Diabetes MellitusProf. ErnstQigong

An Ernst review: Qigong for diabetes

Prof. Ernst and colleagues reviewed the evidence and found it insufficient.

First, the details.

  • 9 studies were included in the review.
  • 3 randomized controlled studies compared qigong + usual care (including drug therapy) vs usual care alone.
    • A randomized controlled study randomly (by chance alone) assigns participants to receive one of several treatments. It’s the standard way to test drugs.

And, the results.

  • The quality of the randomized controlled studies was poor.
  • The results suggested favorable effects of qigong on A1c, 2-hour blood glucose levels, insulin sensitivity, and blood viscosity.
  • 1 study that compared qigong to no treatment failed to show favorable effects of qigong on fasting blood glucose, 2-hour blood glucose levels, A1c, and insulin sensitivity.
  • Observational studies reported beneficial effects of qigong on fasting blood glucose, 2-hour blood glucose levels.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded the following about qigong for type 2 diabetes.

  • There are few rigorous studies of qigong for type 2 diabetes.
  • Studies that are available are of low quality.
  • Collectively the evidence is insufficient to suggest that qigong is an effective treatment for type 2 diabetes.

The bottom line is that it’s not worth the time to conduct a poorly designed study. Ultimately, it’s results will be discounted.

7/30/09 21:33 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.