Exercise without Diet Still Benefits Type 2 Diabetics

Scientific American

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People with type 2 diabetes also face an increased risk for heart disease. And obesity is a big factor for both conditions. So looking out for heart health and weight is especially important. Now a preliminary study suggests that regular exercise—even without a change in diet—might be a big help.



Researchers did MRI body scans on 12 adults with type 2 diabetes. The images revealed fat buildups in and around critical organs, including the heart and liver. The participants then exercised regularly for between three-and-a-half and six hours a week for six months. And did a hiking trip. Followed up by another MRI scan. Which showed an impressive difference: fat around the subjects’ hearts decreased by 37 percent. Liver and abdominal fat were down, too. The findings are in the journal Radiology. [Jacqueline Jonker et al., Exercise and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Changes in tissue-specific fat distribution and cardiac function]



The study provides visual evidence behind the observations that exercise reduces the risk of heart disease and improves metabolic function in diabetics. Even before the patients get the further benefits of a good diet.



—Katherine Harmon



[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]




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