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Exercise Benefits Mitochondria in Diabetics

Here's a study somewhat related to the last one I discussed. The notion that mitochondria contribute to obesity-induced insulin resistance is not new, but there is debate around this since a mechanism hasn't been confirmed--only theorized. Therefore, the researchers behind this study determined if obese (BMI=33 kg/m(2)), insulin-resistant women with polycystic ovary syndrome had aberrant skeletal muscle mitochondrial physiology compared to lean, insulin-sensitive women (BMI=23 kg/m(2)).

Results showed that maximal whole-body and mitochondrial oxygen consumption were not different between obese and lean women. However, obese women exhibited lower mitochondrial coupling (lower mitochondrial efficiency) and phosphorylation efficiency and elevated mitochondrial H2O2 (mtH2O2) emissions compared to lean women (they generated a lot more free-radicals).

The researchers then further evaluated the impact of 12-weeks of aerobic exercise on obesity-related impairments in insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial energetics in the fasted state and following a high-fat, mixed meal. Exercise training reversed obesity-related mitochondrial derangements as evidenced by enhanced mitochondrial bioenergetics efficiency and decreased mtH2O2 (free-radical) production.

A concomitant increase in catalase antioxidant activity and decreased DNA oxidative damage indicate improved cellular redox status and a potential mechanism contributing to improved insulin sensitivity.

mtH2O2 emissions were refractory to a high-fat meal at baseline but after exercise mtH2O2 emissions increased following the meal, which resembles previous findings in lean individuals. The results of this study demonstrated that obese women exhibit impaired mitochondrial bioenergetics in the form of decreased efficiency and impaired mtH2O2 emissions, while exercise effectively restored mitochondrial physiology toward that of lean, insulin-sensitive individuals.

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Source: Defects in mitochondrial efficiency and H2O2 emissions in obese women are restored to a lean phenotype with aerobic exercise training

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