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Improvements in glucose tolerance and insulin action induced by increasing energy expenditure or decreasing energy intake: a randomized controlled trial

Weiss, Edward P., Racette, Susan B., Villareal, Dennis T., Fontana, Luigi, Steger-May, Karen, Schechtman, Kenneth B., Klein, Samuel, Holloszy, John O.
American journal of clinical nutrition 2006 v.84 no.5 pp. 1033-1042
human health, obesity, overweight, weight loss, dietary restriction, energy expenditure, exercise, carbohydrate metabolism, glucose tolerance, insulin, physiological response, randomized clinical trials, middle-aged adults, men, women, body weight changes, energy intake
BACKGROUND: Weight loss, through calorie restriction or increases in energy expenditure via exercise, improves glucose tolerance and insulin action. However, exercise-induced energy expenditure may further improve glucoregulation through mechanisms independent of weight loss. OBJECTIVE: The objective was to assess the hypothesis that weight loss through exercise-induced energy expenditure improves glucoregulation and circulating factors involved in insulin action to a greater extent than does similar weight loss through calorie restriction. DESIGN: Sedentary men and women aged 50-60 y with a body mass index (kg/m²) of 23.5-29.9 were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 weight-loss interventions [12 mo of exercise training (EX group; n = 18) or calorie restriction (CR group; n = 18)] or to a healthy lifestyle (HL) control group (n = 10). The insulin sensitivity index and areas under the curve for glucose and insulin were assessed with an oral-glucose-tolerance test. Adiponectin and tumor necrosis factor α concentrations were measured in fasting serum. Fat mass was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. RESULTS: Yearlong energy deficits were not significantly different between the EX and CR groups, as evidenced by body weight and fat mass changes. The insulin sensitivity index increased and the glucose and insulin areas under the curve decreased in the EX and CR groups, remained unchanged in the HL group, and did not differ significantly between the EX and CR groups. Marginally significant increases in adiponectin and decreases in the ratio of tumor necrosis factor α to adiponectin occurred in the EX and CR groups but not in the HL group. CONCLUSIONS: Weight loss induced by exercise training or calorie restriction improves glucose tolerance and insulin action in nonobese, healthy, middle-aged men and women. However, it does not appear that exercise training-induced weight loss results in greater improvements than those that result from calorie restriction alone.