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People who have low levels of the good HDL cholesterol and store fat primarily in their bellies are at high risk for diabetes.

A study from Kansas State University shows that exercise helps to prevent diabetes by raising blood levels of the good HDL cholesterol and reducing the amount of fat in the belly. People who are at risk for diabetes, have their blood sugars rise too high after meals, which calls out extra insulin that lowers blood levels of the good HDL cholesterol and causes fat to be deposited in the belly.

The only places you can store extra sugar are in your liver and muscles. Exercise uses up sugar from muscles so that after you eat, sugar goes from your intestines into your bloodstream and then directly into empty muscles. If you don't exercise, sugar goes into your blood stream and stays there, calling out extra insulin that lowers HDL and increases belly fat. See report #D222.

Exercise mitigates the association of abdominal obesity with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in premenopausal women: Results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2000, Vol 100, Iss 11, pp 1347-1353. DL Heim, CA Holcomb, TM Loughin. Holcomb CA, Kansas State Univ, Dept Human Nutr, 213 Justin Hall, Manhattan,KS 66506 USA

Checked 8/9/05

May 19th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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