The more your muscle mass, the lesser is your risk of developing diabetes, a new study led by an Indian-origin researcher has shown.
Previous studies have shown that very low muscle mass is a risk factor for insulin resistance, the major precursor of type 2 diabetes, but new research has suggested otherwise.
“Our findings represent a departure from the usual focus of clinicians, and their patients, on just losing weight to improve metabolic health,” said the study”s senior author, Preethi Srikanthan, MD, of the University ofCalifornia, Los Angeles ( UCLA)).
“Instead, this research suggests a role for maintaining fitness and building muscle. This is a welcome message for many overweight patients who experience difficulty in achieving weight loss, as any effort to get moving and keep fit should be seen as laudable and contributing to metabolic change.”
In this study, researchers examined the association of skeletal muscle mass with insulin resistance and blood glucose metabolism disorders in a nationally representative sample of 13,644 individuals. Participants were older than 20 years, non-pregnant and weighed more than 35 kg.
The study demonstrated that higher muscle mass (relative to body size) is associated with better insulin sensitivity and lower risk of pre- or overt diabetes.
“Our research shows that beyond monitoring changes in waist circumference or BMI, we should also be monitoring muscle mass,” Srikanthan concluded.
The study will be published in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.