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Clin Exp Hypertens. 2015;37(1):8-14. doi: 10.3109/10641963.2014.881838. Epub 2014 Feb 3.

Effects of Tai Chi exercise on blood pressure and plasma levels of nitric oxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide in real-world patients with essential hypertension.

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Department of Physical Education and.


Objective was to investigate the effects of Tai Chi exercise on nitric oxide (NO), carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) levels, and blood pressure (BP) in patients with essential hypertension (EH). EH patients were assigned to the Tai Chi exercise group (HTC, n = 24), and hypertension group (HP, n = 16) by patients' willingness. Healthy volunteers matched for age and gender were recruited as control (NP, n = 16). HTC group performed Tai Chi (60 min/d, 6 d/week) for 12 weeks. Measurements (blood glucose, cholesterol, NO, CO, H2S and BP) were obtained at week 0, 6, and 12. SBP, MAP, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels decreased, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels increased by week 12 in the HTC group (all p < 0.05 versus baseline). Plasma NO, CO, and H2S levels in the HTC group were increased after 12 weeks (all p < 0.05 versus baseline). SBP, DBP and MAP levels were significantly lower in the HTC than in the HP group (all p < 0.05). However, no changes were observed in the HP and NP groups. Correlations were observed between changes in SBP and changes in NO, CO and H2S (r = -0.45, -0.51 and -0.46, respectively, all p < 0.05), and between changes in MAP and changes in NO, CO and H2S (r = -0.36, -0.45 and -0.42, respectively, all p < 0.05). In conclusion, Tai Chi exercise seems to have beneficial effects on BP and gaseous signaling molecules in EH patients. However, further investigation is required to understand the exact mechanisms underlying these observations, and to confirm these results in a larger cohort.


Blood cholesterol; Tai Chi exercise; blood pressure; essential hypertension; gaseous signal molecules

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