Lower Body Fat and Increase Antioxidants with Yoga

Lower Body Fat and Increase Antioxidants with Yoga


By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.


Why might yogis get sick less often? All that practice is increasing immune-boosting antioxidant levels. Twelve weeks of yoga led to higher levels of disease-fighting antioxidants compared with running, cycling, and jumping rope.” – Yoga Journal


Being overweight is a clear indicator of present or future health issues. Being overweight has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This occurs because overweight is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others. So, there is a need for treatments to reduced overweight.


Similarly, free radicals are oxidants that need to be balanced with antioxidants. If there is an imbalance in the cells and the blood it produces a condition known as oxidative stress that has been associated with neurodegenerative diseases, gene mutations and cancers, chronic fatigue syndrome, fragile X syndrome, heart and blood vessel disorders, atherosclerosis, heart failure, heart attack and inflammatory diseases. So, there is a need for treatments to reduce oxidative stress.


In today’s Research News article “Effects of yoga training on body composition and oxidant-antioxidant status among healthy male.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: http://www.ijoy.org.in/article.asp?issn=0973-6131;year=2018;volume=11;issue=2;spage=105;epage=110;aulast=Manna ), Manna investigates the ability of yoga practice to improve body fatness and antioxidant levels. They recruited young male (18-25 years of age) volunteers and randomly assigned them to either a yoga or no-treatment control group. The yoga practice consisted of postures, breathing exercises, chanting, and meditation for 60 minutes per day, 6 days per week, for 12 weeks. They were measured before and after training for body size and fatness and blood samples were analyzed for antioxidants, lipid peroxide as malondialdehyde, SOD, CAT, reduced GSH, and ascorbic acid.


They found that in comparison to baseline and to the control group, yoga practice produced a significant reduction in percentage body fat from 14% to 10% and total body fat mass from 7.9 to 6.4 kg. In addition, yoga practice resulted in a significant increase in blood antioxidants. Hence, yoga practice resulted in less fatness and oxidative stress in healthy young males.


The study needs to be interpreted with caution as the control condition was no treatment. There needs to be a comparison of yoga to other exercises to control for expectancy effects and bias and to determine if yoga is any better than any other exercise program in improving body fatness and oxidative stress. But, it is clear that practicing yoga for 12 weeks improves markers of physical health in young healthy males. This may help to maintain health and prevent disease in the future. It would be interesting to see if women and older adults obtain similar benefits from yoga practice.


So, lower body fat and increase antioxidants with Yoga.


“Our bodies have natural antioxidant defense systems that combat oxidative stress. Yoga increased these natural antioxidants in the body” – Marylynn Wei


CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies


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Study Summary


Manna I. Effects of yoga training on body composition and oxidant-antioxidant status among healthy male. Int J Yoga 2018;11:105-10



Background: The stressful condition may cause oxidative stress, which is responsible for various diseases. Aims: The present study was designed to find out whether yoga has impact on the reduction of oxidative stress. Methods: For the present study, 95 (n = 95) healthy male volunteers within the age group of 18–24 years were included, 35 (n = 35) volunteers were excluded. The remaining 60 (n = 60) volunteers were randomly divided into two groups: (a) Yoga Group (n = 30) and (b) Control Group (n = 30). Yoga training was given for 60 min per day, 6 days per week for 12 weeks in the yoga group, with no yoga training in control group. Assessment of body composition and oxidant-antioxidant status were performed in both the groups at baseline, before yoga training (0 week) and after (12 weeks) of the training. Results: Significant reduction (P < 0.001) in the percentage of body fat and malondialdehyde; significant elevation (P < 0.001) in superoxide dismutase, catalase, reduced glutathione and ascorbic acid levels were noted in the yoga group after 12 weeks when compared to baseline data (0 week). However, there was no significant difference in height, weight, body mass index, body surface area and lean body mass among the yoga group after 12 weeks when compared to baseline data. These changes might be due to yoga training. Conclusions: Regular yoga practice reduces body fat and oxidative stress. Yoga training may be helpful to reduce the chance of occurrence of various diseases and helps to maintain normal healthy lifestyle.