Exercise: Women Must Do More to Reap Same Positive Health Outcomes as Men

Jan. 23, 2013 — More than one-third of Americans are obese, and these individuals often experience accompanying health issues, such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems. In response to the so-called “obesity epidemic,” many medical professionals have suggested ways to improve the health outcomes of obese individuals through diet and exercise. Now, research conducted at the University of Missouri suggests certain exercises that benefit obese men may not have the same positive results for obese women. These findings could help health providers and researchers develop targeted exercise interventions for obese women.


“Our results indicate gender may contribute to differences in cardiovascular function of obese individuals with Type 2 diabetes,” said Jill Kanaley, a professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at MU. “Men saw improvement after aerobic exercise training, but the women did not experience the same benefits.”

Kanaley and her colleagues monitored cardiovascular responses, such as heart rate and blood pressure, of nearly 75 obese men and women with Type 2 diabetes. To monitor cardiovascular responses, the individuals completed an isometric handgrip test, which involves continually and forcefully squeezing an object for a few minutes, at the beginning and end of a structured, 16-week walking program.

“What this research highlights, at least using the handgrip test, is that the advantages we think exercise is going to give individuals may not be the same across genders, particularly for those who have Type 2 diabetes,” Kanaley said. “This is a concern because there are high mortality rates with Type 2 diabetes, especially for women. We’re trying to find successful interventions to help these individuals, and we keep assuming that exercise will do the trick — we think when we tell people to “go train,” regardless of gender, everyone will get the same results. Our research indicates certain exercises may not be enough for women, as our walking program did not show positive improvements for them.”

Obese women with Type 2 diabetes might benefit from longer durations or higher intensities of exercise, Kanaley said. In addition, Kanaley said more concern should be placed on how long it takes cardiovascular function to return to normal after exercise as well as how fast the heart beats during physical exertion.

“A lot of people focus on how high individuals’ heart rates get during exercise, but their recovery rates also should be monitored,” Kanaley said. “When you exercise, you want your blood pressure to rise, but you don’t want it to get too high. Your blood pressure should return to normal relatively quickly after you stop exercise. In our study, the recovery rate for women was not as rapid as for men. After the men trained, they got an even better recovery time, whereas women’s time stayed about the same.”

The study, “Exercise training improves hemodynamic recovery to isometric exercise in obese men with Type 2 diabetes but not in obese women,” was published in the December issue of Metabolism.

 

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided byUniversity of Missouri-Columbia.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jill A. Kanaley, Styliani Goulopoulou, Ruth Franklin, Tracy Baynard, Robert L. Carhart, Ruth S. Weinstock, Bo Fernhall. Exercise training improves hemodynamic recovery to isometric exercise in obese men with type 2 diabetes but not in obese womenMetabolism, 2012; 61 (12): 1739 DOI: 10.1016/j.metabol.2012.07.014
University of Missouri-Columbia (2013, January 23). Exercise: Women must do more to reap same positive health outcomes as men.ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 28, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130123115411.htm
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First Fruit Fly Model of Diet-Induced Type 2 Diabetes Shows How High-Sugar Diet Affects Heart; New Therapeutic Opportunities

Jan. 15, 2013 — Regularly consuming sucrose — the type of sugar found in many sweetened beverages — increases a person’s risk of heart disease. In a study published January 10 in the journal PLOS Genetics, researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and Mount Sinai School of Medicine used fruit flies, a well-established model for human health and disease, to determine exactly how sucrose affects heart function. In addition, the researchers discovered that blocking this cellular mechanism prevents sucrose-related heart problems.

Cardiac fibrosis (shown in purple), a hallmark of heart disease, is clearly increased in fruit flies on a high-sugar diet (right), as compared to flies on a normal diet (left). (Credit: Image courtesy of Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute)

“Our study reveals a number of specific sugar-processing enzymes that could be targeted with therapies aimed at reducing sucrose’s unhealthy effects on the heart,” said Karen Ocorr, Ph.D., research assistant professor at Sanford-Burnham and the study’s corresponding author.

Diabetic fruit flies with heart problems

The research team was the first to model heart disease caused by type 2 diabetes in fruit flies. They achieved this simply by feeding the flies a diet high in sucrose. High-sucrose flies showed many classic signs of human type 2 diabetes, including high blood sugar and insulin signaling defects. The team also saw signs of diabetes-induced heart malfunction in these flies — deteriorating heart function, cardiac arrhythmia and fibrosis.

Next the researchers wanted to know exactly what sucrose is doing inside the flies’ cells that makes it harmful to hearts. To answer this question, they looked for molecular networks that are triggered or altered by sucrose.

The team eventually pinpointed one particular biochemical system, called the hexosamine pathway. This series of biochemical reactions normally plays only a minor role in the way cells process sugar to produce energy. But some research also suggests that the hexosamine pathway is linked to diabetes in humans.

“It’s remarkable that we’re able to use the fruit fly as a discovery tool for elucidating basic molecular mechanisms, not only of many types of heart disease, but also dietary influences that help us understand what happens in human hearts,” added Rolf Bodmer, Ph.D., professor at Sanford-Burnham and a senior author of the study.

Dampening sugar’s negative effect on the heart

The researchers further probed the hexosamine pathway in their new diabetes model. They found that artificially increasing sucrose-processing via the hexosamine pathway harms the heart. In contrast, when they specifically blocked this pathway, they prevented some of the high-sucrose induced heart defects, such as cardiac arrhythmias.

“Diet-induced heart damage is one of our society’s most serious health issues. Our flies now give us a tool to explore the role of high dietary sugar, and the means to identify treatments in the context of the whole body,” said Ross Cagan, Ph.D., professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a senior author of this study.


Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided bySanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. The original article was written by Heather Buschman.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jianbo Na, Laura Palanker Musselman, Jay Pendse, Thomas J. Baranski, Rolf Bodmer, Karen Ocorr, Ross Cagan. A Drosophila Model of High Sugar Diet-Induced CardiomyopathyPLoS Genetics, 2013; 9 (1): e1003175 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003175
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (2013, January 15). First fruit fly model of diet-induced type 2 diabetes shows how high-sugar diet affects heart; New therapeutic opportunities. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130117084932.htm