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Exercise, Abdominal Fat, Insulin Resistance

April 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Exercise

Researchers writing in The Journal of Applied Physiology studied 16 obese men and women, about 63 years old, during a 12 week exercise program. During the program the participants exercised 5 days a week for 60 minutes a day (treadmill/cycle ergometry @ 85% of heart rate max). Among the many things the researchers measured was total abdominal fat, subcutaneous fat (fat under the skin) and visceral fat (the fat that surrounds the organs).

From the study abstract: “Exercise improves glucose metabolism and delays the onset and/or reverses insulin resistance in the elderly by an unknown mechanism. In the present study we examined the effects of exercise training on glucose metabolism, abdominal adiposity and adipocytokines* in obese elderly.”

What the researchers found: “Visceral fat loss after aerobic exercise training improves glucose metabolism and is associated with the reversal of insulin resistance in older obese men and women.”

*Adipocytokines are a collective term for secretions from the fat cells that help regulate energy metabolism and food intake among other functions.

Reference: O’Leary VB, Marchetti CM, Krishnan RK, Stetzer BP, Gonzalez F, Kirwan JP. Exercise-induced reversal of Insulin Resistance in Obese Elderly is associated with reduced Visceral Fat.J Appl Physiol (December 22, 2005) Study abstract

Waist Size and Health Risks in 50-95 Year Olds

April 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Diet and Lifestyle

Researchers writing in the medical journal Diabetes Care say that while overall body fat and fitness levels are important in predicting health risks, it is your waist size or the measurement of abdominal obesity that is the still the measurement to assess health risk among older adults.

Racette SB, Evans EM, Weiss EP, Hagberg JM, Holloszy JO. Abdominal Adiposity Is a Stronger Predictor of Insulin Resistance Than Fitness Among 50–95 Year Olds. Diabetes Care 29:673-678, 2006

Excerpts From the study abstract
OBJECTIVE—Physical inactivity and increased adiposity contribute to insulin resistance; less is known, however, about the relative contributions of these factors in older adults. The aim of this study was to determine whether cardiovascular fitness, whole-body adiposity, or abdominal adiposity is the strongest predictor of insulin resistance into old age.

CONCLUSIONS—Adiposity and fitness continue to be significant predictors of insulin sensitivity into old age, with abdominal obesity being the most important single factor. These findings support the measurement of waist circumference to assess health risk among older adults.

Weight, Obesity, and Diabetes Research

April 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Diabetes

Menopause and Obesity
After menopause, many women notice that their muscle-to-fat ratio tilts in favor of the latter and the battle of the bulge is increasingly difficult. All the hormones, especially estradiol and testosterone, can help tip the scale back in the right direction.

Estradiol, increases fat breakdown from body fat stores so that it can be used as fuel and increases basal metabolic rate, while testosterone has been shown to maintain muscle tone, volume, and strength, increase metabolism, and decrease body fat. In a 2000 study, featured in Menopause, estrogen supplementation had effects on body fat distribution in postmenopausal women that was associated with improved lipid parameters.

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism reported that obese women given low doses of testosterone lost more body fat and subcutaneous abdominal fat, and gained more muscle mass than women who were placed on a placebo.

In a 2006 study, researchers writing in the medical journal Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism found “HRT reduces abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, new-onset diabetes, lipids, blood pressure, adhesion molecules and procoagulant factors in women without diabetes and reduced insulin resistance and fasting glucose in women with diabetes.”

Women are not alone in the hormonal decline department. Men also experience a falling off of hormone levels. In my practice, I have found that most men over forty suffer from low levels of testosterone, a condition called andropause, or male menopause. Testosterone decline may be linked to many age-related symptoms like muscle weakness, bone loss, memory complications, weight gain and heart disease. As far as quality of life is concerned, in the absence of normal-to-high levels of testosterone, men suffer from mood swings, fatigue, and libido dysfunction

Not everyone will benefit from hormone supplementation. The goals, realities, and risks of hormone supplementation should be discussed, at length, with your physician prior to onset of treatment.

Insulin Resistance, Weight Gain Lead to Early Aging
When we eat, our bodies release insulin into our blood stream so that we can process glucose (sugars) from our foods to make energy, especially in our muscles. Glucose belongs in our cells and not in our blood. When it remains in our blood we produce more insulin. Increased insulin, according to many researchers, is the number one factor for accelerated aging.

