Lead researcher Dr Itamar Levinger said participants would receive free fitness assessments, bone density scans and checks on cholesterol, Vitamin D and blood glucose levels as part of the study. They will also have muscle biopsies – involving small muscle samples from the thigh – and insulin and glucose infusion to examine the muscle’s capacity to uptake sugar at rest and after exercise.
“These assessments are essential for understanding the connection between bone hormones and muscle function in people with elevated sugar level and people with type 2 diabetes,” Dr Levinger said.
Dr Levinger explained that far from simply supporting our bodies, bones were integral in regulating our bodily functions through the hormones they produced.
“Preliminary data shows exercise increases the hormones produced by bone related to a reduction in blood sugar levels and muscle function,” he said. “If we can understand this link better it will open new avenues to more effective treatments of diabetes and cardiovascular conditions that target the precise function without the adverse affects of some current treatments.”
Participants in the study should be men aged between 40 and 70 years old, overweight (with a BMI over 25), have elevated blood sugar levels and not be on insulin or other medication that affects sugar levels. They will be required for four visits to Victoria University’s Footscray Park campus and one to The Austin hospital in Heidelberg.
The study has been approved by Victoria University’s Human Research Ethics Committee.
Participants will be reimbursed $300 on completion of the study for their time and travel costs.
Dr Itamar Levinger is a Heart Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Institute of Sport, Exercise & Active Living associate.
To discuss participation in this research contact Dr Itamar Levinger on 9919 5343 or Itamar.Levinger@vu.edu.au