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New study @OSUCCC_James suggests the medical benefits of yoga are not a stretch. Details: bit.ly/1ePCI6x  
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Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD


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Study Shows Yoga Can Help Breast Cancer Survivors

Tests show inflammation, fatigue are significantly reduced after yoga classes

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) January 2014 – There are few experts who debate the physical benefits of yoga.  Regular practice can not only improve your balance, it can help you become stronger and more flexible as well.

But some say linking yoga to actual medical benefits is a real ‘stretch.’

That is, until now. Researchers at The Ohio State Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute have completed the largest study ever of the medical benefits of yoga, and their findings are significant.

“We looked at blood samples of some 200 breast cancer survivors over the course of 5 years, and found that even modest practice of yoga could have huge benefits,” said Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD, who led the study.

“Six months after taking up yoga, we found in these patients that fatigue dropped 57%, and inflammation markers in the blood dropped up to 20%,” she said. The more a woman practiced yoga, the better her results.

The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Oncology.

To learn more about the findings, click in the video box to the left. To read the press release, “click to read more” below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embargoed until 4 p.m. (ET) Monday, Jan. 27, 2014

Yoga Can Lower Fatigue, Inflammation in Breast Cancer Survivors

In study, the more women practiced, the better their results

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Practicing yoga for as little as three months can reduce fatigue and lower inflammation in breast cancer survivors, according to new research from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital & Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James). The more the women in the study practiced yoga, the better their results.

At the six-month point of the study – three months after the formal yoga practice had ended – results showed that on average, fatigue was 57 percent lower in women who had practiced yoga compared to the non-yoga group, and their inflammation was reduced by up to 20 percent.

Though many studies have suggested that yoga has numerous benefits, this is the largest known randomized controlled trial that includes biological measures, says study lead author Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD. Researchers recruited 200 women for the study.

The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

To participate in this study, women must have completed all breast cancer treatments before the start of the study. Only yoga novices were recruited for the randomized, controlled clinical trial.

Participants practiced yoga in small groups twice a week for 12 weeks. Women making up the control group were wait-listed to receive the same yoga sessions once the trial was over. During the study, they were instructed to go about their normal routines and not to do yoga.

“This showed that modest yoga practice over a period of several months could have substantial benefits for breast cancer survivors,” says Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychiatry and psychology at The Ohio State University.

“We also think the results could easily generalize to other groups of people who have issues with fatigue and inflammation,” said Kiecolt-Glaser, who also serves as an investigator with The OSUCCC – James Cancer Control Program and Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research.

The research team focused on breast cancer survivors because the rigors of treatment can be so taxing on patients.

“One of the problems they face is a real reduction in cardiorespiratory fitness. The treatment is so debilitating and they are so tired, and the less you do physically, the less you’re able to do. It’s a downward spiral,” Kiecolt-Glaser said. “That’s one reason we think there are higher levels of inflammation in cancer survivors, meaning that an intervention that reduces inflammation could potentially be very beneficial.”

Chronic inflammation is linked to numerous health problems, including coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as the frailty and functional decline that can accompany aging.

Study Design and Methods

All women in the study completed a number of surveys assessing their fatigue, energy level, depressive symptoms, sleep quality, physical activities and food consumption. They also gave baseline blood samples that researchers used to measure levels of several inflammation-related proteins.

Participants ranged in age from 27 to 76 and were two months to three years past the latest surgical or radiation treatment. Kiecolt-Glaser and colleagues deliberately selected women of a variety of ages, stages of cancer (between 0 and 3A) and treatment methods so the results could be generalized to a broad population of cancer survivors, she said.

Each yoga group included between four and 20 women who practiced the same poses during 90-minute sessions twice a week. Researchers encouraged the women to practice at home, as well; participants logged their total weekly practice time.

Immediately after the active phase of the trial ended, the women in the yoga group reported, on average, a 41 percent drop in fatigue and a 12 percent higher vitality score compared to the non-yoga group.

To gauge the participants’ inflammation levels, the scientists measured the activation of three proteins in the blood that are markers of inflammation – called pro-inflammatory cytokines. They generated the protein activity by injecting a compound that stimulated an immune response. The proteins are interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1B) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a).

At the three-month point immediately after the yoga sessions ended, all three pro-inflammatory cytokine levels were lower, on average, in the yoga group compared to the non-yoga group: TNF-a by 10 percent, IL-6 by 11 percent and IL-1B by 15 percent.

“We were really surprised by the data because some more recent studies on exercise have suggested that exercise interventions may not necessarily lower inflammation unless people are substantially overweight or have metabolic problems,” says Kiecolt-Glaser. “In this group, the women didn’t lose weight, but we saw really marked reductions in inflammation. So this was a particularly striking finding biologically.”

