The More Lean Muscle You Have The Less Diabetes Risk

New findings show the more lean muscle tissue you have, the less risk your have for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM). Findings outlined by US and Chinese scientists provide further insights into how muscles use glucose in a feedback loop as well as its role in whole-body glucose balance.

“We found that skeletal muscle cells have machinery to directly sense glucose — in a certain sense it's like the muscles can taste sugar, too,” said senior study author Dr. Jiandie Lin, a faculty member at University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute commenting on his study published in Molecular Cell.

“The majority of cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented by the adoption of a healthier lifestyle,” reported researchers led by Dr. Frank Hu of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts.

Raised blood glucose levels post-meal is the main symptom of T2DM. Elevated high blood sugar levels long-term (hyperglycemia) can lead to serious health issues such as nerve damage or kidney failure.

One study looked at 13,600 people and followed them for 6 years. Researchers found that people who had just 10% greater amount of muscle tissue in their body, according to a special bioelectrical impedance measurement, had 12% less chance of developing pre-diabetes or diabetes type II.

The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a trial published in 2002, found intensive lifestyle interventions such as diet or exercise were more effective than the diabetes drug metformin in preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Reporting in a 2011 September issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA suggest there is a correlation between greater muscle mass, relative to body size, and a substantially decreased risk of developing the metabolic changes that lead to diabetes.

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