Insulin resistance blocks the benefits of exercise

A new article entitled "Molecular Choreography of Acute Exercise" published on 28 May 2020 in the journal Cell (1), reported that insulin resistance blocks the benefits of exercise.

But before we tell you exactly what this paper found out, let 's take a look at what they' ve done.

For this study, scientists took 36 participants with varying degrees of insulin resistance and left them to exercise.

Before training, as well as 2, 15, 30 and 60 minutes after training, the scientists took blood from the participants and did a series of "multi-omic" tests on each sample.

These are not your standard blood tests in the laboratory. Far from it!

These were in-depth studies of transcriptomy, metabolomes, proteomes, lipidomas and immunomes of participants.

These "omes" (hence the term "multi-omics") were then integrated with each other, as well as with more information about the participants, to gain an unprecedented view of the influence of physical exercise on the human body at the system level.

The study produced many incredible results (of which we stress 10 in the messages below to take home), but let us concentrate on one of them.

The human body is 'supposed' to react to physical activity with cellular responses that make the body adapt and become healthier, but, in the authors ' own words, "most of these processes were tempered and some conversely with insulin-resistant participants."

For example, the 'fitness-inflammatory signature' that should act 15 minutes after training as a signal to the body to adapt was divested in insulin-resistant participants, although insulin-resistant subjects had more inflammation at baseline.

30% of the proteins and 10% of the other metabolites went even in opposite directions in insulin-resistant subjects, compared to healthy insulin-sensitive subjects.

These opposite reactions included the "protein-ubiquitination pathway" (important in cell sweep, similar to autophagia) and omega-3 fatty acid signaling (yes, those healthy fats in fish are signaling molecules).

In simple terms, this suggests that when a person is insulin-resistant and sports, some of the "good molecules" that are supposed to go up, instead go down, and vice versa for the "bad molecules."

Insulin resistance is a marker of metabolic problems.

Why should we expect a body with a bad-acting metabolism to respond well to exercise?

Does this mean that if a person is overweight and insulin-resistant, he/she should not exercise? No.

But it does suggest that metabolic health is a precursor to exercise.

In other words, if you are too heavy and insulin resistant, it is important to first get your nutrition in order.

Food is more than fuel.

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