Active young adults with type 1 diabetes may experience poor muscle health, finds a study from McMaster University and York University, both in Ontario, Canada. Results of this study were published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.
The researchers analyzed muscle biopsies from adults in their twenties – with and without type 1 diabetes – who exceeded recommended weekly levels for physical activity. They discovered structural and functional changes in the mitochondria – the power generating parts of muscle cells – in those with diabetes. The mitochondria were less capable of producing energy for the muscle and released high levels of a toxic substance related to cell damage.
Poor muscle health can affect metabolism and reduce the body’s ability to control blood glucose. If left untreated, it can also increase the risk for disability. Results of the study suggest poor muscle health is an additional complication of type 1 diabetes, along with nerve damage, heart disease, kidney disorders, and others.