Effects of Tai Chi on Antioxidant Capacity in Pre- and Postmenopausal Women
May 28, 2011
The risk of oxidative stress-related metabolic diseases increases with menopause
and physical inactivity. A group of French researchers hypothesized that an
8-week Tai Chi (TC) training program (2 sessions in class; 2 sessions at home;
1-1:15/session) would improve antioxidant capacity and reduce cardiovascular
risks in both pre- (8 participants) and postmenopausal (7 participants)
Selected measures of physical fitness and blood parameters were analyzed before
and after the program. Besides the well-known effects of TC on balance,
flexibility, and maximum leg extensor strength, TC (1) increased erythrocyte
glutathione peroxidase activity-an aerobic training-responsive antioxidant
enzyme-and plasma total antioxidant status and (2) decreased plasma total
homocysteine, a cardiovascular risk marker.
In addition to being a low-velocity,
low-impact, and relatively safe, TC is a suitable physical activity design for
pre- and postmenopausal women to increase antioxidant defenses. Investigating
breathing effects during TC movements would be an interesting area for further
research in diseases prevention.
This study is published in the April
2011 issue of Journal of Aging Research.