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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Aerobic exercise increases peripheral and hepatic insulin sensitivity in sedentary adolescents

item Van Der Heijden, Gert Jan
item Manesso, Erica
item Toffolo, Gianna
item Sauer, Pieter J
item Sunehag, Agneta

Submitted to: Acta Paediatrica
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2009
Publication Date: 10/9/2009
Citation: Van Der Heijden, G.J., Manesso, E., Toffolo, G.M., Sauer, P.J.J., Sunehag, A.L. 2009. Aerobic exercise increases peripheral and hepatic insulin sensitivity in sedentary adolescent [abstract]. Acta Paediatrica. 98:61-62(Suppl.460).

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The increasing prevalence of obesity and its consequences is a serious public health concern. The present study was undertaken to determine whether a controlled aerobic exercise program (without weight loss) improves insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism in sedentary adolescents. Twenty nine post-pubertal adolescents (14 lean: 15.3 +/- 0.3 y; 20.6 +/- 0.8 kg/m2; 18.9 +/- 1.5% body fat and 15 obese: 15.6 +/- 0.4 y; 33.2 +/- 0.9 kg/m2; 38.4 +/- 1.4% body fat) (mean +/- SE), completed a 12 week aerobic exercise program (30 min • 4/week at 80% of VO2 peak). At baseline and completion of the program, peripheral insulin sensitivity was measured by stable labeled IV glucose tolerance test and hepatic insulin sensitivity by Hepatic Insulin Sensitivity Index = 1000/ (GPR*fasting insulin). Glucose Production Rate (GPR), gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis were quantified by GCMS. Body weight was unchanged after exercise. Both lean and obese subjects attended 90% of the exercise sessions resulting in a 14% increase in fitness; all subjects were normoglycemic. Peripheral and hepatic insulin sensitivity was higher in lean than obese subjects, while GPR, gluconeogenesis, and glycogenolysis were equal. Peripheral insulin sensitivity increased by 34 +/- 14% (P < 0.05) (lean) and 59 +/- 19% (P < 0.05) (obese), and hepatic insulin sensitivity by 19 +/- 7% (lean) (P < 0.05), and 23 +/- 5% (obese) (P < 0.01). GPR decreased slightly 3 +/- 1% (lean) (P < 0.05) and 4 +/- 1% (obese) (P < 0.01). An aerobic exercise program without weight loss that was well accepted by lean and obese sedentary adolescents is a promising strategy to improve peripheral and hepatic insulin sensitivity. The small decrease in GPR is probably of limited clinical relevance.

Last Modified: 06/23/2017
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