Role of Yoga in Diabetes
The purpose of this study was to asses the effect of yoga on diabetes. A multitude of short and long-term studies were conducted.
Participants in these studies were diagnosed with diabetes, either Type 1 or Type 2, and were compared with a control group of those without diabetes. Anyone with complications such as retinopathy and nephropathy were excluded from the studies.
Participants partook in varying types of yoga and were given advice on their diet. Baseline investigations were made after 10 days to exclude effect of dietary therapy. Health was tracked either at 1 month, 6 months or throughout a 7 year long-term study. Measurements of glucose levels, body composition (taken by skinfold measurements), exercise tolerance (determined by oxygen consumption and duration of exercise), blood pressure, and cholesterol were taken before and after yoga treatment. Yoga was not performed on the days of testing.
There was a significant drop in the blood glucose levels for participants. At the end of 6 months, the participants had a significant decrease in body fat and increase in lean body mass. Participants over 66 years old achieved good glycemic control which they maintained for 7 years. After 90 days of practicing yoga, those with diabetes were able to reduce their systolic blood pressure from an average of 144 to 130.70, and diastolic from 95.70 to 86.90. Those without diabetes had a significant drop in blood pressure as well. There was a significant decrease in LDL and an increase in HDL cholesterol. Throughout the studies, participants were able to increase the duration and intensity of their yoga exercise, with improvement showing in just 2 months. Many were also able to reduce their medication intake.
Based on the results of the multiple studies, yoga has a positive impact on controlling diabetes. The benefits of yoga can reduce the onset of Type 2 diabetes by reducing free fatty acids and insulin resistance.