Regular Yoga Practice Improves Antioxidant Status, Immune Function, and Stress Hormone Releases in Young Healty People: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Pilot Study

Objective: The aim of the present study is to highlight the beneficial effects of yoga practice on bio-parameters, such as oxidative stress, antioxidant components, immune functions, and secretion of stress hormones, in healthy young people.

Study Design: This study was conducted on healthy volunteers recruited from among university students, who were divided into two groups: a control (no yoga intervention, n=13) group and a yoga (n=12) group. Yoga practice was with an instructor for 90 minutes once a week spread over 12 weeks, with recommendations to practice daily at home for 40 minutes with the help of a DVD. The yoga program consisted of yoga body poses (asanas), exercises involving awareness, voluntary regulation of breath (pranayama), and meditational practices. Whole blood samples were collected when the volunteers had fasted for 8 hours at 0 and 12 weeks. The oxidative stress/antioxidant components, immune-related cytokines, and stress hormones were evaluated in serum or plasma.

Results: Serum levels of nitric oxide, F2-isoprostane, and lipid peroxide were significantly decreased by yoga practice (p<0.05 or p=0.01), whereas serum total glutathione (GSH) contents, activities of GSH-peroxidase, and GSH-s-transferase were remarkably increased after yoga practice compared with the control group (p<0.05 or p=0.01). Yoga practice also significantly increased immune-related cytokines, such as interleukin-12, and interferon-γ, in serum (p<0.05 or p=0.01). Yoga practice significantly reduced the plasma levels of adrenalin (p<0.05) and increased plasma levels of serotonin compared with the control group (p<0.05).

Conclusions: Regular yoga practice remarkably attenuated oxidative stress and improved antioxidant levels of the body. Moreover, yoga beneficially affected stress hormone releases as well as partially improved immune function.

Comments

Another great study that proves Yoga has positive affects on your body. The abstract does not tell us how many daily yoga practice participants  did each week . However even once a week will provide benefits.


Nature vs Nuture results in a draw, according to Twins Meta-study

University of Queensland researcher Dr Beben Benyamin from the Queensland Brain Institute collaborated with researchers at VU University of Amsterdam to review almost every twin study across the world from the past 50 years, involving more than 14.5 million twin pairs.

The findings, published in Nature Genetics, reveal on average the variation for human traits and diseases is 49 per cent genetic, and 51 per cent due to environmental factors and/or measurement errors.

“There has still been conjecture over how much variation is caused by genetics and how much is caused by environmental factors—what people call nature versus nurture,” Dr Benyamin said.

“We wanted to resolve that by revisiting almost all the genetic twin studies conducted over the past 50 years, and comparing all of them together,” he said.

Although the contribution of genetic and environmental factors was balanced for most of the traits studied, the research showed there could be significant differences in individual traits.

For example, risk for bipolar disorder was about 70 per cent due to genetics and 30 per cent due to environmental factors.

“When visiting the nature versus nurture debate, there is overwhelming evidence that both genetic and environmental factors can influence traits and diseases,” Dr Benyamin said.

“What is comforting is that, on average, about 50 per cent of individual differences are genetic and 50 per cent are environmental.

“The findings show that we need to look at ourselves outside of a view of nature versus nurture, and instead look at it as nature and nurture”

In 69 per cent of cases, the study also revealed that individual traits were the product of the cumulative effect of genetic differences.

“This means that there are good reasons to study the biology of human traits, and that the combined effect of many genes on a trait is simply the sum of the effect of each individual gene,” Dr Benyamin said.

SOURCE

Meta-analysis of the heritability of human traits based on fifty years of twin studies.” Nature Genetics (2015) DOI: 10.1038/ng.3285


Cohurt study shows a healthy lifestyle reduces risk of colorectal cancer

Objectives To evaluate the association between a simple lifestyle index based on the recommendations for five lifestyle factors and the incidence of colorectal cancer, and to estimate the proportion of colorectal cancer cases attributable to lack of adherence to the recommendations.

Design Prospective cohort study.

Setting General population of Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark.

Participants 55 487 men and women aged 50-64 years at baseline (1993-7), not previously diagnosed with cancer.

Main outcome measure Risk of colorectal cancer in relation to points achieved in the lifestyle index (based on physical activity, waist circumference, smoking, alcohol intake, and diet (dietary fibre, energy percentage from fat, red and processed meat, and fruits and vegetables)) modelled through Cox regression.

Participants scored a point for adherence to each of the healthy lifestyle recommendations. These being

Not smoking
Being physically active 30 minutes daily
Weekly alcohol intake 7 drinks for women and 14 drinks for men
Waist circumference < 35 inches for women and < 40 inches for men
A healthy diet (i.e., rich in fruits and vegetables and low in fat and red meat)

Results During a median follow-up of 9.9 years, 678 men and women had colorectal cancer diagnosed. After adjustment for potential confounders, each additional point achieved on the lifestyle index, corresponding to one additional recommendation that was met, was associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer (incidence rate ratio 0.89 (95% confidence interval 0.82 to 0.96). In this population an estimated total of 13% (95% CI 4% to 22%) of the colorectal cancer cases were attributable to lack of adherence to merely one additional recommendation among all participants except the healthiest. If all participants had followed the five recommendations 23% (9% to 37%) of the colorectal cancer cases might have been prevented. Results were similar for colon and rectal cancer, but only statistically significant for colon cancer.

Conclusions Adherence to the recommendations for physical activity, waist circumference, smoking, alcohol intake, and diet may reduce colorectal cancer risk considerably, and in this population 23% of the cases might be attributable to lack of adherence to the five lifestyle recommendations. The simple structure of the lifestyle index facilitates its use in public health practice.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2965150/


Why diet doesn’t cure obesity

This diagram from visualcomplexity.com illustrates the complexity of obesity. Obesity is not simply eating the wrong foods or eating too much and it is not simply fixed by changing diet or taking up exercise. These help, but they are not usually enough. The success rate of diets and exercise are low and there are many factors to why this is so. Obesity is metabolic problem and a psycho-social-economical issue. What our mothers ate when we were in their womb, what we ate as a child alter our metabolism in later life. Our parent attitudes towards food, their income, their social status and cultural background also influence your ideas about food and your eating habits. More recent discoveries of hormones that regulate appetite satiation show how obese and clinically overweight people do not receive the signals in the brain that they are full in the same way slim people do. Overweight people brains do not get the message “you are full”. Antibiotics have also been implicated in causing weight gain obesity. As have sugar free drinks. Clearly obesity is complex and needs us to look many aspects of ourselves, including our personal history, our environment as well as looking deeper into metabolism and hormones , our emotions and our attitudes towards food.

OBESITY COMPLEX_orig