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Tai Chi and Diabetes
Tai Chi aids Type 2 Diabetes control:

Tai chi exercises can improve the control of type 2 diabetes as the results of a small study indicate.
Tai Chi Chuan is a traditional Chinese martial art, which combines deep breathing and relaxation with gentle movement.

T cells are a key component of the body’s immune system. They produce powerful chemicals, including interleukins, which alter the immune response. After 12 weeks, excess blood sugar levels in the patients with diabetes had fallen. Furthermore, levels of interleukin-12, which boosts the immune response, had doubled. While levels of interleukin-4, which suppresses the immune response, had fallen. T cell activity had also increased significantly.

After 12 weeks, excess blood sugar levels in the patients with diabetes had fallen. Furthermore, levels of interleukin-12, which boosts the immune response, had doubled. While levels of interleukin-4, which suppresses the immune response, had fallen. T cell activity had also increased significantly.

According to the researchers from Taiwan, strenuous physical activity depresses the immune system response, but moderate exercise appears to have the opposite effect.

Tai chi is classified as moderate exercise. Previous research has shown that it can boost heart and lung function, relieve stress and improve flexibility.
Tai chi is classified as moderate exercise. Previous research has shown that it can boost heart and lung function, relieve stress and improve flexibility.

For the study, the scientists examined the impact of a 12-week program 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. The researchers observed that at the end of the 12-week program, there was a significant fall of 7.59 percent to 7.16 percent in the glycated haemoglobin levels in the diabetic patients. It was found that the levels of interleukin-12, which boosts the immune response, doubled; while the levels of interleukin-4, which suppresses the immune response fell. In addition, there was a significant increase in T cell activity.

“Tai chi may prompt a fall in blood glucose levels, or improve blood glucose metabolism, sparking a drop in the inflammatory response. Alternative, the exercise may boost fitness levels and the feeling of well being, which may then boost the health of the immune system”, the researchers suggested.

In a separate study carried out by Australian researchers, a 12-week program of Tai Chi and Qigong – another Chinese exercise – prompted a significant fall in blood glucose levels.

It also led to improvements in other indicators of metabolic syndrome. This syndrome refers to a group of conditions including obesity, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels and resistance to insulin, which combine to increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Thirteen participants exercised for up to 1.5 hours, up to three times a week. They were also encouraged to practice the exercises at home. At the end of the 12 weeks, they had lost an average of 6.6lbs in weight and their waist size had dropped by an average of almost 3 inches. The researchers noted that the participants’ blood pressure dropped significantly, and by more than would have been expected from the weight loss alone.

Furthermore, insulin resistance, which is sometimes referred to as pre-diabetes, also improved significantly. The participants said they slept better, had more energy, felt less pain and had fewer food cravings while on the program. London, Apr 1: Tai Chi Chuan, the traditional Chinese martial arts exercises, could help curb symptoms of type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.

The findings of the study indicate that 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. T cells are a vital constituent of the body’s immune system, which generate powerful chemicals, including interleukins (ILs), which alter the immune response.

The authors of the study said that strenuous physical activity result in disruption of the immune system response, but moderate exercise appears to trigger the opposite effect. 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 added. Tai Chi may prompt a fall in blood glucose levels, or improve blood glucose metabolism, sparking a drop in the inflammatory response. 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 study was published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. (ANI)