Context: Reactive oxygen species are known to aggravate disease progression. To counteract their harmful effects, the body produces various antioxidant enzymes, viz, superoxide dismutase, glutathione reductase etc. Literature reviews revealed that exercises help to enhance antioxidant enzyme systems; hence, yogic exercises may be useful to combat various diseases.
Aims: This study aims to record the efficacy of yoga on superoxide dismutase, glycosylated hemoglobin (Hb) and fasting blood glucose levels in diabetics.
Settings and design: Forty diabetics aged 40-55 years were assigned to experimental (30) and control (10) groups. The experimental subjects underwent a Yoga program comprising of various Asanas (isometric type exercises) and Pranayamas (breathing exercises) along with regular anti-diabetic therapy whereas the control group received anti-diabetic therapy only.
Materials and methods: Heparinized blood samples were used to determine erythrocyte superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and glycosylated Hb levels and fasting blood specimens collected in fluoride Vacutainers were used for assessing blood glucose.
Statistical analysis used: Data were analyzed by using 2 × 2 × 3 Factorial ANOVA followed by Scheffe's posthoc test.
Results: The results revealed that Yogic exercise enhanced the levels of Superoxide dismutase and reduced glycosylated Hb and glucose levels in the experimental group as compared to the control group.
Conclusion: The findings conclude that Yogic exercises have enhanced the antioxidant defence mechanism in diabetics by reducing oxidative stress.
Keywords: Diabetes; Yogic exercises; glycosylated hemoglobin; reactive oxygen species; superoxide dismutase.