People with type 2 diabetes respond differently to exercise

Credit: Samantha Gades / Unsplash

Regular exercise helps prevent and delay the development of type 2 diabetes and its complications.

In a study from Karolinska Institutet and elsewhere, scientists found that activation of the immune system in skeletal muscle during exercise may underlie the difference in how people with type 2 diabetes perceive and respond to exercise.

People with type 2 diabetes typically have a dysregulated inflammatory response in multiple tissues, which is linked to insulin resistance and heart diseases.

In this study, the researchers examined untrained men diagnosed with type 2 diabetes together with healthy volunteers of similar age and body weight.

The volunteers were asked to perform a single bout of exercise on a cycle ergometer. The research team collected blood and skeletal muscle biopsies in which they measured the response to exercise.

The team found a fundamental role for exercise-responsive cytokines, exerkines, on skeletal muscle development and growth in individuals with normal blood sugar tolerance or type 2 diabetes.

They found in people with type 2 diabetes, an acute bout of exercise activates the immune system in a manner that is distinct and enhanced compared to healthy volunteers.

The researchers found that several cytokines, molecules produced by the immune system in response to stress, were produced in the skeletal muscle of individuals with type 2 diabetes.

The effect of those cytokines was tested in cells in culture to determine whether those molecules affect the way skeletal muscle cells react to exercise.

The team says given the health-promoting effects of regular physical exercise on metabolism and skeletal muscle function, the exacerbated inflammatory response in individuals with type 2 diabetes is likely a beneficial response to acute exercise.

Activation of the immune system will likely decrease if exercise is repeated regularly during training regimens.

Reduced inflammation would be beneficial for glucose control and to mitigate the complications associated with type 2 diabetes.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies about a cure for type 2 diabetes, and green tea could help reduce death risk in diabetes.

For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about bone drug that could lower risk of type 2 diabetes, and results showing eating more eggs linked to higher risk of type 2 diabetes.

The study was conducted by Professor Juleen R. Zierath et al and published in the journal Science Advances.

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