Tai Chi Effective in Reducing Blood Pressure in Hypertension Patients
February 12, 2014 -
The February 2014 issue of
Clinical and Experimental Hypertension
published a study that investigates the effects of Tai Chi exercise on nitric
oxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide levels, and blood pressure in
patients with essential hypertension.
Twenty-four of the patients were assigned to the Tai
Chi exercise group and 16 to the hypertension group by patients' willingness.
Sixteen healthy volunteers matched for age and gender
were recruited as control.
The Tai Chi exercise group performed Tai Chi, 60
minutes per day and 6 days per week, for 12
Measurements (blood glucose, cholesterol, nitric oxide,
carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide levels, and blood pressure) were obtained
at week 0, 6, and 12. Blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels
decreased, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels increased by week 12
in the HTC group. Plasma nitric oxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide
levels in the Tai Chi exercise group were increased after 12 weeks. The blood
pressure levels were significantly lower in the Tai Chi exercise group than in
the hypertension group. However, no changes were observed in the hypertension
group and the control group.
In conclusion, Tai Chi exercise
seems to have beneficial effects on blood pressure and gaseous signaling
molecules in essential hypertension patients. However, further investigation is
required to understand the exact mechanisms underlying these observations, and
to confirm these results in a larger cohort.