How Mindfulness Affects Your Blood Sugar
You’ve been told a meditation practice can help you better manage the stress in your life, but did you know it might help you manage your blood sugar levels, too?
A new Brown University study published in the American Journal of Health Behavior found a link between a high level of mindfulness and healthy levels of glucose, the blood sugar that can inform a person’s risk of developing diseases like Type 2 diabetes and other aspects of metabolic syndrome.
While the study didn’t explore why this might be, its authors point to previous research on mindfulness, or the practice of being aware of one’s thoughts and feelings in the present moment. Other studies have shown that mindfulness lowers people’s risk of obesity and helps them feel a greater sense of self-control over their lives.
To understand the relationship between glucose levels and mindfulness, Eric Loucks, an assistant professor of epidemiology in the Brown University School of Public Health, assessed 399 participants who are participating in the long-term New England Family Study.
The study participants took part in both psychological and physiological tests, including glucose tests and completing the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale, a 15-item questionnaire that assesses mindfulness on a 1 to 7 scale. Demographic and health information, including BMIs, education, blood pressure, perceived stress and depression, was collected as well.
Loucks and his team found that people with the highest MAAS scores of 6 or 7 were 35 percent more likely to have healthy glucose levels compared to those with MAAS scores under 4, which is considerably low.