Benefits seen with regular yoga for patients with diabetes

YOGA reduces oxidative stress in patients with type 2 diabetes and modestly improves glycaemic control, a small study suggests.

The study conducted in India included a mix of 123 patients with uncomplicated diabetes, microvascular, macrovascular and peripheral neuropathy who were stratified either into a group engaging in yoga three days a week for three months or into a control group given diet and exercise information. The patients continued diabetes and anti-hypertensive medication.

The yoga group achieved a 20% reduction in oxidative stress, the researchers said. Mean percentage reduction in HbA1C was 1.4% in the yoga group, compared to an increase of 6.25% among controls.

Yoga may be a useful add-on to standard lifestyle interventions, the authors said.

Diabetes Care 2011, online 11 August