Effect of yoga on blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

J Clin Diagn Res. 2015 Apr;9(4):CC01-3. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2015/12666.5744. Epub 2015 Apr 1.


Introduction: In view of people embracing sedentary life style, and the effectiveness of treatment becoming less, the role of regular exercise especially 'yoga' seems to be a beneficial and economical adjuvant in the management of the Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

Objectives: To assess the beneficial effects of yoga on blood glucose levels in normal and T2DM volunteers.

Materials and methods: A prospective case-control study was conducted in the Department of Physiology and Diabetic clinic of a tertiary care teaching hospital over period of two years. The study subjects consisted of 30 male diabetic patients attending diabetic clinic and 30 non-diabetic male volunteers constituted control group. The patients in the age group of 36 to 55 years with T2DM of at least one year duration and those on diabetic diet and oral hypoglycemic agents were included in the study group. The age matched healthy male volunteers who had come to join yoga training at yoga centre were included in the control group. All the participants were trained by yoga experts and subjected to regular practice under supervision for six months. In all the participants fasting (FBS) and post-prandial blood sugar (PPBS) was estimated before, during (at three months) and after (six months) yoga training. Paired Student t-test was used to estimate difference in means calculated before and after yoga training in a same group. A p-value of <0.05 was considered as statistically significant.

Results: The distribution of age, mean height and mean weight among both the groups were comparable. The reduction in mean values of FBS and PPBS at the end of six months was highly significant (p <0.001) in both the groups when compared with the mean values before and during (three months) yoga practice. The reduction in these values at three months during yoga was highly significant in T2DM group when compared with mean values before yoga (p <0.001), but it was insignificant (p<0.05) in control group.

Conclusion: The results of the present study demonstrated that the yoga is effective in reducing the blood glucose levels in patients with T2DM.

Keywords: Exercise; Hyperglycemia; Metabolic disorders.