"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Exercise can reduce the genetic risk of type 2 diabetes

June 22, 2023 – Genetics or lifestyle – which is more essential?

This is certainly one of the everlasting questions in healthcare, but latest scientific findings provide a solution: At least in relation to stopping type 2 diabetes, lifestyle is more essential.

Among 60,000 healthy middle-aged adults, those that exercised essentially the most—no less than 68 minutes a day—were 74% less more likely to develop type 2 diabetes after 7 years than those that were least energetic (those that exercised lower than 5 minutes a day).

This was even true for individuals with a high “genetic risk score” – those that were 2.4 times more more likely to develop the disease attributable to their genes.

But here is the really remarkable result: individuals with a high genetic risk who were essentially the most energetic had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than individuals with a sedentary lifestyle and no genetic risk.

This underscores how effective exercise will be in stopping chronic diseases, said Dr. Melody Ding, lead writer of the study. published this month in British Journal of Sports Medicine.

“The take-home message is that doing something is better than doing nothing, and doing more is even better,” said Ding, an associate professor of public health on the University of Sydney in Australia. “If it's within your power, increase your activity to at least a moderate level.”

Exercise is sweet, more exercise is best

Physical activity is already one of the vital essential strategies for stopping and treating type 2 diabetes. However, little is understood about how well physical activity can offset genetic risk, researchers say.

And while most studies depend on self-reports, this study used fitness trackers to observe the quantity and intensity of physical activity, the researchers say. In theory, meaning they'll more reliably determine what “dose” of exercise is best for stopping diabetes.

But in keeping with the study any Some physical activity—even 5 to 25 minutes a day—may help reduce the chance of diabetes, provided the activity is finished at moderate to vigorous intensity.

The basic mechanism is well understood, Ding said. When your muscles work, they burn glucose (sugar) for energy, removing it out of your bloodstream and thus lowering blood sugar. Exercise also makes your body more sensitive to insulin, she said.

However, recent research also shows that endurance sports similar to cycling and running can improve the function of genes, particularly those relevant to metabolic health.

“When genes adapt to the stimuli they receive through exercise, they function in slightly different ways,” said Mark Chapman, PhD, assistant professor of integrated engineering on the University of San Diego and lead writer of a study To this topic.

For example, genes might deliver more oxygen to muscles or learn to manage blood sugar more efficiently, he said. Over a long time, these gene adaptations could help prevent diabetes and other metabolic diseases. Still, “even a month of training can make a difference,” Chapman said.

How do you recognize should you are training hard enough?

According to the study, moderate to vigorous physical activity is essential to stopping diabetes.

Moderate activity means you'll breathe just a little harder and doubtless sweat just a little. A brisk walk, a motorcycle ride on flat ground, and even gardening and housekeeping will do the trick, so long as you place in just a little more effort or move just a little faster.

Strenuous activities are even harder. You breathe heavily and quickly, begin to sweat, and have trouble saying greater than a number of words without taking a breath. Think Jogging, cycling uphill or moving a sofa up a staircase.

And don’t forget strength training. Research report in sports medicine found that individuals at high genetic risk for diabetes saw large improvements in body fat, blood lipids, and glycemic control after 12 weeks of moderate-intensity resistance training.

If there may be a history of diabetes in your loved ones, you should use that as motivation. That's exactly what Ding does. Several relations on her father's side have type 2 diabetes, and that knowledge motivates her. She goes cycling, swimming, high-intensity interval training, strength training, dancing and yoga.

“Exercising more, at least at a moderate intensity so that you get a little out of breath and sweat a little, is a big part of combating a genetic susceptibility,” she said.