A novel method to identify healthy individuals with insulin resistance prior to clinical manifestations

Project Leader

  • Sarah Blackwood


  • Department of Physiology, Nutrition and Biomechanics

Research Funders

  • Åke Wiberg Foundation


Below you can read summaries about the project in English and/or Swedish. The information is taken from the publication database DiVA.

Background. Insulin resistance (IR, inadequate stimulation of glucose uptake by muscle) is not pathological, but it is a significant risk factor for the development of several metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, obesity and hypertension, all of which have reached global epidemic proportions. Early detection of IR is critical since it would enable use of non-invasive approaches (exercise and diet) to reverse the condition and thereby markedly curb the development of the aforementioned diseases.

Purpose. The purpose of this study is to determine if by studying muscle contractile properties of healthy subjects, one can identify those who are insulin resistant.

Methods. Healthy young individuals will be studied. Muscle contractile properties will be assessed by electrical stimulation and voluntary contraction. A muscle biopsy will be obtained, followed by an intravenous glucose tolerance test. Muscle fiber composition will be determined and insulin secretion, indices of glucose tolerance and peripheral insulin action will be estimated.

Significance. Our initial findings show that we can identify healthy, young individuals with marked IR, before onset of any clinical manifestations (e.g., fasting hyperglycemia/ hyperinsulinemia, impaired glucose tolerance, obesity, and hypertension), by assessing muscle contractile function. The results of our research can facilitate curbing the ongoing global epidemics of diseases associated with IR.

Insulinresistens (nedsatt aktivering av muskelglukosupptag) är en riskfaktor för utveckling av flera sjukdomar, inklusive typ 2 diabetes, fetma och hypertoni. Genom att studera muskelkontraktila egenskaper kan vi identifiera insulinresistenta individer och därmed förebygga sjukdomsutveckling.

Funding period

  • 2022 - 2023

Project type

  • Project grant

National Research Field

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes