The medical evidence on yoga managing diabetes using randomised controlled trials with adequate number of patients is still being acquired.(Shutterstock)
The medical evidence on yoga managing diabetes using randomised controlled trials with adequate number of patients is still being acquired.(Shutterstock)

Can yoga replace exercise to control diabetes? Not yet

Aerobic activity cannot be replaced by yoga to manage diabetes, which should be done in addition to physical exercise.
By Sanchita Sharma | Hindustan Times, Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 08, 2018 08:59 AM IST

Can people with diabetes replace physical activity with yoga to improve glycaemic (sugar) control and lower heart disease risk? A systematic review of eight international studies involving 842 patients between the ages of 30 and 78 years showed yoga brought short-term improvements in glycaemic control (fasting plasma glucose) but had inconclusive effects on longer-term endpoints, such as HbA1c readings and diabetes-related complications.

HbA1c is a glycated haemoglobin test gives the average of the past three months sugar control, with a reading below 6% indicating healthy glucose control. If untreated, diabetes causes complications such as blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke and foot amputation.

An estimated 70 million people have diabetes in India, with 47.3% of the cases being undiagnosed, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research-IndiaB study of 57,117 adults over 20 years from 14 states and the Union Territory (UT) of Chandigarh. Diabetes was the seventh biggest cause of early death in India in 2016, up from 11th spot in 2005, shows data from Institute of Health Metrics & Evaluation.

Diabetes affects 425 million adults globally, with adult prevalence being 8.5%, according to the World Health Organisation. The economic burden of diabetes was US$ 673 billion in 2015, equivalent to 12% of the global healthcare expenditure, according to International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates.

Exercise matters

Conventional treatment for diabetes involves prescription medicines and lifestyle modifications, including a nutritious high-fibre diet, healthy weight, and moderate-to-intense exercise for 150 minutes at least three days a week. A few studies have shown that yoga, which includes asanas (physical postures), pranayama (regulated breathing) and meditation, improves blood glucose and lowers cholesterol, oxidative stress, blood pressure, body weight, waist-to-hip ratio, heart rate, coagulation profiles and pulmonary function.

Since few adults, especially in south Asia, get the recommended duration and intensity (for example, running, cycling, playing active sport like football or badminton, or walking at a speed of at least 4-5/km an hour) of activity, researchers from India, Sri Lanka and Brisbane did a meta-analysis of existing studies to determine whether yoga can replace physical exercise to control blood sugar.

“Yoga is increasingly used additional therapy in diabetes management, with many patients replacing aerobic physical activity with yoga,” said Dr Anoop Misra, study co-author from India and chairman of the Fortis C-DOC Centre for Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases and Endocrinology. “While numerous trials show the benefits of physical activity in diabetes control, the benefits of yoga regarding blood sugar control remain to be proven conclusively because many of the studies done were scientifically poor in design or do not have enough patients or adequate follow up,” he said.

“The medical evidence on yoga using randomised controlled trials with adequate number of patients is still being acquired. I think it is part of a bouquet of physical activity interventions that re useful, but there is uncertainty about yoga leading to significant weight loss,” said Dr Nikhil Tandon, professor and head of endocrinology, metabolism and diabetes at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences

Good, not best

The new study, published in the journal Diabetes Metabolic Syndrome, found a significant reduction of 15.16 mg/dl in fasting blood glucose, and of 29 mg/dl in post-prandial blood glucose with yoga as compared to physical activity overall. HbA1c fell by 0.39% with yoga.

There was some weight loss, but yoga did not lower waist circumference. There was no difference in cholesterol and other lipid (blood fats like triglycerides) profiles and blood pressure between two groups.

Though the results favour yoga since it has beneficial effects on glycaemic control in comparison to physical exercise in type 2 diabetes, controlled studies are needed for conclusive evidence, say researchers. “Different studies used types of yoga while some included specific diets and lifestyle. We need a proper and uniform protocol for yoga that can be compared with physical aerobic activity keeping diet and other lifestyle factors constant. The trial should be of sufficient duration, about one year for the results to be conclusive,” said Dr Misra.

In conclusion

Aerobic activity cannot be replaced by yoga, which should be done in addition to physical exercise.

Follow @htlifeandstyle for more

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Khloe Kardashian(Instagram)
Khloe Kardashian(Instagram)

Here's how Khloe Kardashian uses fitness to ease stress and anxiety

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Alfea Jamal, Hindustan Times, Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 07:17 PM IST
Keeping up with the Kardashians star Khloe Kardashian recently shared her self-care strategy and how she eases out stress and anxiety.
Close
When patients with Covid-19 arrive in emergency rooms, there are relatively few ways for doctors to predict which ones are more likely to become critically ill and require intensive care and which ones are more likely to enjoy a quick recovery.(Pixabay)
When patients with Covid-19 arrive in emergency rooms, there are relatively few ways for doctors to predict which ones are more likely to become critically ill and require intensive care and which ones are more likely to enjoy a quick recovery.(Pixabay)

Blood tests can act as early indicator of extreme Covid-19: Study

ANI, Washington [us]
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 05:31 PM IST
A clinical report drove by the journal 'Blood Advances' has claimed that a progression of biomarkers, or organic signs, related to white platelet initiation and obesity can anticipate extreme outcomes in Covid-19 patients.
Close
The study representing nearly two million adults worldwide was published in the American Heart Association's flagship journal Circulation.(Unsplash)
The study representing nearly two million adults worldwide was published in the American Heart Association's flagship journal Circulation.(Unsplash)

Eating daily servings of fruits and vegetables helpful for longer life

ANI, Dallas [us]
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 03:29 PM IST
Researchers during a recent study found that eating about five daily servings, two of which were fruits and three vegetables, is likely the optimal amount needed in order to sustain longer life.
Close
The variations result from differences in recommendations for and consumptions of individual foods within the six main food groups - protein foods, dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, and oils/fats.(Pixabay)
The variations result from differences in recommendations for and consumptions of individual foods within the six main food groups - protein foods, dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, and oils/fats.(Pixabay)

Study uncovers association of greenhouse gas emissions with dietary guidelines

ANI, Washington [us]
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 01:32 PM IST
A study drove by the Nutrition Journal, involving seven countries discovered that greenhouse gas emissions associated with national dietary guidelines advocating a healthy diet vary greatly between countries.
Close
In a paper published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, researchers looked at the effect of feeding mice a high-fat diet on oxidative stress levels on heart cells.(Unsplash)
In a paper published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, researchers looked at the effect of feeding mice a high-fat diet on oxidative stress levels on heart cells.(Unsplash)

Study uncovers high fat diets may lead to greater risk of heart attacks

ANI, Washington [us]
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 11:48 AM IST
A study led by a team of researchers from the University of Reading uncovered that consumption of high-fat diets may over-activate destructive heart disease protein, increasing the risk of a heart attack.
Close
Vicky Kaushal shares new fitness video(Instagram story/ vickykaushal09)
Vicky Kaushal shares new fitness video(Instagram story/ vickykaushal09)

Vicky Kaushal sweats it hard in the gym to earn that weekend cheat meal

By Nishtha Grover, Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 08:42 AM IST
  • Vicky Kaushal recently shared a glimpse of himself sweating it hard in the gym in order to earn his weekend cheat meal. We can say that the clip is inspiring us to start our Sunday with a fitness session as well.
Close
Representational Image(Unsplash)
Representational Image(Unsplash)

Here's how green tea is beneficial for children with Down syndrome

ANI, Washington Dc
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 07:54 PM IST
According to a new study, green tea supplements modulate facial development in children with Down syndrome.
Close
Representational Image(Unsplash)
Representational Image(Unsplash)

Here's how unstable work-life linked to future mental health problems in youth

ANI, Washington Dc
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 07:41 PM IST
A new study has found that a precarious, unstable initiation by young people to working life is associated with poorer future mental health.
Close
Type 2 diabetes could be prevented through regular exercise, says study(Photo by Anupam Mahapatra on Unsplash)
Type 2 diabetes could be prevented through regular exercise, says study(Photo by Anupam Mahapatra on Unsplash)

Type 2 diabetes could be prevented through regular exercise, says study

ANI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 06:23 PM IST
According to a new study, regular physical activity or exercising is a safe diabetes prevention strategy for people, especially those residing in relatively polluted regions.
Close
Should you eat dates before bed or empty stomach to reap maximum health benefit?(Photos by Saj Shafique and Mona Mok on Unsplash)
Should you eat dates before bed or empty stomach to reap maximum health benefit?(Photos by Saj Shafique and Mona Mok on Unsplash)

Should you eat dates before bed or empty stomach to reap maximum health benefit?

By Zarafshan Shiraz
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 02:54 PM IST
  • Being high in fiber and sugar content, dates or khajur often leave people speculating about whether they should be consumed after soaking over night or raw or on empty stomach or before going to bed. Read on to know when is the best and worst time to eat dates
Close
Katrina Kaif shares unseen workout video(Instagram/ katrinakaif)
Katrina Kaif shares unseen workout video(Instagram/ katrinakaif)

Katrina Kaif takes squats up a notch with resistance band in new fitness video

By Nishtha Grover, Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 12:52 PM IST
  • Katrina Kaif recently hosted an Ask Me Anything session on Instagram and shared never seen before images and videos with her fans. She also posted about her healthy breakfast and intense fitness routine.
Close
The study highlighted the ways that public health interventions and policies can better support quit attempts and harm reduction, both during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.(Pixabay)
The study highlighted the ways that public health interventions and policies can better support quit attempts and harm reduction, both during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.(Pixabay)

Covid-19 lockdown linked to uptick in tobacco use: Study

ANI, Washington [us]
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 12:33 PM IST
A new study has found that pandemic-related anxiety, boredom, and irregular routines were cited as major drivers of increased nicotine and tobacco use during the initial Covid-19 lockdown.
Close
Aditi Rao Hydari shares hilarious fitness video(Instagram/aditiraohydari )
Aditi Rao Hydari shares hilarious fitness video(Instagram/aditiraohydari )

No weights, no problem: Aditi Rao Hydari shows how to exercise without equipment

By Nishtha Grover, Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 08:20 AM IST
  • Aditi Rao Hydari shows you how to do weight training without actually using weights in her latest fitness clip. Saying that this video is hilarious would be an understatement.
Close
Study finds mask mandates, dining out influence virus spread(Pexels)
Study finds mask mandates, dining out influence virus spread(Pexels)

Study shows connection between face masks, dining out and Covid-19 cases

AP, New York
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 07:46 AM IST
  • A study done in the USA showed that wearing masks can actually curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. However, dining at restaurants, both in open area and inside, can increase the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths.
Close
Following a vegan diet leads to poorer bone health? Here's what study has to say(Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash)
Following a vegan diet leads to poorer bone health? Here's what study has to say(Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash)

Following a vegan diet leads to poorer bone health? Here's what study has to say

ANI
UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2021 09:02 PM IST
A new study observed people following a vegan diet and discovered that they had lower ultrasound values compared to others which indicates poorer bone health
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP