Exercise may offer little benefit to some individuals with type 2 diabetes

Up to one in five individuals with type 2 diabetes may not benefit from a supervised exercise regimen when it comes to blood sugar management, according to a new study from the Endocrine Society.

Researchers found that certain factors, like genetic predisposition, could inhibit certain people from experiencing blood sugar improvements despite a healthy routine of physical activity.

According to the study, around 15 to 20 percent of individuals with type 2 diabetes didn't show better blood sugar management, insulin sensitivity or fat-burning capabilities (as measured by muscle mitrochondrial density) during an exercise regimen.

The findings were garnered from data on clinical studies, as well as animal and genetic research on the topic.

Other approaches may be needed

The researchers noted that physicians often default to recommending exercise to prevent or manage type 2 diabetes, yet the study suggests a significant number of people don't see metabolic improvements from physical activity.

"More research is needed to determine which people with or at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes will respond to an exercise program and which will not," said study author Lauren Marie Sparks, PhD, of Florida Hospital and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in Orlando, FL. "Genetic and epigenetic patterns could hold the key to differentiating between the two groups. With that information in hand, we can target specific interventions and treatments to the individuals who will benefit most and identify novel treatment approaches to help those who do not respond to exercise."

The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Source: Endocrine Society

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