Researchers Find Yoga Has Several Benefits for Type 2 Diabetes

Yoga StretchYoga is known for its wide-ranging benefits—in particular stress management. But why else should patients with type 2 diabetes be doing yoga regularly?

That’s what researchers from India wanted to find out. In a small study, researchers looked at the benefits of yoga for people with type 2 diabetes. The results of their study appeared in the October 2011 issue of Diabetes Care in an article called “Effect of 3-month yoga on oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes with or without complications: a controlled clinical trial.”

They evaluated the effect of yoga on anthropometry, blood pressure, glycemic control, and oxidative stress in patients with type 2 diabetes on standard care. They compared this to patients on standard care alone.

There were 123 patients involved in the study. Study participants were stratified according to groups:

  • with microvascular complications
  • with macrovascular complications
  • with peripheral neuropathy
  • without complications

Patients were assigned to receive standard care alone or standard care in addition to a yoga regimen for 3 months.

When compared with standard care alone, researchers found that yoga resulted in a considerable reduction in:

  • body mass index (BMI)
  • glycemic control
  • malondialdehyde

They also noted an increase in glutathione and vitamin C in study participants who did yoga. However, in the participants who did yoga, there were no differences at follow-up in waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, blood pressure, vitamin E, or superoxide dismutase.

According to what they found, researchers concluded that yoga can certainly be used as an effective tool in decreasing overall oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes. For patients with type 2 diabetes, a consistent yoga routine—along with standard care—helps lower BMI and improve glycemic control.

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