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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2011 Sep;111(3):657-64. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00489.2011. Epub 2011 Jul 7.

Seven days of aerobic exercise training improves conduit artery blood flow following glucose ingestion in patients with type 2 diabetes.

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  • 1Dept. of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.


The vasodilatory effects of insulin account for up to 40% of insulin-mediated glucose disposal; however, insulin-stimulated vasodilation is impaired in individuals with type 2 diabetes, limiting perfusion and delivery of glucose and insulin to target tissues. To determine whether exercise training improves conduit artery blood flow following glucose ingestion, a stimulus for increasing circulating insulin, we assessed femoral blood flow (FBF; Doppler ultrasound) during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT; 75 g glucose) in 11 overweight or obese (body mass index, 34 ± 1 kg/m²), sedentary (peak oxygen consumption, 23 ± 1 ml·kg⁻¹·min⁻¹) individuals (53 ± 2 yr) with non-insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes (HbA1c, 6.63 ± 0.18%) before and after 7 days of supervised treadmill and cycling exercise (60 min/day, 60-75% heart rate reserve). Fasting glucose, insulin, and FBF were not significantly different after 7 days of exercise, nor were glucose or insulin responses to the OGTT. However, estimates of whole body insulin sensitivity (Matsuda insulin sensitivity index) increased (P < 0.05). Before exercise training, FBF did not change significantly during the OGTT (1 ± 7, -7 ± 5, 0 ± 6, and 0 ± 5% of fasting FBF at 75, 90, 105, and 120 min, respectively). In contrast, after exercise training, FBF increased by 33 ± 9, 39 ± 14, 34 ± 7, and 48 ± 18% above fasting levels at 75, 90, 105, and 120 min, respectively (P < 0.05 vs. corresponding preexercise time points). Additionally, postprandial glucose responses to a standardized breakfast meal consumed under "free-living" conditions decreased during the final 3 days of exercise (P < 0.05). In conclusion, 7 days of aerobic exercise training improves conduit artery blood flow during an OGTT in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

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