LONDON: A study has found that hyperglycemia makes it more difficult for diabetics to increase their aerobic capacity.
Regular aerobic exercise provides various health benefits, which heighten as a person increases their aerobic capacity. Doctors recommend this form of exercise to help control diabetes, but people with diabetes often have trouble improving this capacity.
Hyperglycemia, or higher-than-normal levels of blood sugar, may prevent people from increasing their aerobic capacity and gaining the health benefits that this type of exercise can provide.
The researchers have observed this diminished effect of aerobic exercise in humans with chronic hyperglycemia when blood sugar levels are within the prediabetes range, as well as in mouse models.
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The researchers saw that individuals with impaired glucose intolerance in which blood sugar levels rise with the consumption of glucose had the least increases in aerobic capacity.
This was, at least in part, due to the malfunction of the JNK pathway. “Looking at how their muscles responded to a single bout of typical aerobic exercise, we also saw that those with the lowest glucose tolerance had the highest activation of the JNK signaling pathway, which blocks aerobic adaptations,” says Prof. Lessard.