Effects of an ad libitum, high carbohydrate diet and aerobic exercise training on insulin action and muscle metabolism in older men and women.

The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences

PubMedID: 16567381

Hays NP, Starling RD, Sullivan DH, Fluckey JD, Coker RH, Williams RH, Evans WJ. Effects of an ad libitum, high carbohydrate diet and aerobic exercise training on insulin action and muscle metabolism in older men and women. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2006;61(3):299-304.
BACKGROUND
Previous studies have demonstrated that aerobic exercise training and weight loss have independent effects on insulin-stimulated glucose disposal (ISGD). We hypothesized that ad libitum consumption of a high-carbohydrate diet would result in weight loss and improved ISGD, and that aerobic exercise training would facilitate greater improvements in ISGD compared with diet alone.

METHODS
Older participants (13 women, 9 men; age = 66 +/- 1 year) with impaired glucose tolerance were randomly assigned to an ad libitum diet alone (18% fat, 19% protein, 63% carbohydrate) or this diet plus aerobic exercise training (4 d/wk, 45 min/d, 80% VO(2peak)) for 12 weeks. ISGD, abdominal fat distribution, muscle glycogen, and glycogen synthase activity were assessed pre- and postintervention.

RESULTS
Consumption of the diet resulted in significant weight loss and an improvement in ISGD. Consumption of the diet plus exercise training also resulted in weight loss and increased ISGD, but results were not significantly different from those in the diet-alone group. Mean abdominal visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue cross-sectional areas were smaller postintervention compared to baseline with no difference between groups. Exercise training and consumption of the diet increased muscle glycogen content (344.7 +/- 21.3 to 616.7 +/- 34.4 micromol.g(-1)) and decreased glycogen synthase activity (0.21 +/- 0.02 to 0.13 +/- 0.01) compared to the diet alone.

CONCLUSIONS
These results demonstrate that consumption of an ad libitum, high-carbohydrate diet alone or in combination with aerobic exercise training results in weight loss and improved insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, exercise combined with this diet appears to limit additional increases in insulin sensitivity due to muscle glycogen supercompensation with a concomitant adaptive response of glycogen synthase.