(Natural News) There’s nothing like a nice hot bath after a stressful day. Aside from being relaxing, a recent study in the Journal of Applied Physiology revealed that taking a hot bath could also reduce inflammation and improve metabolism. This could be beneficial for patients who suffer from metabolic disorders like diabetes.
Prior to this study, scientists were able to show that hot baths can improve insulin sensitivity of patients with Type 2 diabetes. However, they were unable to determine the mechanism through which this occurs. This time, a different team of researchers from Loughborough University and Nottingham Trent University in the U.K. looked deeper into the effect of a hot bath on glucose metabolism. Their theory was that this influence revolves around the body’s inflammatory response since chronic, low-level inflammation has been associated with an increase in insulin resistance. (Related: Science confirms: Inflammation is the underlying cause of almost ALL disease – Here are some natural ways to avoid it.)
Doctors often recommend exercise for patients who suffer from chronic inflammation and insulin resistance. Exercise is effective in improving these conditions since it can induce a brief inflammatory response, which is then succeeded by an extended anti-inflammatory response. Unfortunately, not everyone has the capacity to perform workouts. Because of this, the researchers wanted to see if a hot bath, which is a different type of physical stressor, could have the same effect as exercise.
To do this, the researchers first gathered male participants who were overweight and lived a mostly sedentary lifestyle. Then, they collected blood samples before doing a hot bath intervention, with a water bath set at 39 C. The researchers then took another set of blood samples right after the bath, and again two hours later. Overall, there were a total of 10 hot water immersions in the course of two weeks, with each session lasting for an hour.
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The results showed that a single water bath session caused a spike in interleukin, a commonly used marker for inflammation. In addition to this, there was an increase in nitric oxide (NO), which is important for the relaxation of blood vessels and the lowering of blood pressure. Scientists also believe that NO has anti-inflammatory properties and that it can improve glucose uptake by the cells.
After all the immersions were completed, the participants exhibited reduced levels of fasting blood sugar and inflammation. This result was similar to the effect of exercise wherein there is an initial increase in inflammation before a long-term decrease is observed.
From these results, the researchers concluded that hot water immersion can improve inflammation and glucose metabolism. They also noted that these observations have significant implications for improving metabolic health of people who cannot exercise.
More reasons to take a hot bath
If you’re looking for more reasons to indulge yourself in a hot bath, some of its other benefits include the following:
- It improves mood — A hot bath induces feelings of comfort and easiness, which can help your mind and body relax.
- It helps you sleep better — Taking a hot bath before sleeping can help you achieve a colder core body temperature upon exiting your tub. This signals the production of the sleep hormone melatonin and leads to better sleep.
- It relieves muscle pain — The heat from the bath helps sore muscles relax. You can even add Epsom salt to increase the bath’s beneficial effects on arthritis and other muscular diseases.
- It can relieve colds — Steam from the bath prevents congestion by keeping the blood vessels in your face and nose moving. It can also loosen the mucus that blocks your nasal passages.
For more news stories and studies on different methods of healing metabolic disorders, visit HealingArts.news.