Yoga Reduces Inflammation

Although yoga is an ancient practice and the benefits have been well known for thousands of years, modern science is continually rediscovering the many benefits of this practice. Among the many health benefits of yoga is a reduction of inflammation.

The dangers of inflammation are still being discovered. Inflammation has been shown to play a part in the development of several diseases, including everything from arthritis to heart disease and strokes to certain cancers. Reducing inflammation may reduce your risk of these diseases and provide significant health benefits in the short term and long term.

A 2010 study at Ohio State University found a link between yoga and lower levels of inflammation in the body. According to the study, yoga reduces the level of cytokine interleukin-6 in the blood. Cytokine interleukin-6, or IL-6, is a compound that has been shown to play a role in the inflammatory response in the body.

The study evaluated blood samples of 50 women with an average age of 41. For the purposes of the study, researchers looked at how long the women practiced yoga and their levels of cytokine interleukin-6. The levels of inflammation in the body tend to increase with age and stress level.

What they found was that women who had practiced yoga regularly for at least a year or two had significantly lower levels of inflammation than the women who were new to the practice of yoga. The difference was significant. The level of cytokine interleukin-6 in the expert yoga practitioners group was about 40 percent lower than the novice group.

In addition, the stress responses of the women who practiced yoga were more controlled. The level of inflammation in the body tends to increase with stress. In the study participants who practice yoga regularly, the level of IL-6 increased less in response to stress compared with the women who did not practice yoga.

One major implication of this study is that patients can learn to reduce stress using yoga and this can result in less inflammation in the body. Patient education is needed to make women aware of the possibility of reducing inflammation and their risk of several diseases with a regular yoga practice.

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About Pattie Hughes

Pattie Hughes is a freelance writer and mother of four young children. She and her husband have been married since 1992. Pattie holds a degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University. Just before her third child was born, the family relocated to Pennsylvania to be near family. She stopped teaching and began writing. This gives her the opportunity to work from home and be with her children. She enjoys spending time with her family, doing crafts, playing outside at the park or just hanging out together.