yoga for at least three hours a week for three months reduced
the fatigue and inflammation in breast cancer survivors,
compared with survivors who did no yoga, researchers reported.
more yoga, the greater the change.
months — three months after the formal yoga had ended —
fatigue was 57 percent lower in the women who had done yoga,
compared with those who had not. Inflammation, measured by
blood tests, was reduced by up to 20 percent, said the
researchers, from the Ohio State University Comprehensive
also think the results could easily generalize to other groups
of people who have issues with fatigue and inflammation,"
Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, the lead researcher and a psychiatry
and psychology professor at Ohio State, said in a statement.
hundred breast cancer survivors were divided into two groups:
one that took two 90-minute Hatha yoga classes a week, and one
that did no yoga. The yoga practitioners also were encouraged
to do additional yoga at home, and did so — an average of
almost 25 minutes a day. The women were yoga novices.
researchers noted that yoga can be tailored to various
abilities — the women in the study were ages 27 to 76 —
and has been shown to help with mood and sleep among cancer
study did not include aerobic exercise, and the participants
did not lose weight.
that, Kiecolt-Glaser said by telephone, led to a surprise.
Other research had shown that inflammation — a mechanism for
loss of function and disability — was unlikely to be reduced
without weight loss. But she said there could be several
reasons why her subjects had reduced inflammation without
losing weight, including that yoga helps sleep and stress,
which are associated with inflammation.
women practiced Hatha yoga, a restorative form that was
recommended by an expert in Columbus, Ohio, Kiecolt-Glaser
cancer treatment can be exhausting, and that can lead to less
activity, which in turn can lead to a decreased capacity for
activity in what Kiecolt-Glaser called "a downward
cancer survivors with lower levels of physical activity have a
higher risk for premature death," Kiecolt-Glaser and
colleagues from Ohio State, including her husband Ronald
Glaser, wrote in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. About
one-third of survivors say that fatigue interferes with their
people who did not take yoga in the study were offered yoga
classes at the end of the study, and Kiecolt-Glaser said 60
percent to 70 percent of them enrolled.