Exercise restores insulin sensitivity in the brain – The Interactive Physician

Exercise restores insulin sensitivity in the brain - The Interactive Physician

Research opens up new therapeutic possibilities to reduce risk factors for obesity and diabetes in the future

November 8, 2022. 11:31 a.m.

A study has shown that just eight weeks of exercise can help restore brain insulin sensitivity in overweight adults, opening new therapeutic possibilities to reduce risk factors for obesity and diabetes later in life. life, according to a study conducted by the DZD, the Tübingen University Hospital and the Helmholtz of Munich (Germany), which was published in ‘JCI Insight’.

As the researchers point out, if the brain stops responding correctly to the hormone insulin (insulin resistance), this also has a negative effect on the body’s metabolism and on the regulation of eating behavior.

Fourteen women and seven men aged 21 to 59 with a body mass index between 27.5 and 45.5 participated in the study. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used (MRI) to determine insulin sensitivity in the brain before and after eight weeks of monitored resistance training.

The result is that the exercise program improved insulin action in the brain to the level of a person with a healthy weight. “The intervention of exercise increased insulin-stimulated activity in brain regions which are responsible, among other things, for the perception of hunger and satiety and the interplay between motivation, reward, emotion and exercise behavior,” said Dr Stephanie Kullmann, a scientist at the DZD. insulin sensitivity in the brain had positive effects on metabolism, feelings of hunger were reduced and unhealthy visceral fat was reduced.

“The study suggests that insulin resistance in the brain may be reversible and could be a viable therapeutic target to restore central nervous system regulation of metabolism and body weight and counter the harmful effects of obesity“, underlined Professor Martin Heni, last author of the study. To test if the improvement of brain sensitivity to insulin in people at high risk of type 2 diabetes really has beneficial effects on the metabolism and cognition, new controlled intervention studies.

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