• Ancient practices such as meditation, yoga and Qi Gong are as effective at lowering blood sugar levels as metformin
  • University of Southern California researchers reviewed multi-trial data
  • Blood glucose levels were lowered by up to 1%

Researchers at University of Southern California have reviewed data from 28 randomized controlled trials and found that meditation and yoga are as effective at lowering blood sugar levels as diabetes medications.

The researchers included studies involving people with type 2 diabetes who also used lifestyle techniques such as meditation alongside their prescribed medications.

The lifestyle techniques included mindfulness, yoga and Qi Gong, an ancient form of Chinese martial arts.

Researchers compared health outcomes for people using lifestyle techniques and medication to people who used diabetes medications alone.

The research found that people with type 2 diabetes also using meditative practices such as mindfulness, yoga and Qi Gong decreased their HbA1c levels, a measure of average blood glucose levels by 0.8%.

Yoga was the most effective practice with a 1% decrease.

Metformin, a popular diabetes drug has a similar effect on health outcomes.

Dr Fatimata Sanogo from University of Southern California’s Department of Population and Public Health Sciences and lead author of the study said ‘The most surprising finding was the magnitude of the benefit these practices provide.”

Dr Sanogo added “This could be an important tool for many people because type 2 diabetes is a major chronic health problem and we are not doing a good enough job at controlling it.”

The research was published in the Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine.

Editor’s note: the Gro Health app provide holistic health management support and provides a range of meditative practices including Qi Gong, Tai Chi, meditation and mindfulness. 

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