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Strength training may aid people with type 2 diabetes

By Kat Carney
CNN Headline News

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(CNN) -- When it comes to controlling insulin action in people with type 2 diabetes, it looks like some people might be able to trade in their running shoes for a pair of dumbbells.

That's according to a small study that investigated the impact of strength training on people with type 2 diabetes.

Current statistics from the American Diabetes Association indicate that 16 million to 17 million Americans have type 2 diabetes, a disorder which results in the body losing its sensitivity to insulin, the hormone responsible for moving sugar into the cells for energy.

Over time, elevated blood sugar can lead to fatigue and blurred vision. Long-term problems can include heart disease, kidney failure and loss of vision.

Past studies have found that aerobic endurance training can have a positive effect on insulin action in people with diabetes. However, the authors of this most recent study say that many overweight patients with diabetes may be unlikely to start an aerobic endurance program.

In an interview with Reuters, lead author Dr. Flemming Dela from the University of Copenhagen says that, "Strength training is a realistic and effective alternative to endurance training, and probably much more attractive to the 'average' type 2 diabetic patient."

The study authors do note, however, that more research will need to be done in this area, as little is known about the relationship between the amount of strength training needed and the action of insulin on specific muscles.

The results of this study are published in the Journal Diabetes.

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