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A study suggests a hot bath lowers blood sugar levels for type 2 diabetics.

A hot bath is no substitute for exercise but may be useful for lowering blood sugar levels.

Article from The Telegraph below:

hot bath could be better than cycling at lowering blood sugar levels for type 2 diabetics, a study suggests.

Dr Steve Faulkner of Loughborough University investigated whether there were any alternatives to exercise which could assist people in maintaining the condition.

He found that a soak in the tub reduces peak blood sugar levels by 10 per cent more than an hour cycling, and increases energy expenditure levels by 80 per cent burning 126 calories per hour.

Dr Faulkner, who is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit (BRU), said: “We discovered the participants who bathed had, on average, 10 per cent lower peak glucose levels in comparison to the exercise, which was completely unexpected.

“The amount our blood sugar rises after a meal is one of the risk markers for things like developing type 2 diabetes, so keeping it down can be good for our health.”

“We think the reason is that the bath may encourage the release of heat shock proteins, which may help lower blood sugar levels by improving insulin controlled glucose uptake.

“However, although these findings are interesting, we would always encourage increased physical activity and exercise as the best way to maintain good health.”

The experiment involved 10 unfit males, who all bathed in a (104F) 40˚C, while wearing a continuous glucose monitor to record changes in their blood sugar during the subsequent 24 hours.

The same participants also cycled on a separate day – at an intensity that increased their body temperature by 1˚C – to match what happened during their bathing session.

Although nowhere near the increase resulting from exercise, the bath also resulted in an 80 per cent increase in energy expenditure – allowing bathers to burn 126 calories per hour, which is approximately equivalent to a 25-30 minute walk.

Overall, the research suggests that passive heating, such as a bath, can increase the rate people burn calories and may help to reduce blood sugar spikes after eating.

In the long term, these findings may assist with weight control and possibly improve control of blood sugar, which would help people with type 2 diabetes.

Six tips from Dr David Cavan, the UK’s leading expert on diabetes self-management and author of Reverse Your Diabetes: The Step-by-Step Plan to Take Control of Type 2 Diabetes.

  1. Limit yourself to two standard alcoholic drinks a day. Alcohol is high in calories and can lead to weight gain and increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Moderate alcohol intake is associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Cider, sweet wines and some beers are best avoided as the can have high sugar or carbohydrate content.
  2. Drink water, coffee or tea instead of fruit juice and fizzy drinks. Sugar-sweetened beverages increase the risk of type 2 diabetes including fruit juices and smoothies. Caffeine may be beneficial but only as unsweetened tea or coffee – not a latte or cappuccino.
  3. Eat at least three servings of green leafy vegetables every day. These contain vitamins, fibre and are very low in calories. Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes are best eaten in moderation as they can have a similar effect as sugar in leading to a rapid rise in blood glucose. Eating more than three pieces of fruit a day does not appear to protect from type 2 diabetes.
  4. Snack on a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts or unsweetened yoghurt. They’re low in sugar, as opposed to biscuits, chocolate bars and cakes which are high in sugar, fat and calories.
  5. Choose poultry, fish or lean cuts of white meat. Red and processed meats are associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Meals prepared with fresh, unprocessed meat are preferable to ready-made or ‘fast food’ meals.
  6. Buy whole-grain bread, rice and pasta. White bread and white rice are turned into glucose rapidly; excess consumption of white rice is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/08/18/hot-bath-beats-cycling-for-lowering-blood-sugar-levels-for-type/