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Why Sedentary Lifestyle & Sugary Diet Adversely Affect Men More Than Women?

The University of Missouri School of Medicine recently conducted a study, which discovered the first evidence that short-term lifestyle changes can impact the response of insulin in the blood. Furthermore, the changes were different in both men and women. 

Dr. Sharma Dvsln, Urologist, Apollo 24|7, has handled more than 4000 cases in the last 5 years of Open surgeries and performing Endo Urology. He is also a well-known member of the Indian Medical Association. In this article, he talks about the effects of lifestyle habits on men and women.

Everyone knows that an individual’s lifestyle choices play a major role in maintaining their overall health. Some of these lifestyle choices, like consuming a healthy diet and exercising regularly, can be quite helpful in improving physical and mental well-being. On the other hand, poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking, leading a sedentary lifestyle, and eating a sugary diet, can lead to several health problems.

While the importance of a healthy lifestyle is pretty obvious, just how much these changes can affect you, even in a short period, isn’t that widely known. A recent study conducted by the University of Missouri School of Medicine shows the impact of short-term lifestyle changes on the body of both men and women. 

Effects of Inactive Lifestyle and High-Sugar Diet Over a Short Term

The above-mentioned study was conducted to discover how women and men reacted to increased sugar intake and reduced physical activity over a short period. In this study, 36 healthy, young women and men were exposed to low physical activity for 10 days by cutting their step count from 10,000 to 5,000 steps every day. The sugar intake of the participants was also increased to six soda cans every day. After making these changes, researchers examined the insulin resistance in the blood vessels of the participants.  

The study found that short-term lifestyle changes like lower levels of physical activity and consuming sugary beverages can adversely affect the way your blood vessels react to insulin. Notably, insulin is a hormone that helps blood glucose move into your cells, where it is used for energy. It also widens blood vessels, increasing the flow of blood, glucose, and insulin to your tissues. If there is insulin resistance in your blood vessels, this process is hampered, resulting in less glucose moving into the tissues’ cells. This vascular insulin resistance is a feature of type 2 diabetes and obesity and contributes to vascular diseases. 

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How Were Men and Women Affected Differently?

In this study, over 10 days, men showed reduced blood flow in the leg after getting an insulin infusion as compared to their response to this hormone at the beginning of the study. Male participants also experienced a drop in adropin, which is a hormone that plays a vital role in the regulation of body weight, insulin sensitivity, and the functioning of your cardiovascular system. On the other hand, these significant changes did not take place in the women who participated in the study.

These findings indicate the considerable sex-related differences in the occurrence of insulin resistance caused by reduced physical activity levels and increased sugar intake. Earlier research also shows that premenopausal women are relatively more protected against blood vessel dysfunction caused by prolonged sitting, as compared to men. 

Long-Term Impact of Diabetes

Though this study was centred around the short-term impact of increased sugar intake and physical inactivity, there are several long-term health consequences of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can cause damage to both small and large blood vessels increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. 

While this study has revealed a lot about the effect of poor lifestyle choices on health, researchers are aiming to find out how long it would take to reverse these vascular and metabolic changes through future studies. It’s also their objective to dive deeper into the impact of sex on the development of vascular insulin resistance.