Study makes strong case for building muscle mass

Maintaining and building muscle mass may be as important as weight loss for regulating insulin and reducing type 2 diabetes risk, according to a new study.

Researchers at UCLA, in the US, analysed data from 13,644 participants, and found that for every 10% increase in skeletal muscle index, there was a corresponding 11% reduction in insulin resistance and 12% drop in prevalence of prediabetes.

The findings suggest that weight loss should not be the only key goal in preventing diabetes risk. Encouraging patients to maintain their fitness and build muscle mass is also significant in improving overall metabolic health.

Published online July 2011, J Clin Endocrinol Metab