Human evolution, type 2 diabetes mellitus and exercise

Kian Peng Goh, Angela Koh, Henning Wackerhage

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Type 2 diabetes is a disease where high concentrations of blood glucose occur due to the combination of insulin resistance and E-cell dysfunction. In this chapter, we will first explain type 2 diabetes and then discuss how environmental factors, genetic predisposition and possibly epigenetic mechanisms lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. After introducing the disease we will review human evolution and argue that there is a now a divergence between our ancient genomes that have been selected for high physical activity and feast famine cycles and our current lifestyles, which are marked by low physical activity and high food intake. e consequences are chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, which we discuss in this chapter. Finally, we will review the mechanisms by which exercise increases glucose uptake acutely and increases insulinstimulated glucose uptake in the days after exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMolecular Exercise Physiology
Subtitle of host publicationAn Introduction
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781136477034
ISBN (Print)9780415607872
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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