Muscle Mass May Reduce the Onset of Diabetes

A recent study suggests there are new benefits to building muscle mass than previously thought. A U.S. National Health and Nutritional Survey determined that increasing muscle mass may reduce insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is one of the leading cause of Type II diabetes.

Many men work to build a strong physique and appear more masculine. Health professionals have questioned many of the benefits of building muscle mass. They have encouraged patients at risk of developing Type II diabetes to focus on maintaining a healthy diet and build cardiovascular exercises into their weekly routines.

The new study by the UCLA may force physicians to reevaluate their positions. Lowering body fat is still crucial to preventing the onset of diabetes. Physicians and dietitians don’t encourage their patients to forego dieting or regular exercise. However, building muscle mass could reduce the risk further.

The research team concluded that increasing the skeletal muscle index by 10% resulted in an 11% reduction in insulin resistance. This reduced the likelihood of developing Type II diabetes by 12%. Assistant professor Preethi Srikanthan believes the study offers new hope for the tens of millions of Americans suffering from prediabetes.

Although this is the first study of its kind, its results are not surprising to many health care professionals. Daniel Rubin, a medical professor at Temple University said the study Srikanthan and his colleagues conducted is consistent with previous studies on muscle mass. Rubin asserts previous studies proving that muscle mass directly affects metabolism.

The study leaves a few unanswered questions. The biggest question is whether muscle mass really reduces the likelihood of diabetes. Srikanthan and his colleagues have shown a correlation between the muscular structure and diabetes.

Correlations do not prove a direct cause and effect relationship. One endocrinologist says it is possible the link between muscle mass and insulin resistance may be more complex. Building muscle mass may affect other variables which reduce diabetes. Until further research is conducted, scientists can’t confirm the relationship between the onset of diabetes and the skeletal muscle index. The study is still encouraging for health care professionals and patients suffering from the preonset of diabetes.

There are currently almost 80 million people in the United States at risk of developing diabetes. Many of them struggle to reduce their glucose levels before they develop the disease. Many factors contribute to people developing diabetes. Currently, almost 26 million people are diagnosed with the disease. Although it is possible to treat diabetes with insulin and oral medications such as sulfonylureas, no cure is currently available. Patients understand that contracting Type II diabetes changes their life forever.

The UCLA study offers a glimmer of hope to many patients. They want to do whatever they can to prevent the onset of the disease. The best way to combat the disease is to understand it as much as possible. Hopefully, additional studies will shed some light on the factors contributing to diabetes and the steps required to prevent it.

Article source:  Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism

Kalen Smith

Kalen Smith is a professional Internet marketer, consumer researcher and writer. He has been a writer for Weight Loss Triumph and is the cofounder of the blog Great Paleo Diet Cookbooks, where he writes about the paleo diet and lifestyle.

4 thoughts on “Muscle Mass May Reduce the Onset of Diabetes

  • August 9, 2011 at 11:24 am

    This is interesting news. I came across some research a while ago that concluded that endurance exercise is very effective at reducing blood sugar levels. However, it would make sense that additional muscle mass will help to reduce blood sugar as more muscle means more glycogen is required, which means a greater demand to take up glucose. I think that getting and staying fit in general will go a long way to help though, just to make the body more efficient. Also, people who are serious about building muscle are also serious about diet, so maybe it is partly about lifestyle and mentality too, i.e. they are simply less likely to consume too much sugar and more likely to monitor glucose levels.

  • August 7, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Thank you for this educational article. I am looking forward to your next post.

  • August 4, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Does it mean Arnold Schwarzenegger and body builders can delay development of diabetes?
    In fact I agree with your point that muscle mass can delay onset of diabetes, as better muscle mass means less fat.

    • August 6, 2011 at 10:28 am

      That’s a very good question Jupitor. I’m just not sure how steroid use may play a role in diabetes, but muscle mass seems to lower the risk of diabetes according to this report. We need to do more studies to find out.


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