Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tai Chi Exercises Improve Type 2 Diabetes Control, Study Suggests

Date:
April 2, 2008
Source:
British Medical Journal
Summary:
Tai Chi exercises can improve the control of type 2 diabetes, suggests a small study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Tai Chi Chuan is a traditional Chinese martial art, which combines deep diaphragmatic breathing and relaxation with gentle movement.

Tai Chi exercises can improve the control of type 2 diabetes, suggests a small study, published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Tai Chi Chuan is a traditional Chinese martial art, which combines deep diaphragmatic breathing and relaxation with gentle movement.

The research team assessed the impact of a 12 week programme of Tai Chi exercises on the T helper cell activity of 30 patients with type 2 diabetes and 30 healthy people of the same age.

T cells are a key component of the body’s immune system, producing powerful chemicals, including interleukins, which alter the immune response.

Type 2 diabetes is associated with chronic inflammation, caused by excessive glucose in the blood (hyperglycaemia).

After the 12 week programme glycated haemoglobin (when excess blood sugar combines with the oxygen transporter in red blood cells) levels fell significantly from 7.59% to 7.16 in the diabetic patients. And levels of interleukin-12, which boosts the immune response, doubled. Levels of interleukin-4, which suppresses the immune response, fell. T cell activity also significantly increased.

Strenuous physical activity depresses the immune system response, but moderate exercise seems to have the opposite effect, say the authors. Tai Chi is classified as moderate exercise.

Previous research has shown that it boosts cardiovascular and respiratory function, as well as improving flexibility and relieving stress, they add.

Tai Chi may prompt a fall in blood glucose levels, or improve blood glucose metabolism, sparking a drop in the inflammatory response. Alternatively, the exercise may boost fitness levels and the feeling of wellbeing, which may then boost the health of the immune system, they suggest.

In a separate study, also published ahead of print, a 12 week programme of Tai Chi and Qigong (another Chinese exercise) prompted a significant fall in blood glucose levels and significant improvements in other indicators of the metabolic syndrome in 11 middle aged to older adults.

The metabolic syndrome is a cluster of symptoms, including high blood pressure and high blood glucose that is associated with increased risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The 13 participants exercised for up to 1.5 hours, up to three times a week, and were also encouraged to practice the exercises at home.

At the end of the 12 weeks, they had lost an average of 3 kg in weight and their waist size had dropped by an average of almost 3 cm. Their blood pressure also fell significantly, and by more than would have been expected from the weight loss alone, say the authors.

Insulin resistance-whereby cells stop responding to insulin, a condition preceding full diabetes-also improved significantly. Three people no longer met the criteria for metabolic syndrome. Participants said they slept better, had more energy, felt less pain and had fewer food cravings while on the programme.

Journal references:

Regular Tai Chi Chuan exercise improves T cell helper function of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with an increase in T-bet transcription factor and IL-12 production Online First Br J Sports Med 2008; doi 10.1136/bjsm.2007.043562

Preliminary study of the effect of Tai Chi and Qigong medical exercise on indicators of metabolic syndrome and glycaemic control in adults with raised blood glucose levels Online First Br J Sports Med 2008; doi 10.1136/bjsm.2007.045476


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

British Medical Journal. "Tai Chi Exercises Improve Type 2 Diabetes Control, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080331220843.htm>.
British Medical Journal. (2008, April 2). Tai Chi Exercises Improve Type 2 Diabetes Control, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080331220843.htm
British Medical Journal. "Tai Chi Exercises Improve Type 2 Diabetes Control, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080331220843.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins