Low muscle mass increases the risk of diabetes

With more than 400 million sufferers worldwide, type 2 diabetes mellitus is one of the most common and most serious metabolic diseases. Predominantly caused by lifestyle factors such as a lack of exercise, overeating or malnutrition, the disease can be most easily prevented by losing weight and by undertaking regular exercise. As the latest research findings show, muscle mass seems to be a factor.

American scientists followed 4,681 patients in a prospective study over an eight-year period, and were able to show that low muscle mass promoted the development of type 2 diabetes. Indeed, they were able to confirm the results from previous research projects, which had already identified low muscle mass as an independent risk factor. They concluded that there is a 30% higher risk of the disease developing in people with low muscle mass. In contrast, physical exercise and a large muscle mass had a protective effect. Its beneficial impact was demonstrated independently of other risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure as well as smoking and drinking alcohol. On the other hand, no differences were detected in persons with high or moderate muscle mass, indicating that there does not appear to be any additional benefits between moderate and excessive physical exercise. Researchers are currently unable to state whether there is a recommended level of strength training. The underlying mechanism remains unclear. However, it has been shown in several instances that adequate muscle mass improves glucose metabolism. If it increases, there is a rise in insulin sensitivity, whilst glucose and insulin levels decrease during fasting periods.

Apart from lowering the risk of developing diabetes, it makes sense to undertake regular strength training at any age. It maintains and improves physical performance, safeguards against illness and injury and, above all, contributes to long term independence, especially at an advanced age.

The positive effects of strength training can also be measured even if there is no noticeable difference on the scales. On the other hand, strength training often leads to a person gaining weight as it is based on the growth of muscle mass. Hence scales are only recommended to a limited extent as a measurement tool.

Detailed information on muscle mass is provided by bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) using the seca mBCA. The proportion of skeletal muscle mass can be determined in just a few seconds and can make muscle loss visible at an early stage. Not only is it quick, but it is also easy to use; hence it is ideal for regular follow-up examinations. Small training successes become evident, thereby continually maintaining motivation.

Ultimately, moderate strength training is part of a healthy lifestyle and therefore highly recommended. It not only protects against diabetes, but also permanently improves physical condition and quality of life.

Saatat pitää seuraavista tarinoista