Waist Size and Health Risks in 50-95 Year Olds
Researchers writing in the medical journal Diabetes Care say that while overall body fat and fitness levels are important in predicting health risks, it is your waist size or the measurement of abdominal obesity that is the still the measurement to assess health risk among older adults.

Exercise, Abdominal Fat, Insulin Resistance
Researchers writing in The Journal of Applied Physiology studied 16 obese men and women, about 63 years old, during a 12 week exercise program.

Low Gylcemic Index Foods for Weight Loss and Diabetes
Researchers writing in The Diabetes Educator say that incorporating more low-glycemic foods helped individuals with weight control and diabetes.

UCSD Study Sheds New Light on Insulin’s Role in Blocking Fat Breakdown in Patients with Type II Diabetes
“Chronically high levels of insulin, as is found in many people with obesity and Type II diabetes, may block specific hormones that trigger energy release into the body, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine. Their findings, which may point to new approaches to developing improved treatment options for the disease…”

Be Active: Reduce Diabetes Risk, Live Longer
Researchers writing in the medical journal Diabetes Care, examined the relationship between active lifestyle, diabetes, and life expectancy.

Exercise, Diabetes, Diabetes Risk
Researchers writing in the Medical Journal Diabetes Care say patients may need more convincing that exercise assists in diabetes management and diabetes risk management.

Obesity and Decreased Hormone Production
Researchers writing in the medical journal Clinical Endocrinology say that “Obesity may predict greater decline in testosterone and SHBG levels with age.”

Abdominal Fat Strongest Indication of Health Risks
Researchers writing in the medical journal Obesity, say that waist measurement is one of the most useful indicators of health risk.

Sleep and Diabetes Risk in Men
Researchers writing in the medical journal Diabetes Care say that too little or too much sleep increases diabetes risk. The researchers say that men getting 5 to 6 hours of sleep a night were twice as likely to develop diabetes, men getting more than 8 hours were three times more likely to develop diabetes. They also noted that testosterone may be a factor in sleep on diabetes.

Testosterone, Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease
New research says Testosterone may have a protective role in the development of metabolic syndrome and subsequent diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease in aging men.

Middle Aged Men, Metabolic Syndrome, Stroke Risk
Finish researchers say that middle aged men with Metabolic Syndrome have twice the risk of suffering from a stroke. Read more

Metabolic Syndrome and Stroke
Researchers writing in the Archives of Internal Medicine say that preventing and controlling Metabolic Syndrome is likely to reduce risk of stroke.

Warm Feet and Sleep

April 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Sleep

Researchers writing in the medical journal Physiology and Behavior say they “present new data indicating age- and insomnia-related changes in the sleep-onset latency response to foot warming, and evaluate whether different methods of foot warming could provide an applicable strategy to address sleep complaints.”

Physiol Behav. 2007 Feb 28;90(2-3):257-66. Raymann RJ, Swaab DF, Van Someren EJ.

Skin temperature and sleep-onset latency: Changes with age and insomnia.

Throughout the 24-hour day, the occurrence of sleep and wakefulness is closely related to changes in body temperatures.

Changes in skin temperature may causally affect the ability to initiate and maintain sleep.

First, we briefly summarize a previously proposed neurobiological mechanism that couples skin temperature to sleep propensity. Next we review previous findings on the relation between skin temperature and sleep-onset latency, indicating that sleep propensity can be enhanced by warming the skin to the level that normally occurs prior to – and during – sleep. Finally, we present new data indicating age- and insomnia-related changes in the sleep-onset latency response to foot warming, and evaluate whether different methods of foot warming could provide an applicable strategy to address sleep complaints. Foot temperature manipulations included footbaths before sleep onset (1), and heatable bed socks applied either before (2) or after lights-off (3).

In adults, sleep-onset was accelerated by warm and neutral bed socks after lights-off and correlated to the increase in foot temperature. This increase was attenuated in elderly subjects. In elderly subjects without sleep difficulties, sleep onset could be accelerated with neutral bed socks after lights-off and a warm footbath prior to lights-off. In elderly insomniacs, none of the treatments accelerated sleep onset. We illustrate that elderly subjects show an attenuated increase in foot temperature after lights-off and lose the relationship between pre-sleep heat-loss activation and sleep latency. The sensitivity of sleep propensity to foot warming changes with age and is attenuated in age-related insomnia.

