Irum Hayat

Doctor of Philosophy, (Health Science)
Study Completed: 2013
College of Health


Thesis Title
The South Pacific Islands resist diabetes with Intense Training (SPIRIT) Study: Investigation of obesity markers and morphological, functional and genetic changes in the skeletal muscle

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

The skeletal muscle is an important tissue in removing excess glucose from the blood and if it is not functioning well can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.  Several studies have demonstrated that mitochondrial activity and lipid metabolism in skeletal muscle of people with type 2 diabetes declines.  Irum Hayat''sPhD study involved investigating skeletal muscle mitochondrial function and morphology, lipid droplet density and changes in gene expression pre and post 16 weeks aerobic or resistance exercise in NZ Pacific peoples with type 2 diabetes and morbid obesity. Irum showed statistically significant increases in mitochondrial enzyme activity, decreased lipid content, increased lipid and glucose metabolism, and stimulation of connective tissue remodelling after 16 weeks aerobic or resistance training.  This study has shown that exercise is extremely effective in causing cellular and morphological changes in skeletal muscle that was previously metabolically inactive.

Associate Professor Rachel Page
Dr Birinder Singh Cheema
Dr Isabelle Lys
Professor David Rowlands
Professor Bernhard Breier