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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 weeks.

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.



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