June 9, 2008
The benefits of yoga are increasingly well known. Deep relaxation and a strong body are continually proven results of a regular yoga practice.
Now a recent study in Channai, India has shown that a yoga practice is fantastic for treating metabolic syndrome x. It can actually reverse the clinical and biochemical changes associated with this aging syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is one of the biggest causes of premature aging and heart disease. It is a combination of medical disorders that increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It affects a large number of people, and prevalence increases with age. Some studies estimate the prevalence in the USA to be up to 25% of the population.
Metabolic syndrome is also known as metabolic syndrome X, syndrome X, insulin resistance syndrome.
It is a catch all phrase that describes a pre-diabetic state that includes symptoms such as:
* Fasting hyperglycemia — diabetes type 2 or impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, or insulin resistance
* High blood pressure
* Central obesity (also known as visceral, male-pattern or apple-shaped adiposity), overweight with fat deposits mainly around the waist
* Decreased HDL (Bad) cholesterol
* Elevated triglycerides
This can result in a multitude of problems including fatigue, depression, diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and liver disease.
Dr. R.P. Agrawal, of the SP Medical College, Bikaner, India, and colleagues evaluated the beneficial effects of yoga and meditation in 101 adults who showed symptoms of metabolic syndrome. In the study, 55 adults received three months of regular yoga including standard stress management yoga poses and a form of transcendental meditation daily. During that time they continued to receive their standard care.
The results show that yoga is anti-aging, lowers blood pressure, and is beneficial for treating metabolic syndrome x. Waist circumference, blood sugar, and triglycerides were significantly lower, and “good” HDL cholesterol levels were higher in the yoga group as compared to controls.
Yoga has been known to balance the endocrine system and hormones for centuries. Now it is also being recognized as a way to balance blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diseases brought on by a classically western diet.
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