Nav: Home

AMPK -- the enzyme that makes physical activity healthy

January 02, 2017

ampk Physical activity benefits diabetics and others with insulin resistance. One of the reasons is that a single bout of physical activity increases the effectiveness of insulin. Thus, physical activity helps to reduce the risk of developing diabetes, while also reducing the effects of diabetes if it does set in. Until now, no one has understood the underlying mechanism of this phenomenon.

New research from the University of Copenhagen's Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports reports that the enzyme AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays a crucial role in enhancing the ability of insulin to stimulate glucose uptake in muscles. The discovery may be a breakthrough in finding a medical pathway to improve the health of people with limitations for physical activity.

"AMPK is central for insulin sensitivity in muscles, and thereby for the ability of muscles to take up glucose immediately after physical activity. That our research group has been able to demonstrate such an important and basic physiological role of AMPK in muscles is fantastic, and a reward after many years of effort," according to Professor Jørgen Wojtaszewski, who had overall responsibility for the group's work.

Wojtaszewski continues: "This is excellent news for people with decreased insulin sensitivity. We can now work from the standpoint that activating AMPK, both medicinally as well as through physical activity, will enhance the effectiveness of insulin in the muscles of these people."

Moving towards an 'exercise pill'

The study's main experiments were conducted on laboratory animals in which the genes coding for AMPK specifically were removed in skeletal muscle. The ability of these mice to increase muscle insulin sensitivity after a single exercise bout was fully ablated. Over the last years the research group has conducted several experiments that show that it is highly probable that AMPK plays a similar role in muscles of man. In addition, last year, the group demonstrated that medicinal activation of AMPK could increase insulin sensitivity in muscles of mice.

"While physical activity is clearly preferred, because it improves health and welfare in a great many areas and ways, our finding points to a medicinal way to improve health that can benefit those who are limited in their ability to be physically active. This could include people with physical handicaps, ill people forced to stay in bed for more than a few days or of course those who do not fancy physical activity at all. Popularly put, we are moving towards the development of an 'exercise pill'", says Postdoc Rasmus Kjøbsted, lead author of the article that catalogued the group's research.

He concludes: "Moreover, our findings suggest that some types of physical activity are likely more effective than others in increasing insulin sensitivity. But more experiments are required to further clarify this."
-end-
The study is published as the article, Enhanced Muscle Insulin Sensitivity After Contraction/Exercise is Mediated by AMPK, in Diabetes, a renowned American journal: http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2016/10/25/db16-0530

Contact

Professor Jørgen Wojtaszewski
Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen
Mail: jwojtaszewski@nexs.ku.dk, Telephone: +45 2875 1625

Postdoc. Rasmus Kjøbsted
Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen
Mail: rasmus.kjobsted@nexs.ku.dk, Telephone: +45 2834 4370

Communications Officer Kristian Levring Madsen
Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen
Mail: kma@nexs.ku.dk, Telephone: +45 4048 1684

Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen

Related Diabetes Articles:

The role of vitamin A in diabetes
There has been no known link between diabetes and vitamin A -- until now.
Can continuous glucose monitoring improve diabetes control in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin
Two studies in the Jan. 24/31 issue of JAMA find that use of a sensor implanted under the skin that continuously monitors glucose levels resulted in improved levels in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin multiple times a day, compared to conventional treatment.
Complications of type 2 diabetes affect quality of life, care can lead to diabetes burnout
T2D Lifestyle, a national survey by Health Union of more than 400 individuals experiencing type 2 diabetes (T2D), reveals that patients not only struggle with commonly understood complications, but also numerous lesser known ones that people do not associate with diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes and obesity -- what do we really know?
Social and economic factors have led to a dramatic rise in type 2 diabetes and obesity around the world.
A better way to predict diabetes
An international team of researchers has discovered a simple, accurate new way to predict which women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes after delivery.
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Older Americans with diabetes living longer without disability, US study shows
Older Americans with diabetes born in the 1940s are living longer and with less disability performing day to day tasks than those born 10 years earlier, according to new research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.
Reverse your diabetes -- and you can stay diabetes-free long-term
A new study from Newcastle University, UK, has shown that people who reverse their diabetes and then keep their weight down remain free of diabetes.
New cause of diabetes
Although insulin-producing cells are found in the endocrine tissue of the pancreas, a new mouse study suggests that abnormalities in the exocrine tissue could cause cell non-autonomous effects that promotes diabetes-like symptoms.
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Reducing sugar content in sugar-sweetened drinks by 40 percent over 5 years could prevent 1.5 million cases of overweight and obesity in the UK and 300,000 cases of diabetes
A new study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal suggests that reducing sugar content in sugar sweetened drinks (including fruit juices) in the UK by 40 percent over five years, without replacing them with any artificial sweeteners, could prevent 500,000 cases of overweight and 1 million cases of obesity, in turn preventing around 300,000 cases of type 2 diabetes, over two decades.
Breastfeeding lowers risk of type 2 diabetes following gestational diabetes
Women with gestational diabetes who consistently and continuously breastfeed from the time of giving birth are half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes within two years after delivery, according to a study from Kaiser Permanente published today in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Related Diabetes Reading:

The Diabetes Code: Prevent and Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Naturally
by Jason Fung (Author), Nina Teicholz (Foreword)

Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes Without Drugs
by Neal Barnard (Author)

The End of Diabetes: The Eat to Live Plan to Prevent and Reverse Diabetes
by Joel Fuhrman M.D. (Author)

Diabetes For Dummies
by Alan L. Rubin (Author)

Bright Spots & Landmines: The Diabetes Guide I Wish Someone Had Handed Me
by Adam Brown (Author), Kelly L. Close (Foreword)

The Complete Diabetes Cookbook: The Healthy Way to Eat the Foods You Love
by America's Test Kitchen (Editor), Dariush Mozaffarian M.D. (Editor)

Dr. Neal Barnard's Cookbook for Reversing Diabetes: 150 Recipes Scientifically Proven to Reverse Diabetes Without Drugs
by Neal Barnard (Author), Dreena Burton (Author)

Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars
by Richard K. Bernstein (Author)

Mayo Clinic The Essential Diabetes Book
by Mayo Clinic (Author)

Managing Type 2 Diabetes For Dummies
by American Diabetes Association (Author)

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

The Next Frontier
Colonizing Mars or more distant planets seems like science fiction. But becoming a spacefaring species may be in our near future. This hour, TED speakers on living beyond Earth--and whether we should. Guests include NASA Chief Scientist James Green, science writer Stephen Petranek, MIT Media Lab researcher Lisa Nip, and astronomer Lucianne Walkowicz.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#508 Freedom's Laboratory
This week we're looking back at where some of our modern ideas about science being objective, independent, and apolitical come from. We journey back to the Cold War with historian and writer Audra Wolfe, talking about her newest book "Freedom's Laboratory: The Cold War Struggle for the Soul of Science".