NMU 292 – Regular Moderate-Vigorous Exercise Reduces Type 2 Diabetes Risk by 74%, Even in Genetically Prone Individuals
Nutrition/Natural Medicine Update No 292 (June 14, 2023)
with Dr. James Meschino
Topic: Regular Moderate-Vigorous Exercise Reduces Type 2 Diabetes Risk by 74%, Even in Genetically Prone Individuals
Source: British Journal of Sports Medicine (2023)
We all know that exercise is good preventive medicine, but the study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2023 by M. Luo et, is extremely insightful in this regard. The study followed data from 59,325 adults, who were part of the UK Biobank study, asking them to wear a device called an accelerometer to track their physical activity over a 7-year period. The results showed that compared to individual who did less than 5 minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, individuals who engaged in more than one hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day, on average, had a 74% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This held true even for individuals with high genetic risk for type 2 diabetes, who normally have a 2.4 times greater risk for developing this disease.
One of the researchers commented, “We are unable to control our genetic risk and family history, but this finding provides promising and positive news that through an active lifestyle, one can ‘fight off’ much of the excessive risk for type 2 diabetes.” The researchers state that examples of vigorous-intensity physical activity include running, aerobic dancing, cycling uphill or at a fast pace and heavy gardening such as digging – all activities that make you feel a bit out of breath or cause you to breathe heavily.
How does moderate-to-vigorous exercise help prevent diabetes?
This type of activity induces a number of favourable physiological effects in the body that are shown to help prevent and better manage diabetes, such as:
Improving insulin sensitivity to help to clear more sugar (glucose) from the blood stream.
Enhancing fat-burning to help prevent weight-gain-associated insulin resistance.
Activating Sirtuin longevity genes in our cells, which act as epigenetic switches on other genes that help prevent diabetes and enhance cardiometabolic health.
The bottom line is that our genes are not necessarily our destiny. It’s easy to blame our genes for some of the health problems we encounter, but studies such as this one remind us that positive dietary and lifestyle practices can in many cases modulate our gene expression to a significant degree and shift our physiology towards better overall health outcomes as well as better and prolonged quality of life.
I have included the reference for this research paper in the text below.
Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time.
Luo M et al. Accelerometer-measured intensity-specific physical activity, genetic risk and incident type 2 diabetes: A prospective study. Br J Sports Med. (2023) Accelerometer-measured intensity-specific physical activity, genetic risk and incident type 2 diabetes: a prospective cohort study | British Journal of Sports Medicine (bmj.com)
Exercise Mitigates Genetic Risk for Type 2 Diabetes. NeuroscienceNews.com (June 5, 2023) Exercise Mitigates Genetic Risk for Type 2 Diabetes – Neuroscience News
Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,