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06.06.2013


Strength training better for diabetes-2 when combined with creatine

The combination of strength training and creatine supplementation is beneficial for people with diabetes type 2 write researchers at the University of Sao Paulo in Medicine & Science in the journal Sports & Exercise. The combination lowers glucose levels and the damage that diabetes causes to the cornea, kidneys and the cardiovascular system.

Strength training better for diabetes-2 when combined with creatine
One aspect of diabetes type 2 is that cells lose their insulin sensitivity. As a result, the organs get too little energy and become damaged. Blood glucose levels rise and when the glucose combines with proteins toxic compounds are formed. Exercise limits the damage. Cycling or walking, for example, encourage muscle cells to absorb more glucose, which can then be burned.

The researchers reported in 2008 that creatine supplementation boosts the effect of aerobic exercise. [Amino Acids. 2008 Feb; 34(2): 245-50.]

In the study referred to in this article the researchers examined whether creatine also has a positive effect on diabetes patients who do strength training. They got their test subjects, 25 men and women in whom diabetes had been diagnosed an average of seven years previously, to do half an hour of weight training three times a week. In that half hour the subjects trained their largest muscle groups by doing bench presses, leg presses, lat pull downs, leg extensions and seated rows.

The subjects trained using weights for which they could manage a maximum of 8-12 reps.

Twelve of the subjects were given a placebo each day; thirteen were given 5 g creatine each day.

Before the training and supplementation period began, and twelve weeks later, the researchers measured the concentration of glycosylated haemoglobin [HbA1c] in the subjects' blood. HbA1c is an indicator of the glycation ['sugaring'] of protein in the body. The more glycosylated haemoglobin diabetics have in their blood, the greater the chance of them developing cataracts, kidney problems and cardiovascular diseases.


Strength training better for diabetes-2 when combined with creatine


Strength training better for diabetes-2 when combined with creatine


Strength training better for diabetes-2 when combined with creatine


The combination of strength training and creatine supplementation resulted in a lowering of the glucose level in the blood. This was probably because the combination activated the protein that transports glucose: GLUT4.

Active GLUT4 makes its way from the cell nucleus to the cell mebrane, where it can suck up glucose molecules from the blood and then transport them to muscle cells where the glucose is converted into energy. The total amount of GLUT4 in the muscle cells did not change in either group.

The researchers were funded by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico, not by the supplements industry.

Source:
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 May;43(5):770-8.

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