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Twenty Minute Moderate-Intensity Post-Dinner Exercise Reduces the Postprandial Glucose Response in Chinese Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

Zheng Li, Yun Hu, Rengna Yan, Huiqin Li, Danfeng Zhang, Fengfei Li, Xiaofei Su, Jianhua Ma

(Department of Endocrinology, Nanjing First Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:7170-7177

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.910827

BACKGROUND: Postprandial hyperglycemia and glycemic fluctuations are significant cardiovascular disease risk factors for patients with type 2 diabetes. We investigated the effects of a single session of post-dinner moderate-intensity exercise on the postprandial glycemic response compared with a non-exercise condition in a study population of Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: This randomized crossover self-controlled pilot study involved 29 patients with type 2 diabetes who participated in post-dinner exercise days using non-exercise days as a control. The interstitial glucose level was monitored using a continuous glucose monitoring system, with a standardized diet and medication. For the non-exercise control days, patients pursued normal daily activities but refrained from unusual strenuous physical activity. On the exercise days, participants walked on a treadmill for 20 minutes after dinner, with a heart rate reserve of 40%.
RESULTS: Post-dinner moderate-intensity exercise reduced the 2-hour postprandial glucose spike, mean glucose level, and peak glucose level compared to the control condition. The cumulative glucose total area under the curve during 1-hour post-exercise was lower with exercise than under the control condition. The 12-hour standard deviation of blood glucose and the coefficient variation of glucose were significantly lower in the with exercise day compared to the control day, although the 12-hour mean amplitude of glycemic fluctuations did not reach statistical significance. No nocturnal hypoglycemia subsequently occurred on the exercise day.
CONCLUSIONS: A short session of moderate-intensity post-dinner exercise can improve postprandial hyperglycemia and glycemic excursions in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes, with no potential hypoglycemia risk at a later period.

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