Yoga Reduces Inflammation

is a wellness buzzword with much research linking its destructive effects to auto-immune diseases like arthritis, diabetes and lupus as well as heart disease, Alzheimers, Parkinson's and other age-related ailments. Time magazine called inflammation The Secret Killer and there are anti-inflammation diets (low carb, less animal proteins), anti-inflammation supplements (fish and flax oils) and we also know stress contributes to inflammation too.

A study published today in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine shows that yoga can prevent inflammation by reducing the amount interleukin-6 (IL-6) in the blood. IL-6 is a protein that regulates the body's inflammatory response and in this case, less is definitely more.

"We know that inflammation plays a major role in many diseases. Yoga appears to be a simple and enjoyable way to add an intervention that might reduce risks for developing heart disease, diabetes and other age-related diseases," said the study's co-author Ronald Glaser, a professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics at Ohio State University, who has published much about the effects of stress on disease. "This is an easy thing people can do to help reduce their risks of illness."

The next time I practice yoga, I'm going to think about these pretty red interleukin-6 ribbons and remember that a simple breath is all I need to keep them in check.

IL-6 image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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