The beneficial effects of exercise in patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are not fully proven, given that it may occasionally induce acute metabolic disturbances. Indeed, the metabolic disturbances associated with sustained exercise may lead to worsening control unless great care is taken to adjust carbohydrate intake and insulin dosage. In this work, pre- and post-exercise metabolites were analyzed using a (1)H-NMR and GC-MS untargeted metabolomics approach assayed in serum. We studied ten men with T1D and eleven controls matched for age, body mass index, body fat composition, and cardiorespiratory capacity, participated in the study. The participants performed 30 minutes of exercise on a cycle-ergometer at 80% VO(2)max. In response to exercise, both groups had increased concentrations of gluconeogenic precursors (alanine and lactate) and tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates (citrate, malate, fumarate and succinate). The T1D group, however, showed attenuation in the response of these metabolites to exercise. Conversely to T1D, the control group also presented increases in α-ketoglutarate, alpha-ketoisocaproic acid, and lipolysis products (glycerol and oleic and linoleic acids), as well as a reduction in branched chain amino acids (valine and leucine) determinations. The T1D patients presented a blunted metabolic response to acute exercise as compared to controls. This attenuated response may interfere in the healthy performance or fitness of T1D patients, something that further studies should elucidate.
The article is published online in the journal PLoS ONE and is free to access.