Do you feel guilty when you take a bath? Science is arguing in your favor and providing one more good reason to bask in a bath. At the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, new type 2 diabetes research was unveiled.
Researchers say that regular exposure to heat during a hot bath is associated with a beneficial effect on the risk factors for type 2 diabetes, including glycated hemoglobin. This study was conducted by Dr Hisayuki Katsuyama, from Kohnodai Hospital, Ichikawa, Chiba (Japan) and his team. This is not the first time that science has looked at theheat impact for diabetic patients. Indeed, previous studies had ensured that the use of saunas and whirlpools could improve the blood sugar control and the percentage of body fat. But, to date, no large-patient study has examined the effects of the hot tub on metabolic parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes in a real-life setting. As the press release reminds us, in Japan, most residences are equipped with a bathtub with whirlpool tubs. There, the bath is part of a traditional and everyday habit.
Thanks to a questionnaire, the researchers gathered information on 1297 diabetic patients. Next, study participants were divided into three groups based on how often they bathed: four or more baths per week, between one and four baths per week, and less than one bath per week. In total, scientists have shown that the average bathing frequency was 4.2 times per week and the average swimming time was 16 minutes. They found a decrease in body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, diastolic blood pressure, and glycated hemoglobin in association with the increased frequency of bathing.
Specifically, further statistical analysis identified the frequency of bathing as a significant determinant ofglycated hemoglobin after adjusting for age, sex, BMI, insulin use and number of oral diabetes medications, with significant differences between groups. Indeed, those who took the most bath had an average HbA1c of 7.10%, group 2 of 7.20% and group 3 of 7.36%.
The frequency of hot tubs was also an independent determinant of BMI after adjusting for sex and age. BMI was lowest in group 1, followed by group 2 and then 3. Similarly, reductions in diastolic blood pressure were also associated with increased frequency of bathing. “Our results indicate that daily hot tub heat exposure has beneficial influences on cardiovascular risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes.“, concluded the authors of this research.