Jul 31, 2011 12:22 AM GMT
A new study by medical researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles suggests that increasing muscle mass may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
The research used survey data from over 13,000 people in order to find the relationship between a person’s muscle mass and their degree of insulin resistance, the cause of type 2 diabetes. They found that a 10 percent increase in a person’s muscle mass was associated with a 11 percent reduction in that person’s resistance to insulin.
The scientists were quick to point out that this relationship, although important, may not necessarily be causal in nature. Although doctors have long known about the relationship between high body fat and diabetes, the effect of muscles was much less understood. However, such a result would be expected given the importance of exercise and low body fat in minimizing the risk of type 2 diabetes in people.
Approximately 25 million people in the United States have diabetes. In addition, nearly 80 million Americans are pre-diabetic and are at significant risk of become fully diabetic in the future. Researchers hope that people can use this information in order to help significantly reduce those numbers in the future.