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J Clin Lipidol. 2009 Aug;3(4):262-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jacl.2009.07.001. Epub 2009 Jul 14.

Acute exercise and impaired glucose tolerance in obese humans.

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  • 1Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute, University of Ulster, Shore Road Belfast, County Antrim, BT37 OQB, Northern Ireland.



Individuals with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) have a greater risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease compared with those with normal glycemic control. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of acute aerobic exercise on glycemia, regional arterial stiffness, and oxidative stress in obese subjects with IGT.


Twelve obese subjects (7 men and 5 women; 48.0±9.4 years; body mass index 32.4±7.0kg/m(2)) with IGT participated in a 30-minute bout of walking at 65% of maximum predicted heart rate. Pulse wave velocity (PWV, for determination of arterial stiffness) and blood pressure were examined before and after exercise, whereas venous blood samples were drawn for the determination of glucose, blood lipids, and indices of oxidative stress and inflammation (lipid hydroperoxides; superoxide dismutase; high-sensitivity C-reactive protein).


After exercise PWV (9.1±1.2m/s vs. 8.6±1.0m/s), glucose (5.7±0.6 mmol·L(-1) vs. 5.4±0.6 mmol·L(-1)), and diastolic blood pressure (94±14mm Hg vs. 86±13mm Hg) decreased, respectively (P < .05). A correlation was observed between PWV and glucose (r=0.544, P < .05). There were no changes in lipid hydroperoxides, superoxide dismutase, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, or blood lipids (P > .05).


These findings suggest that acute aerobic exercise can reduce regional arterial stiffness in obese subjects with IGT by possibly improving glucose metabolism, independent of changes in oxidative stress.

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