Especially when the days are getting shorter, it rains all day and we can only see the gray sky, we like to lounge on the sofa - preferably with chips, chocolate and lemonade. But researchers at the University of Missouri School of Medicine have found that a high-sugar diet combined with little exercise can have a negative impact on insulin resistance in men after just a few days. And that in turn promotes cardiovascular diseases and type II diabetes. Women, on the other hand, don't seem to be harmed by a short, sedentary and high-sugar phase.
The hormone insulin is important for metabolism. It is responsible for bringing glucose, i.e. glucose, from the blood into the cells. Insulin resistance interferes with this process. The cells react less well to the hormone and absorb less glucose. The result: the blood sugar level rises and this can lead to type II diabetes.
With their study, which was published in the journal "Endocrinology", the scientists wanted to find out how young men and women react to brief phases with a lot of sugar in their diet and little exercise. The researchers asked 36 young women and men to drink six cans of lemonade a day for ten days. At the same time, they should move less: They reduced their number of steps from 10,000 to 5,000 steps a day. Using blood tests, the scientists examined how the reduced movement and the sugary sodas affected the participants.
The result: after just ten days with less exercise and sugary lemonades, the researchers were able to discover a deterioration in some values - but only in the men. Sitting a lot and consuming high amounts of sugary drinks caused constricted blood vessels, which resulted in reduced insulin-stimulating blood flow in the legs. There was also a drop in the protein adropin. This hormone regulates insulin sensitivity. This means that if insulin sensitivity is lower, the cells no longer react as well to insulin. Again, the result is that the blood sugar level rises and thus the risk of diabetes type II.
"These results underscore a gender difference in the development of vascular insulin resistance, which may be induced by lack of exercise and sugary beverages," said study author Camila Manrique-Acevedo. According to the study results, too little exercise and too much sugar - even for a short time - have a negative effect on heart health and blood circulation. "To our knowledge, this is the first evidence in humans that vascular insulin resistance is caused by short-term unfavorable lifestyle changes and there are gender differences."
Further research is needed to transfer the results of the study to a broader audience. The number of participants in this study was small. Camila Manrique-Acevedo wants to continue her research in the field and find out how long it takes for changes in the body to reverse when people move more and stop drinking soda and further explore gender differences.
Sources: Study Notice, Study in Endocrinology