IHN Database

Exercise prevents glucose intolerance

BILTHOVEN, THE NETHERLANDS. There is considerable evidence that regular, vigorous exercise can help prevent type 2 diabetes. Now Dutch researchers report that activities like gardening and bicycling, when done on a regular basis, can help prevent glucose intolerance, the precursor of diabetes. Their study involved 424 men between the ages of 69 and 89 years who were known to be non-diabetic. Glucose intolerance was diagnosed if the fasting glucose reading was greater than 7 mmol/L (126 mg/dL) or the 2- hour post-load concentration was greater than 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dL).

The researchers found that men who engaged in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every day had a 3 times lower incidence of impaired glucose tolerance than did more sedentary men. This correlation held true even after adjusting for smoking, a family history of diabetes, alcohol intake, body mass index, and dietary factors. Men who had reduced their physical activity level during the 5 years prior to the glucose test had a greater risk of being glucose intolerant than did men who had maintained their level. Bicycling and gardening were the most popular activities among the men. The researchers found no correlation between daily walking and a reduced risk of glucose intolerance, but caution that this could be because relatively few men walked regularly or because their walks were not brisk enough.
Van Dam, Rob M., et al. Physical activity and glucose tolerance in elderly men: the Zutphen Elderly study. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Vol. 34, July 2002, pp. 1132-36

category search
Keyword Search

copyright notice