High-intensity interval training improves insulin sensitivity in older individuals

High-intensity interval training improves insulin sensitivity in older individuals -
02.01.18

An article accepted for publication in Acta Physiologica (December 2017) written by Danish Diabetes Academy PhD fellow Ditte Søgaard, demonstrates that high-intensity interval training can be applied as an effective and time efficient intervention to improve metabolic health in older individuals at risk of developing age related cardio-metabolic disease.

REDUCED METABOLIC HEALTH DURING AGING

Insulin sensitivity is frequently reduced during aging which is mainly explained by reduced physical activity and altered body composition, including abdominal obesity. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions worldwide and taking the increasing life expectancy into account, it is central to focus on metabolic health during aging. To meet these challenges traditional endurance training can be applied with improving effects on metabolic health. However, as a time efficient alternative high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has received increasing attention.

Twenty-two overweight to obese males and females (55-75 yrs.) completed a six weeks HIIT intervention on a bicycle ergometer, performing three sessions per week. The hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp technique was used to determine whole-body insulin sensitivity before and after the intervention and body composition, glucose metabolism and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) were measured and muscle biopsies obtained.

HIIT IMPROVES METABOLIC HEALTH IN OLDER INDIVIDUALS

Six weeks HIIT was sufficient to improve insulin sensitivity and VO2max and reduce visceral body fat, body fat percent and plasma cholesterol and low density lipoprotein across genders. In muscle, glucose metabolism was improved by increased protein content of GLUT4, glycogen synthase and hexokinase II measured by western blotting. This finding was further supported by an increase in muscle glycogen content.  

This study demonstrates that HIIT can be applied as an effective and time efficient intervention to improve metabolic health in older individuals at risk of developing age related cardio-metabolic disease.

Only very few HIIT studies have measured insulin sensitivity by hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp, and based on the results of the present study this should be further elucidated.

AUTHORS AND AFFILIATION

Søgaard D1*, Lund MT1*, Scheuer CM1, Dehlbæk MS1, Dideriksen SG1, Abildskov CV1, Christensen KK1, Dohlmann TL1, Larsen S1, Vigelsø AV1, Dela F1,2, Helge JW1

1Xlab, Centre of Healthy Aging, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
2Department of Geriatrics, Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark

*Søgaard D and Lund MT have contributed equally to the work of this study

Source: Acta Physiologica