Exercise is not the cure all for type II diabetes

Diet is the fundamental most important factor in managing diabetes. 

There is basic truth and smart advice in “diet and exercise beats diabetes” as the research has shown, however exercise alone does not benefit certain type II diabetes patients. 

“Since obesity and lack of physical activity are two key risk factors for type II diabetes, physicians frequently recommend exercise and other lifestyle interventions to prevent or manage the disease. Most people benefit from an exercise regimen, but our research indicates that a significant minority of individuals with type II diabetes do not experience the same improvements in metabolism due to their genes. As a clinical scientist focused on exercise effects on muscle metabolism in diabetes, I have seen first-hand a significant minority of individuals with diabetes not improve their HbA1c after 9 months of supervised exercise. They poured their hearts out on those treadmills 3 to 4 days a week for 9 months and still ended up no better than when they started”
Dr. Lauren Marie Sparks, of Florida Hospital and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, November 2014. 

This new research project has found that: 

  • One out of every five people suffering from type II diabetes does not benefit from exercise
  • Between 15-20% of diabetics did not experience benefits relating to their blood sugar control, insulin sensitivity, or a measurement of fat-burning capabilities 

Study by Stephens NA, Sparks LM “Resistance to the beneficial effects of exercise in type II diabetes: Are some individuals programmed to fail?” as published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2014. 

Posted: Sunday 11 January 2015