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Med Sport Sci. 2008;52:230-8. doi: 10.1159/000134303.

Effects of Tai Chi exercise on patients with type 2 diabetes.

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  • 1Faculty of Sports Science, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, China.


This study investigated the effects of Tai Chi exercise on the levels of blood glucose, insulin and insulin receptors of patients with type 2 diabetes. Twelve subjects aged 58-75 years old (66.5 +/- 8.5 years) with type 2 diabetes participated in the study. They were trained with the protocol of Tai Chi exercise for 8 weeks. Blood glucose, serum insulin, and insulin receptor activity were measured before and after the 8-week intervention and immediately after a single bout exercise of Tai Chi after the protocol. The results showed that by 8 weeks of Tai Chi exercise, the blood glucose decreased (p < 0.05), while high- and low-affinity insulin receptor numbers (r1, r2) and low-affinity insulin receptor binding capacity (R2) increased. Serum insulin increased (p < 0.05) but was still within the normal range. After the single bout Tai Chi exercise, blood glucose, high- and low-affinity insulin receptor numbers (r1, r2), and their binding capacity (R1, R2) increased (p < 0.05), while serum insulin did not change. The 8-week Tai Chi intervention therefore showed benefits on health status of patients with type 2 diabetes.

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