Researchers at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, call for studies to be conducted to see if exercise can stop the onset of type 1 diabetes.
Preserving beta-cells
In a paper published in Diabetologia, Dr Parth Narendam (Institute of Biomedical Research, University of Birmingham) and colleagues argued these trials could benefit the millions with type 1 diabetes across the world.
Their conclusion was drawn from an examination of 706 articles sourced from the Cochrane Library and MEDLINE between 2009 and 2014.
They all looked at how pancreatic beta-cell preservation is affected by exercise in healthy adults and those with type 2 diabetes.
They found there was evidence to suggest exercise can preserve beta-cell function, with type 1 diabetes characterised by the destruction of these cells.
Among their evidence included the STRRIDE study from Swede, in which middle-aged, overweight people who exercised had improved beta-cell function.
Future type 1 diabetes studies
The researchers are currently conducting a preliminary pilot study of exercise in patients with type 1 diabetes, with Narendam, co-author of the paper, stating: “Significant beta-cell function is usually still present at the time of diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, and preservation of this function has important clinical benefits.
“We hope we and others will be able to move forward to design and conduct large scale trials of exercise to preserve beta-cell function in new onset type 1 diabetes,” Narendam added.

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