Sleep

April 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Sleep

Sleep and Diabetes Risk in Men Is Testosterone Also Involved?
Researchers writing in the medical journal Diabetes Care say that too little or too much sleep increases diabetes risk. The researchers say that men getting 5 to 6 hours of sleep a night were twice as likely to develop diabetes, men getting more than 8 hours were three times more likely to develop diabetes. They also noted that testosterone may be a factor in sleep on diabetes.

Poor Sleep and Cognitive Function
Researchers writing in the medical journal The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences say that Disturbed Sleep was related to poorer cognition.

Hot Flashes and Insomnia
Researchers writing in the Archives of Internal Medicine say: “Severe hot flashes are strongly associated with chronic insomnia in midlife women. The presence of hot flashes should be systematically investigated in women with insomnia. Treating hot flashes could improve sleep quality and minimize the deleterious consequences of chronic insomnia.”

Hot Flashes and Sleep
Researchers writing in the medical journal Menopause say that ambient temperature and REM sleep patterns effect sleep in postmenopausal women.

Warm Feet and Sleep
Researchers writing in the medical journal Physiology and Behavior say they “present new data indicating age- and insomnia-related changes in the sleep-onset latency response to foot warming, and evaluate whether different methods of foot warming could provide an applicable strategy to address sleep complaints.”

Power Training and Balance in Older Adults

April 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Exercise

Researchers in Australia and Massachusetts say that low load, high velocity power training can improve balance and reduce fall risks in aging subjects.

From the abstract:
“Age-related decline in muscle power may be an early indicator of balance deficits and fall risk, even in nonfrail adults. This study examined the dose-dependent effect of power training on balance performance in healthy older adults.

One hundred twelve community-dwelling healthy older adults (69 ± 6 years) were randomized to 8–12 weeks of power training at 20% (LOW), 50% (MED), or 80% (HIGH) of maximal strength, or a nontraining control (CON) group…”

The researchers concluded:
Power training significantly improved balance performance in participants who underwent power training compared to controls. Low intensity power training produced the greatest improvement in balance performance…

Power training improves balance, particularly using a low load, high velocity regimen, in older adults with initial lower muscle power and slower contraction. Further studies are warranted to define the mechanisms underlying this adaptation, as well as the optimum power training intensity for a range of physiological and clinical outcomes in older adults with varying levels of health status and functional independence.”

Orr R, de Vos NJ, Singh NA, Ross DA, Stavrinos TM, Fiatarone-Singh MA. Power Training Improves Balance in Healthy Older Adults. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 61:78-85 (2006)

Walking off Postmenopausal Decreases in bone mineral density, aerobic fitness, muscle strength, and balance

April 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Exercise

Researchers writing in the medical journal Physical Therapy say that “Menopause may induce a phase of rapid decreases in bone mineral density, aerobic fitness, muscle strength, and balance, especially in sedentary women.”
Asikainen TM, Suni JH, Pasanen ME, Oja P, Rinne MB, Miilunpalo SI, Nygard CH, Vuori IM.

Effect of brisk walking in 1 or 2 daily bouts and moderate resistance training on lower-extremity muscle strength, balance, and walking performance in women who recently went through menopause: a randomized, controlled trial. Phys Ther. 2006 Jul;86(7):912-23.

From the article abstract:
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Menopause may induce a phase of rapid decreases in bone mineral density, aerobic fitness, muscle strength, and balance, especially in sedentary women. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects and feasibility of an exercise program of 1 or 2 bouts of walking and resistance training on lower-extremity muscle strength (the force-generating capacity of muscle), balance, and walking performance in women who recently went through menopause.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The subjects were 134 women who recently went through menopause. The study was a 15-week, randomized, controlled trial with continuous and fractionated exercise groups. The outcomes assessed were lower-extremity muscle strength, balance, and walking time over 2 km. Feasibility was assessed by questionnaires, interviews, and training logs.

RESULTS: One hundred twenty-eight women completed the study. Adherence to the study protocol was 92%. Both continuous and fractionated exercise groups improved equally in lower-extremity muscle strength and walking time but not in balance. Almost 70% of the subjects considered the program to be feasible. Two daily walking sessions caused fewer lower-extremity problems than did continuous walking.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Brisk walking combined with moderate resistance training is feasible and effective. Fractionating the walking into 2 daily sessions is more feasible than continuous walking.

Muscle Mass and Strength Research

April 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Exercise

Risk factors for loss of muscle strength in aging men
The researchers concluded that the following were risk factors:
“Multivariate analyses revealed that besides older age, other risk factors also contributed to the loss of muscle strength in older men, including back pain, use of calcium channel blockers, caffeine intake, and height and weight loss.”

