Vitamin Pickle

Many people who have Type 2 diabetes, or are at risk of developing it, are told to get more exercise. Research has shown that exercise can reduce insulin resistance[1] (a hallmark of Type 2 diabetes) in addition to its cardiovascular benefits and proven ability to help maintain weight loss.

But a new study[2] suggests that the insulin[3]-sensitizing effect of exercise could be undone by vitamin pills. Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study tested insulin sensitivity in healthy young men before and after a four-week exercise program. One group was assigned to take a combination of vitamins C and E; the other group did not take any vitamins. At the end of the four weeks, insulin sensitivity had improved only in men who were not taking the vitamins.

Researchers concluded that the vitamins in the study neutralized potentially harmful oxygen molecules released by the body during exercise (hence these vitamins are considered antioxidants[4]). But this prevented the body’s natural defense mechanism against the oxygen from kicking in — a mechanism that normally leads to greater insulin sensitivity.

No single study is definitive, of course, as a representative for the dietary supplement industry reminds readers in a New York Times article about the study[5].

Do you take vitamin C or E, or another antioxidant supplement? How — if at all — has exercise affected your diabetes? Will you change your behavior based on this study? Leave a comment below!

Endnotes:
  1. insulin resistance: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/Articles/Diabetes-Definitions/insulin_resistance/
  2. a new study: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/05/11/0903485106.abstract
  3. insulin: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/Articles/Diabetes-Definitions/insulin/
  4. antioxidants: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/Articles/Alternative-Medicine-Complementary-Therapies/antioxidants
  5. article about the study: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/12/health/research/12exer.html?emc=eta1

Source URL: https://dsm.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/vitamin-pickle/


Flashpoints: Diabetes Flashpoints dives into controversies—on diet, drugs, and even what kind of coffee cup to use!—and lets you share your voice.

Disclaimer of Medical Advice: Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information, which comes from qualified medical writers, does not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs.