Scientific Highlights


When you bring up breathing for better health, it immediately gets put into the “woo-woo,” pseudo-science category. However, I have been pleasantly surprised to discover so many articles written on different aspects of breathing. There are an endless number of connections to be made between breathing and diabetes throughout the literature. Each of the categories below have summaries of key articles I have read, along my attempt at making some of these connections. However, if you want to skip the nerdy science, everything I have learned has been consolidated into the Three Breathing Principles. Enjoy!

Science Highlights by Category



All Articles by Publication Date

Total Articles Reviewed: 64

Below are all of the best articles I have reviewed, listed in reverse chronological order (newest first) based on the date the article was published. Scroll through and pick one that interests you. You might find something “new” that was published decades ago!

2018

- Slow breathing could potentially promote deep, restorative sleep

2017

- Hypoxia has positive impacts on insulin and blood glucose levels while also increasing energy expenditure
- Slow breathing improves blood sugar by reducing body’s endogenous production of glucose
- Slow breathing improves autonomic function in type 1 diabetics
- Breathing center in brain has powerful effects on higher-order brain functions…calm yourself by breathing slowly
- Controlled breathing lowers sympathetic activity, even when performed at a relatively fast pace
- Breathe slowly (and pause) to improve heart rate variability

2016

- “Spit out” inflammation with Yogic breathing
- A pivotal paper: The fundamental roles of the breathing and cardiovascular systems in diabetes

2015

- Nitric oxide carried by the red blood cells is essential for blood flow regulation and whole-body oxygenation
- NO is essential for blood flow and tissue oxygenation (again!)
- The saliva produced during yogic breathing beneficial to health

2014

- 3-15 cycles/day of intermittent hypoxia elicits therapeutic benefits for the heart, autonomic nervous system, immune system, glycemic control, & more
- Balance your breathing: equal inhales and exhales for better heart rate variability
- Inhalation-to-exhalation ratio plays key role in relaxation and heart rate variability
- The many important roles of the nose during sleep

2013

- Relaxation breathing significantly lowers blood sugar after an oral glucose tolerance test
- Sleeping in moderate hypoxia decreases weight and fasting blood sugars
- Slow breathing decreases blood pressure and increases heart rate variability in hypertensive diabetics

2012

- Hypoxic, intermittent exercise improves insulin sensitivity and beta cell function in type 2 diabetics
- Moderate exercise in hypoxia improves insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetics
- Diaphragmatic breathing improves antioxidant status & HbA1c in type 2 diabetics
- Daily practice of slow breathing leads to higher resting heart rate variability

2011

- Diaphragmatic breathing reduces oxidative stress in athletes after exhaustive exercise
- Diaphragmatic breathing increases insulin, lowers blood sugar, and reduces oxidative stress
- Resting or exercising in moderate hypoxia increases insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetics
- Intermittent hypoxia improves the innate immune system and has a net anti-inflammatory effect
- Autonomic function can be restored by slow breathing even after a long-duration of diabetes
- Slow breathing improves autonomic function to same extent as oxygen administration

2010

- Slow breathing decreases blood pressure, heart rate, and sympathetic nerve activity in mildly hypertensive patients

2009

- Diaphragmatic breathing lowers HbA1c by up to 2%
- Slow breathing improves blood pressure in hypertensive type II diabetics

2008

- A sitting breathing exercise lowers the blood sugar of type 2 diabetics following a meal
- More evidence that CO2 biofeedback reduces panic disorder through reducing breathing rate and volume

2007

- Breathing slowly reduces blood pressure, natural breathing rate, and sympathetic activity

2006

- Resting breathing rate is associated with resting sympathetic activity
- Inhaled nitric oxide has positive impacts outside of the lungs in peripheral areas of the body
- Hyperbaric oxygen significantly lowers blood sugar in diabetic subjects
- Slow breathing is the best “workout” for your autonomic nervous system

2005

- Two minutes of slow breathing restores autonomic and respiratory balance

2004

- High HbA1c in diabetics negatively impacts blood flow regulation and tissue oxygenation mechanisms of nitric oxide
- Relaxation improves HbA1c to a greater extent than moderate exercise
- Even short bouts of high blood sugar significantly increase oxidative stress
- Slow breathing for less than 5 min/day reduces blood pressure
- Reduce blood pressure easily, without negative side effects, using slow breathing
- Biofeedback improves panic disorder by reducing breathing rate and increasing CO2

2003

- Mouth breathing during sleep significantly increases upper airway resistance and obstructive sleep apnea

2002

- Diabetics have less bioavailable NO due to high blood sugars
- Slow breathing combined with mouth tape at night might be the key to preventing and/or treating hypertension

2001

- Ten minutes of slow breathing significantly reduces blood pressure
- Excessive sighing might explain low CO2 in panic disorder

2000

- The sympathetic nervous system increases glucose production directly and indirectly
- Nasal breathing during sleep potentially increases circulating nitric oxide
- Obstructive sleep apnea significantly reduces circulating nitric oxide

1998

- Breathing and relaxation reduces heart rate and breathing rate in heart attack patients
- Slow breathing reduces spontaneous breathing rate, increases resting oxygen saturation, and improves exercise performance in chronic heart failure patients

1997

- Obstructive sleep apnea causes hypertension

1996

- Slow, controlled breathing improves anxiety independent of CO2

1995

- Hypoxia lowers blood glucose independent of insulin

1992

- The autonomic nervous system of diabetics has a disrupted circadian rhythm

1986

- Controlled breathing reduces the frequency and severity of panic attacks by increasing carbon dioxide levels

1983

- While asleep, shut your mouth and save your brain”
-
Sighs during sleep: Good or bad?

1889

- "Shut your mouth and save your brain