Frank Booth, professor of biomedical science and director of the MU Health Activity Center, and David Kump, a doctoral student in the Department of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology, simulated a sudden drop in activity, by allowing rats to run on exercise wheels for three weeks and then locked the wheels for a period of up to two days.
They found that insulin sensitivity decreases the longer rats stay inactive. This decreased insulin efficiency may be a precursor to diabetes, heart disease, obesity and hyptertension.
"Our research found that when the rats stopped running for two days, the amount of sugar taken into the muscle in response to insulin was reduced by about one-third", Kump said. "Everyone is looking at the benefits of exercise, but we are looking at the consequences of stopping that exercise".
In a person who has been active, the process of turning glucose into energy is typically very efficient, but for someone who has not been active, not only are there fewer receptors on the muscle wall to bind to the insulin, but there is less activity inside the muscle, making the transferring of the glucose to the muscle difficult.
"Past studies have indicated increases in human blood sugar and insulin as early as five days, but these findings show that changes could be occurring even earlier in the muscle”, Booth said.
MEDICA.de; Source: University of Missouri-Columbia