Type 2 diabetes is a form of diabetes that usually sets in later in life. It is associated with chronic inflammation cause by increased glucose levels in the blood, known as "hyperglycemia." When there is excess blood sugar, it can combine with hemoglobin -the oxygen transporter in the red blood cell - then it can become glycated hemoglobin. This can be used to indicate the levels of excess sugars. In the immune system, helper T cells prompt stimulus of other immune system cells, altering the immune response. They respond to specific antigens, producing interleukins and other important signaling chemicals. As a result, they are essential for the cell-mediated immune response.
In an initial study, the investigators sought to analyze the impact of a 12-week tai chi exercise program on helper T cell activity in 30 patients with type 2 diabetes, and contrast this with 30 healthy people of the same age. After 12 weeks in the exercise program, the levels of glycated hemoglobin levels fell significantly; from 7.59% to 7.16% in diabetic patients. This is a significant difference. Interleukin-12 levels, which boost the immune response, increased. Interleukin-4, which lessens the immune response, declined. In conjunction, T cell activity also significantly increased.
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