A study from the University of Minnesota shows that exercise helps to control diabetes in children.

The serious side effects of diabetes are caused by how high blood sugar levels rise after meals, and exercise helps to prevent blood sugar levels from rising too high. The higher blood sugar levels rise after eating, the more sugar sticks to the surface of cell membranes. Once stuck there, sugar cannot get off, and it is converted to a poison called sorbitol that destroys the cells to cause blindness, deafness, heart attacks, kidney damage, burning foot syndrome, impotence and the other harmful side effects of diabetes. The only places that you can store extra sugar in your body are in your liver and muscles. Exercise empties sugar from muscles so when you eat, sugar goes from your intestines, into your bloodstream, and if you've just exercised, into your muscles. Otherwise sugar levels rise too high to damage cells.

Association of physical activity with insulin sensitivity in children. International Journal of Obesity, 2002, Vol 26, Iss 10, pp 1310-1316. KH Schmitz, DR Jacobs, CP Hong, J Steinberger, A Moran, AR Sinaiko. Schmitz KH, Univ Minnesota, Div Epidemiol, Sch Publ Hlth, 1300 S 2nd St, Suite 300, Minneapolis,MN 55454 USA

Checked 4/2/10

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