Resistance Training Important for Aging Muscles and Tendons
Researchers writing the medical journal Experimental Physiology say that resistance training is not only good for preventing age-related loss of muscle but for tendons as well.

Strength Training and Nutritional Counseling Benefits In Women
Writing in the Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers noted that long-term strength training and nutritional counseling had positive effects of metabolic health indicators.

Walking off Postmenopausal Decreases in bone mineral density, aerobic fitness, muscle strength, and balance.
Researchers writing in the medical journal Physical Therapy say that “Menopause may induce a phase of rapid decreases in bone mineral density, aerobic fitness, muscle strength, and balance, especially in sedentary women. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects and feasibility of an exercise program of 1 or 2 bouts of walking and resistance training on lower-extremity muscle strength (the force-generating capacity of muscle), balance, and walking performance in women who recently went through menopause.”

What is the Effect of Insulin Resistance and Loss of Lean Muscle (Sarcopenia) As We Age?
Researchers writing in the Journal of The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology say: “A reduced response of older skeletal muscle to anabolic stimuli (exercise & diet) may contribute to the development of sarcopenia.

Power Training and Balance in Older Adults
Researchers in Australia and Massachusetts say that low load, high velocity power training can improve balance and reduce fall risks in aging subjects. The researchers concluded: “Power training significantly improved balance performance in participants who underwent power training compared to controls. Low intensity power training produced the greatest improvement in balance performance.

Insulin Resistence: What Do Some Researchers Say?

April 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Aging, Insulin

To review, By Controlling Insulin, You May Be Controlling Aging

When we eat, our bodies release insulin into our blood stream so that we can process glucose (sugars) from our foods to make energy, especially in our muscles.

Glucose belongs in our cells and not in our blood. When it remains in our blood we produce more insulin. Increased insulin, according to many researchers, is the number one factor for accelerated aging.

Glucose
Our cells need glucose for many things including energy, metabolism, and for mood and cognitive function. The short term benefit of eating a candy bar, besides its good taste, has long been know by athletes and students, sugar gives you energy and makes you think straight, that is, in the short-term.

The reason we cannot eat glucose all the time is obvious. It is not good for us, we would get fat, develop insulin resistance, and then diabetes.

When we eat too much glucose, as sugar or in the form of carbohydrates, the more insulin will be needed to be released to usher the glucose into the cells. If we are not “burning it off,” the glucose is stored for later use.

When we have too much glucose in our cells, our bodies try to stop insulin from stuffing more in there. Suddenly we are programmed to ignore insulin’s attempts to process glucose. The pancreas, from where insulin is made, still senses high levels of glucose in the blood, it thinks it is not sending our enough insulin, therefore it sends out more. Unfortunately the more it sends, the more gets ignored. We are now resisting insulin’s attempts at glucose regulation, we have become “Insulin Resistant.” This cycle continues until the pancreas becomes exhausted and no longer produces insulin, this is Type-Two Diabetes (diabetes mellitus).

Insulin Resistance and Metabolic Syndrome

April 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Insulin

Insulin Resistance Tied To Age-Related Muscle Loss
Writing in the medical journal Diabetes and Metabolism, researchers say: “…insulin resistance could be involved in age-related muscle protein loss, progressively leading to sarcopenia. Therefore in a more general concept, insulin resistance found in many clinical settings, could be considered as a contributor to muscle wasting.”

Insulin Resistence: What Do Some Researchers Say?
When we eat, our bodies release insulin into our blood stream so that we can process glucose (sugars) from our foods to make energy, especially in our muscles. Glucose belongs in our cells and not in our blood. When it remains in our blood we produce more insulin. Increased insulin, according to many researchers, is the number one factor for accelerated aging.

What is the Effect of Insulin Resistance and Loss of Lean Muscle (Sarcopenia) As We Age?
Researchers writing in the Journal of The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology say: “A reduced response of older skeletal muscle to anabolic stimuli (exercise & diet) may contribute to the development of sarcopenia. Skeletal muscle protein synthesis is resistant to the anabolic action of insulin in older subjects, which may be an important contributor to the development of sarcopenia.”

Metabolic Syndrome and Stroke
Researchers writing in the Archives of Internal Medicine say that preventing and controlling Metabolic Syndrome is likely to reduce risk of stroke.

Stress at Work and Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic Syndrome is a combination of symptoms including high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, insulin resistance and others related to coronary heart disease.

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