(HealthDay News) – Most of the metabolic effects of overeating for a week can be counteracted by also doing vigorous exercise, according to a study published in the Dec. 15 issue of The Journal of Physiology.

Jean-Philippe Walhin, PhD, from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, and colleagues assigned 26 active young men (mean age, 25 years) to consume 50% more energy than normal for seven days by over-consuming their normal diet and reducing their physical activity. Half of the men were randomly assigned to 45 minutes of vigorous treadmill running daily plus additional dietary energy intake to maintain a matched energy surplus.

The researchers found that, on the oral glucose tolerance test, the insulin response increased a significant two-fold from baseline in the group that did not exercise, while there was no change in the group that exercised. The group that did not exercise had significant differential expression of seven of 17 genes within adipose tissue and a lower ratio of phospho 5′ AMP-activated protein kinase (pAMPK)/AMPK protein in adipose tissue.

“Vigorous-intensity exercise counteracted most of the effects of short-term overfeeding and under-activity at the whole-body level and in adipose tissue, even in the face of a standardized energy surplus,” Walhin and colleagues conclude.

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