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The Optimal “Dosages” of Tai Chi for Type 2 Diabetes Patients

Oct 28, 2023

A systematic review published by the journal Complementary therapies in medicine in October 2023 explores the optimal exercise parameters of Tai Chi for improving glucose and lipid metabolism in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients.

This meta-analysis was conducted in accordance with the reporting guidelines of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). Six databases were retrieved, with retrieval dates ranging from the establishment of the databases to December 2022. Data extraction and study quality assessment were independently performed by two researchers according to the Physical Therapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale. The effects of different Tai Chi exercise parameters on glucose and lipid metabolism in T2DM patients were analyzed by subgroup analyses and meta-regressions.

A total of 16 randomized controlled trials were included in the meta-analysis. The results indicated that Tai Chi had a significant and moderate impact on fasting blood glucose in T2DM patients, as well as a significant and large impact on glycosylated hemoglobin. Tai Chi had a significant and moderate impact on triglyceride, and a small, non-significant improvement on total cholesterol.

The intervention frequency and duration of a single session were identified as predictors of the impact of Tai Chi on triglyceride. The optimal exercise parameters identified were the 24-style simplified Tai Chi, with a recommended exercise duration of 45-60minutes per session, performed 5-7 times per week, and continued for at least 4-7 weeks.

Conclusions: Tai Chi can significantly improve the glucose and lipid metabolism in T2DM patients, and the 24-style simplified Tai Chi with high exercise frequency and short duration may be the optimal exercise parameter for enhancing glucose and lipid metabolism. 

By Tai Chi