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Yoga for Healthy Aging

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Practicing yoga exercises on a regular basis might lower reduce inflammation that rises as part of normal aging and stress. A new study by Ohio State University researchers showed that women who practiced yoga had lower amounts of the cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) in their blood.IL-6 is part of the body’s inflammatory response. It’s been implicated in many age-related debilitating diseases, including heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes and arthritis. Researchers believe that reducing inflammation can provide great health benefits. In the study, women who practiced yoga showed smaller increases in IL-6 after stressful experiences than women the same age and weight who weren’t yoga practitioners. The study participants included 50 women with an average age of 41 who were divided into one of two groups: novice yoga practitioner or expert yoga practitioner. The experts had been practicing yoga weekly.

With the help of psychological tests, blood samples and stimulated stress, the researchers determined that the novice yogis had inflammatory cytokine IL-6 levels that were 41% higher than the experts.

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