Washington D.C. [USA], Nov 8 (ANI): Turns out, exercising during childhood promotes long-lasting health and can counteract the risk of developing diabetes that comes from having an obese father.
According to a new research published in The Journal of Physiology, exercise early in life reverses the negative effect of low insulin sensitivity in adulthood for children and therefore, can counteract the risk of diabetes.
Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar levels and people with low insulin sensitivity do not respond to insulin as well as normal, which results in blood sugars levels increasing. This can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Children of fathers with a high-fat diet or who are obese are more likely to have low insulin sensitivity.
The study conducted by Victoria University involved breeding obese male rats with healthy female rats. Their offspring underwent exercise training for only four weeks after weaning and then were assessed as adults in terms of responsiveness to glucose and insulin, skeletal muscle function and pancreas structure.
The offspring of obese fathers had reduced whole body and skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity and reduced insulin secretion. The early exercise in these offspring prevented in adulthood the negative effects caused by a high-fat diet in their fathers.
It is important to note that early exercise did not have any positive effects on their pancreas, according to the study. This was very interesting as the group had previously shown that rats born small for gestational age, like humans, had pancreas problems as adults but in this case, early life exercise in the rats prevented the pancreatic problems.
The researchers, now, plan to look at which genes are switched on and off to determine the relationship between paternal diet and offspring exercise, as well as how exercise and paternal diet can affect the offspring’s physiology.
They also plan to examine if similar effects occur in larger mammals that have developmental rates more similar to humans.