(HealthDay News) – For individuals with type 2 diabetes, continuous moderate-intensity exercise in hypoxia provides the greatest improvements in acute and moderate-term glucose control, according to a study published online Jan. 25 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Richard Mackenzie, Ph.D., of the University of Westminster in London, and colleagues investigated the effectiveness of intermittent exercise with, and without, hypoxia on acute- and moderate-term glucose kinetics and insulin sensitivity in eight males with type 2 diabetes. Participants completed 60 minutes of continuous exercise at 90% lactate threshold in hypoxia (HyEx60), and intermittent exercise at 120% lactate threshold, separated by periods of passive recovery, in hypoxia (Hy5:5) or normoxia (Nor5:5).

The researchers found that the rates of glucose disappearance increased from baseline to 24 hours post-HyEx60 (P=0.031), but there was no difference for Hy5:5 (P=0.064) or Nor5:5 (P=0.385). The homeostasis model of insulin resistance (HOMAIR) was significantly improved for Hy5:5 from baseline to day two. There was an improvement in HOMAIR and the fasting insulin resistance index in the 24 hours after HyEx60, and they remained reduced 48 hours after HyEx60.

“HyEx60 offered greatest improvements in acute and moderate-term glucose control in type 2 diabetes. Intermittent exercise stimulated glucose disposal and improved post exercise insulin resistance which was enhanced when exercise was combined with hypoxia (Hy5:5). The data [suggest] a use of hypoxic exercise in treatment of type 2 diabetes,” the authors write.

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