Type 2 diabetes mellitus is characterized by high levels of glucose in the blood stream. Untreated, this can lead to nerve damage, kidney failure, and blindness.
Undaunted by the devastating effects of diabetes, researchers arranged a boxing match between yoga and diabetes. The fight was going to last six rounds, each one month long.
30 men who had been diabetic for at least one year were compared to 30 healthy men. The age group ranged from 36 to 55 years of age, and was comparable between the two groups. Under the guidance of yoga experts – who were, really, life-changers in disguise – the participants did regular yoga practice for six months. Their blood glucose was measured at the start of the program, at three months, and then at six months.
Diabetes put up a good fight for the first few rounds, but eventually yoga began to outclass it. With beautiful footwork, patience, and multiple types of poses, yoga was able to reduce blood glucose levels after six months. This happened in both the diabetic group and the healthy group.
The most excitement in this study happened at the three-month mark. Compared to glucose levels at the start of the study, there was a significant drop in glucose only for the diabetic men after three months. This was not seen in the healthy men. Therefore, yoga works better at lowering glucose in diabetic men than it does in healthy men. Yoga won the fight by unanimous decision and remains the champion.
Chimkode et al. “Effect of yoga on blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.” Journal of Clinical Diagnostic Research. 2015, 9(4):CC01-3.