Resistance training added to aerobic training significantly improved glucose disposal in postmenopausal obese type 2 diabetics.
According to the results of a randomized trial published in the November issue of Diabetes Care, "Exercise training may improve insulin action via changes in regional adipose tissue deposition, a recognized predictor of risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease," write Darcye J. Cuff, MSC, from St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and colleagues. "Currently, there is insufficient evidence to determine whether regularly performed exercise is associated with preferential reductions in abdominal adipose tissue, from either subcutaneous or visceral components. It is also unclear how aerobic or resistance training affects intramuscular lipid accumulation."
For 16 weeks, 28 obese postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes were randomized to receive no training, only aerobic training, or aerobic plus resistance training. Before and after treatment, the investigators measured glucose disposal by hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp and computed tomography scans of abdominal adipose tissue and mid-thigh skeletal muscle.
Although both training groups had reduced abdominal subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue and increased muscle density, the combined training group had a significantly greater increase in muscle density than did the group receiving only aerobic training. The combined training group was also the only group in which glucose infusion rates increased significantly (P < .05).
Improved glucose disposal was independently associated with changes in subcutaneous or visceral adipose tissue. Even after controlling for abdominal adipose tissue, muscle density was also correlated with glucose disposal.
"Adding resistance training to aerobic training enhanced glucose disposal in postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes," the authors write. "The improved insulin sensitivity is related to loss of abdominal subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue and to increased muscle density." The Heart and Stroke Foundation of British Columbia and the Yukon supported this study. Diabetes Care. 2003;26:2977-2982
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