A small study looked at the effect of exercise alone on people with type 2 diabetes. Dutch researchers recruited 12 middle-aged volunteers and offered them two endurance and two resistance training sessions a week for six months. The participants exercised at least 3.5 hours weekly, up to 6 hours, but were told not to change their diets. The study ended with a 12-day hiking trip for all dozen volunteers.
MRI images were taken at the beginning and end of the study. Although there were no changes in heart function, these subjects had measurably less visceral fat deep in the abdomen and around the heart and lungs. Their livers also lost fat. Although this is a very small, preliminary study, it demonstrates the benefits of exercise in changing fat distribution and metabolism.
People with diabetes may be especially interested in the one-hour interview we did on this topic with Dr. Richard Bernstein and Dr. William Polansky, show #866.