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Yoga Found to Reverse Metabolic Syndrome, Ease Blood Pressure

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: yoga, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) Yoga can improve blood pressure and other symptoms associated with the condition known as metabolic syndrome, according to a pair of new studies.

Metabolic syndrome refers to a cluster of symptoms that are associated with an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. The symptoms of metabolic syndrome include central obesity, high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, low levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol and fasting hyperglycemia (including symptoms of diabetes).

In the first study, published in the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, researchers from the SP Medical College in Bikaner, India studied 101 adults with symptoms of metabolic syndrome. For three months, 55 of the participants took part in regular yoga exercises, including standard postures and daily transcendental meditation. The other 56 participants were given standard care for their symptoms.

At the end of the study period, the yoga group scored significantly better in measures of blood pressure, blood sugar, triglycerides and waist circumference them a group that had received its conventional treatments.

In the second study, published on-line in the journal BioMed Central Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers from the University of Karlstad, Sweden examined the psychological effects of yoga-related breathing exercises in 103 adults. The 48 adults in the control group were told to relax in an armchair for 15 minutes each day, while the other 55 participants were told to practice Sudarshan Kriya breathing exercises for an hour per day, six days a week. The exercises involved cycling between slow, normal and rapid breathing.

After six weeks, the participants in the yield group had significantly lower feelings of anxiety, depression and stress and significantly higher levels of optimism in the participants in the control group.

Yoga can be "a powerful adjunct therapy when these diseases arise," said researcher Faahri Saatiglou. "We do not emphasize this point enough in our Western health care."

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