Hyperbaric oxygen but not hyperbaric air increases insulin sensitivity in men with type 2 diabetes mellitus


David C Wilkinson 1 2 3, Ian M Chapman 2, Leonie K Heilbronn 2

Main idea: Insulin sensitivity was not changed in hyperbaric air.


Introduction: We have previously shown that hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) increased insulin sensitivity in men who were obese or overweight, both with and without type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study was to test whether this insulin-sensitising effect is seen in hyperbaric air (HA).

Methods: Men with type 2 diabetes who were obese or overweight were randomised to two groups. The HBOT group breathed oxygen via a hood while the HA group breathed chamber air. Both groups were compressed to 203 kPa for 90 minutes. Insulin sensitivity was assessed from the glucose infusion rate (GIR) during the last 30 minutes in the hyperbaric chamber and the first 30 minutes after exit.

Results: HBOT increased GIR by a mean 26% at SS1 and 23% at SS2. There was no significant change in GIR during or after HA.


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