Yoga boosts mood, vitality in breast cancer survivors

WASHINGTON – Millions of people around the world already practice yoga, but a new study suggests that the health benefits might not just be in the eye of the beholder.

Even modest amounts of yoga can reduce inflammation and stress, both leading factors in heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and Type 2 Diabetes.

Researchers at Ohio State University tested 200 breast cancer survivors in a three-month trial. Half attended two 90-minute yoga sessions for 12 weeks and other half were placed on a waiting list.

The group that practiced yoga reported improved vitality and lower fatigue by 57 percent. Blood markers for inflammation also decreased by 20 percent to 30 percent.

Doctors say this is the first study that uses breast cancer survivors and notes such a distinct change, says CBS News’ Barry Bagnato.

“People who do yoga … will say that they get great benefits psychologically from it. They do feel better,” he says.

“Some of the participants that we spoke to that took part in this study said they couldn’t believe the benefit that they received, especially since their breast cancer treatment had raised their fatigue levels and they noticed a benefit from yoga.”

The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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