Certain genes may prevent regular exercise from improving blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests. These genes may affect up to a fifth of people with type 2 diabetes.
The research does not, however, suggest that exercise has no benefit whatsoever, even for people affected by these genes.
Dr. Maria Pena, director of the Centre for Weight Management at Syosset Hospital, said: “For many years we have been under the impression that exercise helps decrease insulin resistance in muscles.
“However, from clinical experience we are still puzzled by the discrepancies between patients that we see in varying weight loss, exercise, and changes in metabolic profile.”
In other words, Dr. Pena questioned why the same level of exercise in different people yielded radically different results.
Research conducted at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in Orlando, Florida revealed that 15 to 20 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes did not see their blood sugar control, insulin sensitivity, or fat burning improve with exercise.
This research definitely does not encourage people with type 2 diabetes to stop exercising, even if they are frustrated by a lack of results from their increased exercise. While 15 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes do not experience direct metabolic benefits from exercise, the other 85 per cent definitely do.
Even for those patients who see minimal blood sugar control, insulin sensitivity, and fat burning benefits, exercise does have other positive effects. These benefits include reduced risk of peripheral arterial disease and neuropathy, improved cardiovascular (heart) health, and better mental wellbeing, in addition to the numerous benefits of exercise that affect everyone, whether or not they have diabetes.

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