Effect of physical training on insulin action in obesity

R. A. DeFronzo, R. S. Sherwin, N. Kraemer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


We evaluated insulin secretion and insulin action with the hyperglycemic (125 mg/dl above basal) and euglycemic insulin (40 mU·m-2·min-1) clamps in seven moderately obese subjects before and after a 6-wk exercise training program. Thirty-nine normal-weight, age-matched subjects served as controls. Both fasting plasma insulin concentration and glucose-stimulated (hyperglycemic clamp) insulin secretion were significantly (P <.001) increased in the obese subjects. After the training program fasting insulin levels decreased by 26% (P <.01). Insulin secretion in response to hyperglycemia decreased by a similar percentage (P <.01). Nonetheless, total-body glucose metabolism increased significantly (P <.05) during the hyperglycemic clamp. With the euglycemic insulin clamp, obese subjects were shown to be significantly (P <.001) insulin resistant compared with controls. The decrease in total-body glucose uptake resulted from defects in both peripheral glucose disposal and suppression in hepatic glucose production. After the 6-wk training program, insulin-mediated total-body glucose metabolism increased due to significant improvements in peripheral glucose uptake (P <.01) and more effective suppression of hepatic glucose production (P <.05). These results indicate that a moderate-intensity physical conditioning program is capable of ameliorating the insulin resistance and reducing glucose-stimulated hyperinsulinemia observed in obese subjects with normal glucose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1379-1385
Number of pages7
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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