Poole, R.B., Harrold, C.P., Burridge, J.H., Byrne, C.D. and Holt, R.I.G.
Electrical muscle stimulation acutely mimics exercise in neurologically intact individuals but has limited clinical benefits in patients with type 2 diabetes
Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, 7, (4), . (doi:10.1111/j.1463-1326.2004.00400.x).
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Background: Electrical muscle stimulation mimics exercise in individuals with neurological injury or disease and improves measures of fitness and glucose metabolism. Physical activity improves features of the metabolic syndrome in patients with type 2 diabetes but many patients find it difficult to exercise.
Aims: To determine whether use of an electrical muscle stimulator mimics exercise in neurologically intact individuals and has metabolic benefits in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Methods: Acute changes in pulse, blood pressure and energy expenditure were measured in 33 healthy volunteers using the muscle stimulator. Acute changes in glucose uptake were measured in five subjects with type 2 diabetes. Body composition, features of the metabolic syndrome and measures of insulin sensitivity were measured before and after 12 weeks daily use of the stimulator in four subjects with type 2 diabetes.
Results: The muscle stimulator acutely increased pulse, blood pressure, energy expenditure and glucose uptake. Daily use over 12 weeks improved insulin stimulated nonesterified fatty acid suppression but did not result in changes in body composition or clinical parameters.
Conclusion: Although the muscle stimulator acutely mimics exercise, limitations in the size of the stimulating current mean that the magnitude of these changes is too small to produce clinical benefit.
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