Posted on Jun 10, 2016, 6 a.m.
The traditional Chinese martial art/sport of tai chi increases the number of CD34+ cells, a type of stem cell critical in essential body functions.
CD 34+ cells express the CD 34 protein and are "cluster markers" for hematopoietic stem cells (blood stem cells) involved in cell self-renewal, differentiation and proliferation. There is keen interest among scientists to discover natural approaches to increase the numbers of CD 34+ cells. Shinn-Zong Lin, from the Center for Neuropsychiatry, China Medical University Hospital (Taiwan), and colleagues enrolled healthy young subjects in a year-long study to assess the different effects of Tai Chi – a traditional Chinese martial art and sport, brisk walking, or no exercise habit. The researchers observed that the group performing Tai Chi saw a rise in their cluster of differentiation 34 expressing (CD34+) cells, as compared with the no-exercise group. Submitting that Tai Chi may prompt vasodilation and increase blood flow, the lead author posits that: “Tai Chi seems to be an easier and more convenient choice of anti-aging exercise."
Ho, T-J.; Ho, L-I.; Hsueh, K-W.; Chan, T-M.; Huang, S-L.; Lin, J-G.; Liang, W-M.; Hsu, W-H.; Harn, H-J.; Lin, S-Z. “Tai Chi Intervention Increases Progenitor CD34+ Cells in Young Adults.” Cell Transplant. 23(4-5):613-620; 2014.