Monday, January 16, 2006

Diabetes/Metabolic Syndrome Reversal

Obese and overweight individuals suffering from metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes showed significant health improvements after only three weeks of diet and moderate exercise even though the participants remained overweight.

"The study shows, contrary to common belief, that Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome can be reversed solely through lifestyle changes," according to lead researcher Christian Roberts of University of California, Los Angeles.

"The results are all the more interesting because the changes occurred in the absence of major weight loss, challenging the commonly held belief that individuals must normalize their weight before achieving health benefits," Roberts said. Participants did lose two to three pounds per week, but they were still obese after the 3-week study.

The study regimen:
  1. High fiber, low fat diet, no calorie limit.
  2. 45-60 minutes of aerobic exercise per day on a treadmill at 75-80% of maximum heart rate.

"The diet, combined with moderate exercise, improved many factors that contribute to heart disease and that are indirect measures of plaque progression in the arteries, including insulin resistance, high cholesterol, and markers of developing atherosclerosis," Roberts said.

People have a misconception that it takes a long time to reduce health risks associated with certain conditions. This study shows that's not the case.

Just today, in guidelines published by the Heart Foundation of Australia, physicians are urged to draw up exercise plans for patients who have already had heart attacks, strokes and diabetes.

"Patients with heart disease have not been encouraged to do activity, on the basis it may risk their lives," Dr. Roger Allan said. "GPs are concerned that if they prescribe exercise and the patient drops dead, they will be sued. "The guidelines basically say that's not true -- more than half of patients can and should do an exercise program."

If you need some help and motivation, Good Morning America's America Takes It off has begun.

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