According to a recent study of 123 middle-aged and older adults, less strenuous yoga classes can help people with type 2 diabetes lose weight and steady their blood sugar levels. Of the 60 out of 123 participants who took yoga classes several times a week, their BMI declined from 25.9 to 25.4 and the yoga controlled their blood sugar levels, which rose amongst the remaining 63 individuals that did not participate in the yoga class.
In addition, the study found that oxidative stress declined in the yoga group. By definition, oxidative stress refers to a situation in which damaging byproducts of energy use in cells rise beyond the body’s capacity to neutralize them. Long-term oxidative stress is believed to contribute to numerous chronic diseases. The yoga group’s levels of oxidative stress decreased by 20%.
It is possible that if a consistent decline in oxidative stress were sustained over time, diabetes complications, such as heart and kidney disease, nerve damage, and damage to the blood vessels of the eye, could become less likely. Moreover, the yoga used in this study was a gentle form, as the practice was adapted for people who had health problems and certain strenuous poses were avoided.
Should researchers continue looking into alternative healing practices, like yoga, for chronic diseases? Weigh in.