AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: The role of glucose effectiveness (S G) in training-induced improvements in glucose metabolism in individuals with type 2 diabetes is unknown. The objectives and primary outcomes of this study were: (1) to assess the efficacy of interval walking training (IWT) and continuous walking training (CWT) on S G and insulin sensitivity (S I) in individuals with type 2 diabetes; and (2) to assess the association of changes in S G and S I with changes in glycaemic control.
METHODS: Fourteen participants with type 2 diabetes underwent three trials (IWT, CWT and no training) in a crossover study. Exclusion criteria were exogenous insulin treatment, smoking, pregnancy, contraindications to structured physical activity and participation in recurrent training (>90 min/week). The trials were performed in a randomised order (computerised-generated randomisation). IWT and CWT consisted of ten supervised treadmill walking sessions, each lasting 60 min, over 2 weeks. IWT was performed as repeated cycles of 3 min slow walking and 3 min fast walking (aiming for 54% and 89% of [Formula: see text], respectively, which was measured during the last minute of each interval), and CWT was performed aiming for a moderate walking speed (73% of [Formula: see text]). A two-step (pancreatic and hyperinsulinaemic) hyperglycaemic clamp was implemented before and after each trial. All data were collected in a hospitalised setting. Neither participants nor assessors were blinded to the trial interventions.
RESULTS: Thirteen individuals completed all procedures and were included in the analyses. IWT improved S G (mean ± SEM: 0.6 ± 0.1 mg kg(-1) min(-1), p < 0.05) but not S I (p > 0.05), whereas CWT matched for energy expenditure and time duration improved neither S G nor S I (both p > 0.05). Changes in S G, but not in S I, were associated with changes in mean (β = -0.62 ± 0.23, r (2) = 0.17, p < 0.01) and maximum (β = -1.18 ± 0.52, r (2) = 0.12, p < 0.05) glucose levels during 24 h continuous glucose monitoring.
CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Two weeks of IWT, but not CWT, improves S G but not S I in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Moreover, changes in S G are associated with changes in glycaemic control. Therefore, increased S G is likely an important mechanism by which training improves glycaemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02320526 FUNDING: CFAS is supported by a grant from TrygFonden. During the study period, the Centre of Inflammation and Metabolism (CIM) was supported by a grant from the Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF55). The study was further supported by grants from Diabetesforeningen, Augustinusfonden and Krista og Viggo Petersens Fond. CIM/CFAS is a member of DD2-the Danish Center for Strategic Research in Type 2 Diabetes (the Danish Council for Strategic Research, grant no. 09-067009 and 09-075724).