More Frequent Yoga, More Benefits

A secondary analysis showed that more frequent yoga practice produced larger changes in fatigue, vitality and depressive symptoms as well as between an average 4 to 6 percent reduction in two of the three pro-inflammatory cytokines. The yoga group also reported significantly improved sleep compared to the control group.

“Yoga has many parts to it – meditation, breathing, stretching and strengthening. We think the breathing and meditation components were really important in terms of some of the changes we were seeing,” says Kiecolt-Glaser.

Revisiting the participants again at the six-month point, three months after the intervention was complete, the researchers discovered that health measures in the yoga group had continued to improve in that window of time: Fatigue was 57 percent lower and inflammation was between 13 and 20 percent lower than the non-yoga group.

“We think improved sleep could be part of the mechanism of what we were seeing. When women were sleeping better, inflammation could have been lowered by that,” says Kiecolt-Glaser. “Reducing fatigue enables women to engage in other activities over time. So yoga may have offered a variety of benefits in addition to the yoga exercises themselves.”

This work was supported by the National Cancer Institute (grants R01 CA126857, R01 CA131029, K05 CA172296, UL1RR025755, and CA016058).

Ohio State co-authors include Ronald Glaser, PhD; of the Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics; Jeanette Bennett, PhD; of the College of Dentistry; Rebecca Andridge, PhD, and Juan Peng of the College of Public Health; Charles Shapiro, MD, William Malarkey, MD, Rachel Layman, MD, Ewa Mrozek, MD of the Department of Medicine; and Charles Emery, PhD,  of the Department of Psychology. Glaser, Bennett, Emery and Malarkey are also investigators in the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research.

 

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A new study shows yoga can cut inflammation and fatigue in breast cancer survivors
Researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center have found a link between yoga and lower rates of inflammation in breast cancer survivors. Scientists followed nearly 200 breast cancer survivors for five years and found that six months after taking up yoga, fatigue levels dropped 57% and inflammation dropped as much as 20%. Details: http://bit.ly/1ePCI6x
/newmedia/mcp/osunch/2013/dec13/yoga/8-Images/1-Photos/02_Sue_meditation.jpg
The largest and longest study to date shows yoga can have significant benefits for breast cancer survivors
Sue Cavanaugh, a breast cancer survivor, practices yoga in Columbus, Ohio. Cavanaugh recently took part in a study that found yoga significantly lowered fatigue and inflammation levels in breast cancer survivors. The study was conducted by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and is published by the American Journal of Clinical Oncology. Details of the study here: http://bit.ly/1ePCI6x
/newmedia/mcp/osunch/2013/dec13/yoga/8-Images/1-Photos/03_instructor_with_Sue.jpg
It`s not a stretch - researchers say there really are medical benefits to yoga - especially for breast cancer survivors
An instructor works with Sue Cavanaugh during a recent yoga class in Columbus, Ohio. Researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center conducted a five year study of breast cancer survivors and found that six months after taking up yoga, patients saw a reduction in inflammation of up to 20% and a drop in fatigue by 57%. Details of the study can be found here: http://bit.ly/1ePCI6x
/newmedia/mcp/osunch/2013/dec13/yoga/8-Images/1-Photos/04_Glasers_chart.jpg
Study shows yoga reduces inflammation and fatigue in breast cancer survivors
Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD (right), led a study that found yoga reduced fatigue and inflammation in breast cancer survivors. The study, conducted by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, shows that six months after taking up yoga, inflammation was as much as 20% lower in breast cancer survivors, and fatigue levels were 57% lower. The study is published by the American Journal of Clinical Oncology. Details of the study can be found here: http://bit.ly/1ePCI6x
/newmedia/mcp/osunch/2013/dec13/yoga/8-Images/1-Photos/05_Glasers_in_lab.jpg
Blood samples show yoga improves the health of breast cancer survivors
Ronald Glaser, PhD (left) and Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD (right) analyze data from breast cancer survivors involved in a yoga study. Kiecolt-Glaser followed nearly 200 breast cancer survivors for five years, analyzing their blood before, during and after yoga sessions.She found that six months after taking up yoga, fatigue and inflammation were lowered significantly. The study was conducted by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and is published by the American Journal of Clinical Oncology. Details here: http://bit.ly/1ePCI6x
/newmedia/mcp/osunch/2013/dec13/yoga/8-Images/1-Photos/06_Sue_hands.jpg
Study shows yoga benefited Sue Cavanaugh more than she first realized
Sue Cavanaugh practices yoga at a studio in Columbus, Ohio. Cavanaugh, a breast cancer survivor, recently took part in a study that showed that six months after taking up yoga, there was a reduction of 57% in fatigue and a drop in inflammation by as much as 20% in breast cancer survivors. The study was conducted by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. Details: http://bit.ly/1ePCI6x
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Ohio State University's Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute
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