A Comparison Pilot Study of Motor-level Electrical Stimulations for Lowering Postprandial Glucose Levels
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of three Motor-level Electrical Stimulation (MES) parameters, NMES, Russian current, and low-rate transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) on non-diabetic healthy subjects’ postprandial glucose levels, heart rate, and oxygen consumption (VO2).
Background: MES has been shown to improve glucose tolerance and glucose uptake in both animals and humans. The effects of MES include increasing the following: heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen uptake, ventilatory capacity, muscle bulk, muscle oxidative process, and muscle glycogen depletion. Recently, MES has been shown to improve blood glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes. However, limited research is available that comprehensively compares varying MES parameters on the effects of postprandial glucose levels.
Methods: Twenty-eight healthy student subjects were randomly assigned to either the NMES, Russian current, TENS, or control group without any MES. Subjects participated in an overnight fast of at least 8 hours and had their fasting blood glucose measured. Subjects were given a glucose supplement to drink within 10 minutes, rested in supine for 30 minutes then the second glucose level was taken. Subjects received a 30 minute treatment intervention followed by the third blood glucose measurement. Subjects then rested an additional 30 minutes followed by obtaining the final blood glucose measurement. VO2 levels were monitored every 30 seconds, and heart rate was monitored every 3 minutes throughout the 90 minute study.
Results: There were no significant differences between groups on glucose levels and heart rates throughout the study. The Russian group demonstrated a statistically significant increase up to 10% in VO2 compared to the control group. Conclusion: MES seems to have no effects on postprandial glucose levels in non-diabetic healthy subjects. While 30-minute MES treatment did not change the heart rate, Russian current significantly increased the VO2. Our findings indicate Russian current may have the potential to be applied to mimic exercise better than NMES or TENS. Further research is required to explore the effects of Russian current on blood glucose levels in people with T2D.