More Muscle in Lean Women Linked To Lower Diabetes Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Britta Larsen, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Family Medicine & Public Health University of California, San Diego Medical Teaching Facility La Jolla, CA 92093-0628

Dr. Britta Larsen

Britta Larsen, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Family Medicine & Public Health
University of California, San Diego
Medical Teaching Facility
La Jolla, CA 92093-0628 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Larsen: We know that muscle is important for metabolic processes, but there has been very little research on the role muscle may play in the development of metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes. While excess fat can increase the risk of metabolic disease, there are people who are normal weight who still develop diabetes, and it’s possible that this could be due to low muscle mass. Our main findings were that, in normal weight women, women with more abdominal, thigh, and overall muscle were less likely to develop diabetes over a 13-year period. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Larsen: While overweight individuals will probably experience the greatest benefits from losing excess fat, normal weight individuals – who may underestimate their risk for type 2 diabetes – may receive the most benefits from increasing muscle. Clinicians may want to put more of an emphasis on resistance training for patients at risk for diabetes.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Larsen: This study was not a clinical trial, so we cannot say for certain that greater muscle mass was directly responsible for the reduced rates of diabetes. The next step in this line of research is to run a randomized trial to increase muscle in normal weight individuals to see if this prevents developing diabetes.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Apr;101(4):1847-55. doi: 10.1210/jc.2015-3643. Epub 2016 Mar 1.

Association of Muscle Mass, Area, and Strength With Incident Diabetes in Older Adults: The Health ABC Study.

Larsen BA1, Wassel CL1, Kritchevsky SB1, Strotmeyer ES1, Criqui MH1, Kanaya AM1, Fried LF1, Schwartz AV1, Harris TB1, Ix JH1; Health ABC Study.

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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