Research Shows Benefits of Hard Exercise for Type 2 Diabetics

You'll need to pedal harder than this if you want intensity...
You’ll need to pedal harder than this if you want intensity…

New research has shown that short bursts of intense exercise improve heart structure and improve diabetes control in patients with type 2 diabetes.

A study conducted by researchers from Newcastle University has suggested that the right kind of exercise can reverse heart abnormalities in people with type 2 diabetes.

Some studies have indicated that people with diabetes are twice as likely to develop heart disease than people without diabetes, and it is one of the most common complications of diabetes.


For the Newcastle University study, researchers examined what happened when people with type 2 diabetes took part in intense exercise bursts of 90 seconds cycling on a stationary bike.

A total of 23 people took part in the study and scientists found that the intense bursts of exercise improved the cardiac structure and heart function. The exercise also improved blood glucose control to a small extent.

The authors of the report said that the study showed for the first time that exercise could begin to reverse early cardiac changes that are commonly found in people with type 2 diabetes. They said the greatest benefits were to heart health and that message needed to be strongly communicated to people with type 2 diabetes.

Professor Mike Trenell from Newcastle University said: “We’ve shown that short bursts of exercise improve the heart of people with Type 2 diabetes and benefits the control of their diabetes. If patients struggle to do 30 minutes of exercise then shorter, more manageable chunks still help and this includes any activity that gets the heart going such as taking the stairs instead of the lift.”


The original article about this research appeared on

X-Pert Advice for Healthcare Professionals

trudiAre you a healthcare professional who is worried about advising patients to try a low carb/high fat diet?

Hi there, I’m Dr Trudi Deakin, chief executive of the charity X-PERT Health which develops, implements and evaluates structured education for the prevention and management of diabetes.

We strive to keep abreast of the latest research so that healthcare professionals and patients obtain the most up-to-date lifestyle management information. Literature reviews are undertaken on an annual basis and the research papers critically appraised to draw accurate and meaningful conclusions. The following hierarchical system for levels of evidence is used [1]:

Grading of evidence:

  • Ia: systematic review or meta-analysis of RCTs.
  • Ib: at least one RCT.
  • IIa: at least one well-designed controlled study without randomisation.
  • IIb: at least one well-designed quasi-experimental study, such as a cohort study.
  • III: well-designed non-experimental descriptive studies, such as comparative studies, correlation studies and case-control studies.
  • IV: expert committee reports, opinions and/or clinical experience of respected authorities.

Grading of recommendations:

  • A: based on hierarchy I evidence.
  • B: based on hierarchy II evidence.
  • C: based on hierarchy III evidence.
  • D: directly based on hierarchy IV evidence.

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