Australian and Danish
researchers teamed up to examine the results of 14 studies that
included yoga as a method of controlling exisiting, or reducing the
risks of developing diabetes.
And they say they found enough complementary evidence to say
there is a link between yoga and a lessened impact of the
The results of the study by researchers from Australia's Charles
Darwin University and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark were
released today on PLOS One.
About the Research
The study started with a scan of 1,230 published global papers
that focused on exercise as an intervention technique for type 2
These were scanned for myriad of parameters, including the
participants. The research focused on 14 studies which included
participants that crossed ages, genders, ethnicity, and were
diagnosed as either pre-diabetic, or at high-risk for developing
In total 834 participants were included in the studies. Six of
which were done in India, four in the US, two in China and one each
in Sweden and Hong Kong.
The researchers did note the benefits appeared much higher in
the Indian studies, which they put down to India being the origin
of yoga, and the fact that participants were also more likely to do
yoga six times a week, as opposed to two to three times in other
All 14 studies measured fasting blood glucose levels as
the primary outcome. All the studies found a positive control
correlation between yoga and a lowered fasting blood glucose when
pitted against a control group.
However, the four studies that took in measurements
of postprandial glucose (the amount of glucose in plasma after
eating) and glycosylated hemoglobin (hemoglobin - part of a red
blood cell - with glucose attached to it, used to track a
longer-term average blood glucose level).
When it came to the lipid profile, which was measured as a
secondary outcome, all signs came up positive. The three parts to
the profile - total cholesterol, good and bad cholesterol,
and triglycerides - all returned lower readings in the
yoga-practising participants, as opposed to the control group.
So it seems that yes, yoga has a definite potential to better
varying factors associated with pre-diabetes and type 2
diabetes. However, given it is the first analysis of its kind,
the researchers say more randomised controlled trials are needed to
fully interpret the long-term benefits of yoga for the disease.