Never too late

In response to yesterday’s e-Alert about maintaining our cells’ mitochondria powerhouses through regular exercise (“The Mighty Mite” 5/1/903), a colleague sent me information about a study that serves as an excellent follow up.

As I mentioned yesterday, mitochondria naturally decrease and become impaired as we age, and in some people this is a common trigger for type 2 diabetes and other chronic health problems. Regular exercise, however, provides a restoration of the much-needed mitochondria, which may help prevent type 2 diabetes.

A recent study from Touro University International in Cypress, California, shows that even once type 2 diabetes has developed, it’s not at all too late to begin exercising.

Approximately 75 percent of patients with type 2 diabetes die of heart disease. Touro researchers followed more than 2,800 men with type 2 diabetes for 14 years, refreshing their data every other year with questionnaires about the subjects’ exercise habits. Results showed that the men who walked three to five hours each week significantly reduced their risk of heart disease, while those who walked the fastest were the least likely to die from any cause during the course of the study.

Obviously it’s never too late to reap the benefits of exercise – especially exercise that works up a sweat and elevates heart rate. And it seems that a good brisk walk is just the thing to make those mitochondria wake up and get moving again.

To Your Good Health,

Jenny Thompson
Health Sciences Institute

“Study: Active Diabetic Men Live Longer” Martin F. Downs, Reuters Health, 5/1/03,