Eleven studies were included in the review (n=326). One study had a control group (n=26)
Ten studies reported decreases in fasting blood glucose in participants performing qigong. This ranged from 0.08mmol/L to 5.65mmol/L. The changes were statistically significant in seven studies.
Four studies measured changes in fasting insulin levels, which were inconsistent between studies. The results of three studies were reported; there was a statistically significant decrease of 9.65μu/mL in fasting insulin after 20 days (p<0.05) (one study), an increase of 5.58μu/mL after 21 days (one study) and an increase of 8.5μu/mL 2 hours after glucose load after 2-3 months.
Two studies assessed changes in HbA1c. One trial reported a statistically significant decrease of 0.8% after four months in the qigong group compared to the control group, which demonstrated a decrease of 0.12%. The other assessed HbA1c after only 20 days and was discounted.
Four trials assessed change in total cholesterol. The decrease was statistically significant in two trials (p<0.05 and p<0.001). Of the four studies that reported change in triglyceride, three reported statistically significant improvements (p<0.05).
No trials reported significant changes in body mass index and body weight. None of the five studies that assessed change in diet during the study period reported any change. The one study that assessed change in activity reported no change during the intervention period. No statistically significant changes in medication were reported in the seven studies that assessed this outcome.