Exercise is one of the mainstays of diabetes treatment. Recent research shows that the higher the level of fitness, the lower the risk of an individual developing diabetes.
Exercise is one of the mainstays of diabetes treatment. Recent research shows that the higher the level of fitness, the lower the risk of an individual developing diabetes. A combination of exercise with vitamin D supplementation also appears to be more effective than either intervention alone for elderly women with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) who are vitamin D deficient. A systematic review suggests that exercise also helps to prevent the development of gestational diabetes.
Higher Fitness is Associated with Lower Diabetes Risk.Higher cardiorespiratory fitness has been associated with a lower risk of diabetes.Researchers used a treadmill stress test to examine the association of fitness with incident diabetes in nearly 47,000 demographically diverse patients without diabetes at baseline.During a median follow-up period of more than 5 years, the researchers noted more than 6,800 new diabetes cases.
More than 50% Lowering of Diabetes Risk with High Activity.After adjustment, patients who achieved 12 or more METs (the equivalent of heavy jogging) had a 54% lower risk of incident diabetes compared with patients who achieved less than 6 METs (the equivalent of low to moderate activity).This relationship was preserved across such variables as age, sex, race, obesity, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia.
Higher Fitness Levels Help Overcome Demographic Characteristics to Lower Diabetes Risk. The researchers conclude that higher fitness lowers the risk of incident diabetes, regardless of demographic characteristics and baseline risk factors.More studies are needed to examine the association between change in fitness over time and incident diabetes.Reference: Juraschek SP, et al. Cardiorespiratory fitness and incident diabetes: The FIT (Henry Ford Exercise Testing) Project. Diabetes Care. 2015 Jun;38(6):1075-1081. Abstract here.
Additive Effects of Vitamin D Supplementation and Circuit Training on Insulin Resistance. A combination of physical activity and vitamin D supplementation may help reduce abdominal fat, normalize lipid levels, and improve insulin resistance among those with type 2 DM who are deficient in vitamin D.These researchers randomly assigned 53 elderly women with DM who were deficient in vitamin D to either vitamin D supplementation 1,200 IU per day for 12 weeks, circuit training 3 to 4 times per week (25 to 40 minutes per session) for 12 weeks, or a combination of vitamin D and circuit training.A control group maintained normal activities.
Circuit Training Plus Vitamin D Supplements Improve Diabetes Indices.Circuit training significantly decreased body weight, fat mass, percent body fat, and BMI.Circuit training also led to improvements in levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol, and low-density- lipoprotein cholesterol.The combination of circuit training and vitamin D supplementation tended to lower levels of fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and HOMA-IR.
Vitamin D Supplementation Complements Exercise.Vitamin D intake combined with exercise training led to improvements in body composition, abdominal fat, blood lipid, and insulin resistance index that were greater than either intervention alone.The researchers conclude that vitamin D supplementation was an effective complement to exercise training.Reference: Kim H-J, et al. Effects of vitamin D supplementation and circuit training on indices of obesity and insulin resistance in T2D and vitamin D deficient elderly women. J Exerc Nutrition Biochem. 2014 Sep; 18(3): 249-257. Abstract here.
Effects of Exercise on Gestational Diabetes.Daily physical activity can influence pregnancy-related physiological changes of pregnant women, including the development of gestational diabetes.Researchers conducted a systematic review of 13 randomized controlled trials including nearly 2,900 pregnant women to examine the ability of physical exercise during pregnancy to prevent gestational DM and excessive maternal weight gain.
Exercise Reduces the Risk of Gestational Diabetes.Physical exercise programs during pregnancy decreased the risk of gestational DM by 36%, particularly when the exercise program was performed throughout pregnancy.Maternal weight gain also decreased with physical activity.
Structured Exercise is Safe for Mother and Child.The researchers concluded that structured moderate physical exercise programs during pregnancy decrease the risk of gestational DM and diminish maternal weight gain.Exercise programs are safe for the mother and the child.Reference: Sanabria-MartÃnez G, et al. Effectiveness of physical activity interventions on preventing gestational diabetes mellitus and excessive maternal weight gain: a meta-analysis.Published online 5 June 2015. Abstract here.
Take-home Messages:Higher fitness levels can reduce diabetes risk by more than 50%.12 weeks of vitamin D supplementation and circuit training have positive effects on abdominal fat and blood lipid profiles in elderly women with type 2 DM who are deficient in vitamin D.Exercise programs decrease the risk of gestational DM and excessive weight gain.