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Brief Yoga Program Benefits Cholesterol, Triglicerides

01 Feb

Researchers from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi examined the short-term impact of a brief yoga intervention on some of the biochemical risk indicators for cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus.

Ninety-eight subjects (67 male, 31 female), ages 20-74, with hypertension, coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, and a variety of other illnesses, participated in a lifestyle training program that consisted of yoga asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), relaxation techniques, group support, individualized advice, lectures and films on the philosophy of yoga and the place of yoga in daily life, meditation, stress management, nutrition, and knowledge about their disease.

Tests of fasting plasma glucose and serum lipoprotein profiles were taken on day 1 and day 10, the first and last day of the course.  The study found that fasting plasma glucose, serum total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, the ratio of total cholesterol to high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and total triglycerides were significantly lower, and HDL cholesterol significantly higher, on the last day of the course, as compared to the first day of the course. The changes were more marked in subjects with hyperglycemia or hypercholesterolemia.

The researchers conclude that a short lifestyle modification and stress management education program can lead to favorable metabolic effects within a period of 9 days.

Citation:  Bijlani RL, Vempati RP, Yadav RK, Ray RB, Gupta V, Sharma R, Mehta N, Mahapatra SCA brief but comprehensive lifestyle education program based on yoga reduces risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine. 2005 Apr; 11 (2): pages 267-74. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award