Whole body vibration (WBV) can significantly improve how well our body uses glucose as an energy source and adjust our microbiome and immune cells to reduce diabetic inflammation, says a new study.
Diabetic inflammation is seen in individuals with diabetes wherein an increased level of cytokines, a chemical which causes inflammation is seen in higher levels than in individuals who do not have diabetes. The inflammatory response inturn puts diabetics at a higher risk for developing certain conditions (such as stroke or heart attack) than other individuals.
WBV is an alternative therapeutic method through which vibrations are delivered to the body in an attempt to improve muscle power and strength.
The study's findings, published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, showed how regular use of whole body vibration can create this healthier mix by yielding a greater percentage of macrophages -- cells that can both promote or prevent inflammation -- that suppress rather than promote.
The researchers, using a mouse model, showed that WBV alters the microbiome, a collection of microorganisms in our body, which help protect us from invaders and, in the gut, help us digest food.
They saw several changes including increased levels of a bacterium that makes short chain fatty acids, which can help the body better utilise glucose.
Glucose is used by the body for fuel but at high levels it promotes inflammation, insulin insensitivity and ultimately can cause diabetes.
"While there were other changes, the most dramatic they documented was the 17-fold increase in this bacterium called Alistipes, a gut bacterium not typically in high supply there but known to be proficient at making short chain fatty acids which, in turn, are "very good" at decreasing inflammation in the gut," said Jack Yu, chief of pediatric plastic surgery at the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University.
Alistipes, which helps ferment our food without producing alcohol, generally improves the metabolic status of our gut and makes us more proficient at using the glucose we consume for energy.
The researchers reiterated that while no one is certain just how WBV works, but it appears to help address a key concern in diabetes and many common diseases: inflammation.
While acute inflammation helps us fight disease, chronic inflammation helps start and sustain a variety of diseases from cardiovascular problems to cancer as well as diabetes, the researchers said.