""Exercise may be as good as drugs for heart disease, diabetesDec. 14, 2013 at 2:01 AMDec. 14 (UPI) -- A meta-analysis found exercise may be as effective as drugs in helping patients with strokes, diabetes and heart disease, British and U.S. researchers say.Researchers at the London School of Economics and Political Science, the Harvard Medical School, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute in Boston and Stanford University School of Medicine in California conducted a meta-analysis of 305 research projects involving 340,000 patients diagnosed with one of four diseases: heart disease, chronic heart failure, stroke or pre-diabetes.The researchers compared the mortality rates of those prescribed medication for common serious health conditions, with 57 studies involving 15,000 volunteers enrolled in exercise programs.The findings, published in the British Medical Journal, found medication worked best for those with heart failure, but physical activity was at least as effective as the drugs which were normally prescribed for borderline diabetes, heart disease and might be better for stroke.Although exercise seemed to be more effective than drug interventions in stroke rehabilitation, and diuretics seemed to be more effective than exercise interventions in heart failure treatment, these findings should be interpreted with caution given the scarceness of data and the different settings involved, the researchers wrote in the study.Despite research suggesting regular physical activity could be "quite potent" in improving survival odds, but until more studies are done, patients should not stop taking their medications without taking medical advice, the researchers warned.""
These study results are very interesting. The confounders: What type of exercise? How did they control for factors such as: those who eat the worst, highest carb diets, will feel the worst and will have the greatest inflammation, and so will likely exercise least. IOW - the study would not detest that perhaps those who work out more often are the ones who already eat better than those who do not work out.
In my experience, exercise if of minimal benefit if one's interest is simply fat loss. To get the fat off your belly, you have to change how you eat. But exercise is GREAT if you want to feel better, live better, and absolutely essential if you want to have a chance to end this ride on your own terms.
This abstract was forwarded to me by Dr. Lowell Gerber, you can learn about his fascinating cardiology practice here: