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Whole-body vibration mimics the metabolic effects of exercise (2017-08-28)

Whole-body vibration is a low-intensity form of exercise in which a person is on a vibrating platform.
The vibrations cause muscles to contract and relax multiple times a second. Whole-body vibration (WBV) has gained attention as a potential exercise mimetic.

To determine whether whole-body vibration (WBV) recapitulates the metabolic and osteogenic effects of physical activity, researchers exposed male wild-type (WT) and leptin receptor–deficient (db/db) mice to daily treadmill exercise (TE) or WBV for 3 months.

Body weights were analyzed and compared with WT and db/db mice that remained sedentary.

Glucose and insulin tolerance testing revealed comparable attenuation of hyperglycemia and insulin resistance in db/db mice following TE or WBV.

Both interventions reduced body weight in db/db mice and normalized muscle fiber diameter.

TE or WBV also attenuated adipocyte hypertrophy in visceral adipose tissue and reduced hepatic lipid content in db/db mice.

Although the effects of leptin receptor deficiency on cortical bone structure were not eliminated by either intervention, exercise and WBV increased circulating levels of osteocalcin in db/db mice.

In the context of increased serum osteocalcin, the modest effects of TE and WBV on bone geometry, mineralization, and biomechanics may reflect subtle increases in osteoblast activity in multiple areas of the skeleton.

Taken together, these observations indicate that WBV recapitulates the effects of exercise on metabolism in type 2 diabetes.

While more research is needed to determine the effects on humans, the study suggests that whole-body vibration has the potential to combat some of the negative effects of diabetes and obesity.
This could be particularly beneficial for people who can’t participate in traditional exercise due to physical limitations or other restrictions.

For more information
Whole-Body Vibration Mimics the Metabolic Effects of Exercise in Male Leptin Receptor–Deficient Mice
Oxford University Press