
And if these men reduce the amount of calories they consume each day, their diabetes risk drops even further.
Dr. Kay L. Cox, of the University of Western Australia, stated that "taking up regular exercise, improving diet and losing weight are simple ways of preventing diabetes."
For their study, Cox asked 60 nonsmoking, sedentary, overweight 20-to-50-year-old men to either maintain their usual diet or restrict their calorie intake for 16 weeks. The men, all non-diabetics, were also randomly assigned to participate in a vigorous exercise group or light exercise group, for comparison.
Overall, the researchers found that vigorous exercise - intense half-hour-long sessions three times per week - alone lowered glucose levels by 13 percent and insulin levels by 20 percent in response to an oral-glucose-tolerance test.
For this glucose test the researchers measured how much insulin was needed to keep glucose concentrations within a certain desirable range two hours after the men consumed a sugary drink.
Fasting glucose levels were also lower among the vigorous exercisers in comparison to their light-exercising peers, the researchers report.
"The main point of the study is that exercise was able to reduce blood glucose and insulin levels in men with normal levels," Cox said. "This means there is a potential protective effect of regular exercise
to reduce the risk
The vigorous exercisers did not have any great weight loss, however, the researchers note.
Calorie restriction was also effective, the report indicates. Men who restricted their calorie intake not only lost a significant amount
of weight and had a nearly six percent reduction in body fat, but their insulin concentrations were also reduced by 40 percent on the glucose tolerance test.
Further, when calorie restriction was combined with vigorous exercise, the two worked together
to lower insulin levels after the glucose test, the report indicates.
Altogether, the findings show that "even taking up exercise after being sedentary can improve health," Cox said.
She advises that sedentary individuals slowly build up their exercise level from light
to moderately intense. "They should find an activity that they like and that they will keep doing," she said.
"Even if weight is not lost but people exercise regularly they may also gain the benefits in terms
of improving glucose levels," Cox said.
Source: Diabetes In Control.com:
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