Yoga helps in type 2 diabetes
Regular practice of yoga postures confers benefits for glucose control, oxidative stress, inflammatory response, and sleep quality in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D), a study has found.
The study randomly assigned 300 T2D patients into groups undergoing simple physical exercises (control; n=150) and yogasanas with static loosening exercises (n=15) for 50 minutes, with each session conducted 5 days per week. Both groups were followed for 3 months.
All patients had their anthropometric, biochemical, oxidative stress markers, inflammatory markers, and sleep quality assessed at baseline and after the intervention.
At 3 months, yoga yielded greater reductions in body mass index, blood glucose levels, HbA1c, lipid levels, interleukin-6, tumour necrosis factor-alpha, and thiobarbituric acid reactive substance as compared with control.
Patients in the yoga group also showed marked improvements in adiponectin levels, PTGIS gene expression, as well as sleep quality.
The findings indicate that yogasanas can be used as an adjuvant therapy for T2D patients.
Yoga postures involve stretching/twisting movements and relaxation, focusing on the synchronization of breathing and movement. Poses with forward bends massage and pressurize the pancreas and stimulate the secretion of insulin. On the other hand, twisting poses squeeze the intestines and massage them to prevent the stagnation of colonic contents. [Endocrinol Metab 2018;33:307-317]
In patients with T2D, alternating abdominal contractions and relaxations involved in yoga may rejuvenate pancreatic cells and increase pancreatic β-cell. Furthermore, they can help improve blood supply to muscles, which in turn enhances insulin receptor expression in the muscles and causes increased glucose uptake. [J Diabetes Metab 2015;6:613]