Yoga lowers risk of diseases, study finds

A recent study by a group of researchers from M S Ramaiah Medical College and the Indian Institute of Science has revealed that regular yoga practitioners were at a lower risk of developing inflammatory diseases leading to cardiovascular disorders, tumorigenesis (cancer) and Alzheimer’s.

It indicates that yoga can help optimise the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (cell-signalling proteins) Tumour Necrosis Factor alpha and Interleukin-6.

Researchers say that with a combination of proper breathing, meditation and physical exercises, one can keep these cytokines at optimal level.

“The research highlights that the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines proportionately decrease with the increase in the duration of yoga practice, especially when the practitioner is exposed to severe physical stress in the form of strenuous exercise. This implies that the pro-inflammatory cytokines do not shoot up as much if one practises yoga regularly,” said Dr Ambarish Vijayaraghava, Associate Professor, Department of Physiology, M S Ramaiah Medical College.

It was found that yoga also had an effect on cholesterol levels.
Lipid profiles of both groups revealed that cholesterol, triglyceride and very low-density lipoprotein were higher in a non-yoga group than an yoga group, while high-density lipoprotein level, also known as ‘good cholesterol’, was higher in the yoga group.

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