More Muscle Means Healthier Blood Sugar Levels

Muscle Reduces Insulin Resistance of Prediabetes.

pre diabetes exercise for muscle mass A study published July 2011 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism looked at whether there was a correlation between higher levels of muscle mass and lower levels of insulin resistance leading to healthier blood sugar levels and possible avoidance of full-blown type 2 diabetes. Regular readers of this site know that your body composition affects your metabolism.

The researchers in this current study analyzed data from 13,644 adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III (NHANES III).

They measured:
1.levels of insulin resistance (via HOMA-IR)
2. blood glycosylated hemoglobin level (HbA1c)
3. prevalence of prediabetes
4. prevalence of overt diabetes

They controlled for age, race and other factors.  They found a direct correlation between muscle mass and decreased insulin resistance leading to healthier blood sugar levels than people with less muscle mass.  And for every 10% increase in a measure of how much muscle was present relative to total body weight — a skeletal muscle index – there was an 11% reduction in insulin resistance and a 12% decrease in pre-diabetes.

In observational studies like this, one always has to think about other factors that might  be at play. For example are those people with more muscle mass engaged in other diet, exercise or lifestyle factors that could also be beneficial. Nevertheless, for many people it is important to not only lose weight, but to improve your overall body composition.

Bottom line: don’t just think about losing fat as effective weight management; also think about your overall body composition and the amount of muscle mass that is making up your body shape. Do not ignore the importance of improvements in muscle mass in addition to decreases in body fat. Muscle regulates and adjusts metabolism.

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About Robert Creighton

Dr. Creighton is a podiatrist and foot surgeon with over 26 years in podiatric practice treating thousands of patients afflicted with the physiological, physical, and psychological side effects and complications of diabetes and pre-diabetes metabolic syndrome. He believes these disorders present a pressing public health concern that need to be more actively addressed in a multidisciplinary way. Dr. Creighton graduated from what is now the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine after receiving his undergraduate degree in Biology. He is certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery, a member of the American Public Health Association, an American College of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and a Member of the American Nutrition Association.

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