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Exercise helps diabetics - without other lifestyle or diet changes

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
June 25th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A new study maintains that exercise benefits people with type 2 diabetes even if they don't make any other lifestyle or diet changes. Those are the findings of a Dutch research tem that studied 12 diabetics over a six-month period.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic online) - Researchers conducted MRI exams the test subjects with diabetes before and after they did six months of moderate-intensity exercise. All of participants, who were an average age of 46, exercised between three and a half and six hours a week during two endurance and two resistance training sessions.

According to the study published in the online journal Radiology, the six-month exercise program ended with a 12-day walking expedition.

Researchers found no change in the participants' heart function at the end of the exercise program, although significant decreases in the amount of fat in the abdomen, liver and around the heart, all of which have been shown to be associated with increased risk of heart disease.

"In the present study, we observed that the second layer of fat around the heart -- the pericardial fat -- behaved similarly in response to exercise training as intra-abdominal, or visceral fat. The fat content in the liver also decreased substantially after exercise," study senior author Dr. Hildo Lamb, of the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, said in a news release.

Lamb added that these exercise-related fat reductions in the liver are particularly important to people with type 2 diabetes, many of whom are overweight or obese.

"The liver plays a central role in regulating total body fat distribution," Lamb said. "Therefore, reduction of liver fat content and visceral fat volume by physical exercise are very important to reverse the adverse effects of lipid accumulation elsewhere, such as the heart and arterial vessel wall."

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