Additional Files

Yates, T. ., Henson, J., Sargeant, J., King, J. A., Ahmad, E., Zaccardi, F., & Davies, M. J. (2021). Exercise, Pharmaceutical Therapies and Type 2 Diabetes: Looking beyond Glycemic Control to Whole Body Health and Function. Translational Medicine and Exercise Prescription, 1(1), 33–42.

Exercise, Pharmaceutical Therapies and Type 2 Diabetes: Looking beyond Glycemic Control to Whole Body Health and Function

Thomas Yates()1,2, Joseph Henson1,2, Jack Sargeant1,2, James A King2,4, Ehtasham Ahmad1, Francesco Zaccardi1,3 and Melanie J Davies1,2 

1Diabetes Research Center, University of Leicester, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester, LE5 4PW, UK

2NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Center, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and University of Leicester, UK

3Leicester Real World Evidence Unit, Diabetes Research Center, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK

4National Center for Sport and Exercise Medicine, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, UK

© The Authors



Exercise is a powerful therapy for improving glycemic control and increasing cardiorespiratory fitness in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, there is a dearth of evidence investigating interactions or synergies between exercise and most pharmaceutical therapies. This is important as exercise is rarely prescribed in isolation of other background medications used to manage T2DM. Therefore understanding which exercise and drug combinations optimize or blunt responses is crucial. This narrative review discusses advances in weight loss management in diabetes and highlights research opportunities and challenges for combining exercise therapies with newer generations of glucose-lowering therapies with weight loss effects, particularly glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) and sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2is). We discuss the role of exercise in preserving lean mass and increasing physical function along with other potential areas of synergy. We conclude that until the evidence base investigating areas of interaction or synergy between exercise and other glucose-lowering or weight loss therapies is developed, exercise will remain a generic rather than a tailored therapy in the management of T2DM. 

exercise type 2 diabetes glucose-lowering therapies weight loss physical function


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