Yoga said to be beneficial for patients with metabolic syndrome

Researchers have shown through a new study that yoga could be beneficial for patients with metabolic syndrome.

In the study published in Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, researchers showed that one year of yoga training decreased pro-inflammatory adipokines and increased an anti-inflammatory adipokine in adults with metabolic syndrome and high-normal blood pressure. Adipokines are signaling proteins released by fat tissue.

Findings of the study support the notion that yoga exercise might serve as an effective lifestyle intervention to reduce chronic inflammation and manage aspects of metabolic syndrome.

“These findings help to reveal the response of adipokines to long-term yoga exercise, which underpins the importance of regular exercise to human health,” said senior author Dr. Parco Siu, of The University of Hong Kong.

In the abstract of the study scientists note that metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases. Their previous study indicated that people with MetS showed a decrease in waist circumference and a decreasing trend in blood pressure after 1-year yoga. The latest study investigated the effect of yoga on MetS people with high-normal blood pressure by exploring modulations in proinflammatory adipokines (leptin, chemerin, visfatin, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 or PAI-1) and an anti-inflammatory adipokine (adiponectin).

A total of 97 Hong Kong Chinese individuals aged 57.6 ± 9.1 years with MetS and high-normal blood pressure were randomly assigned to control (n = 45) and yoga groups (n = 52). Participants in the control group were not given any intervention but were contacted monthly to monitor their health status. Participants in the yoga group underwent a yoga training program with three 1-hour yoga sessions weekly for 1 year.

The participants’ sera were harvested and assessed for adipokines. Generalized estimating equation (GEE) was used to examine the interaction effect between 1-year time (pre vs post), and intervention (control vs yoga). GEE analyses revealed significant interaction effects between 1-year time and yoga intervention for the decreases in leptin and chemerin and the increase in adiponectin concentration in the sera examined. These results demonstrated that 1-year yoga training decreased proinflammatory adipokines and increased anti-inflammatory adipokine in adults with MetS and high-normal blood pressure. These findings support the beneficial role of yoga in managing MetS by favorably modulating adipokines.