Objective: Studies have demonstrated that Tai Chi exercise improves blood lipid level with inconsistent results. A meta-analysis was conducted to quantify the effects of Tai Chi on blood lipid profiles in humans.
Methods: We screened the databases of PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library (Central), Web of Science, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Wanfang data, and Clinicaltrials.gov for randomized controlled trials with Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) score more than 3 points up to June 2015. Six studies involving 445 subjects were included. Most trials applied 12-week Tai Chi intervention courses.
Results: In comparison with the control group, blood triglyceride (TG) level difference between follow-up and baseline was statistically significantly lower in the Tai Chi practicing group (weighted mean difference (WMD) -16.81 mg/dl; 95% confidence intervals (CI) -31.27 to -2.35 mg/dl; P=0.02). A trend to improving total cholesterol (TC) reduction was found with Tai Chi (WMD -7.96 mg/dl; 95% CI -17.30 to 1.39 mg/dl; P=0.10). However, no difference was found in blood low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C).
Conclusions: Tai Chi exercise lowered blood TG level with a trend to decrease blood TC level. Our data suggest that Tai Chi has the potential to implement meaningful blood lipid modification and serve as an adjunctive exercise modality. The relationship between Tai Chi exercise regimen and lipid profile change might have a scientific priority for future investigation.
Keywords: Blood lipid; Meta-analysis; Tai Chi; Triglycerides.