Health & Fitness – Healthy Living Your daily dose of health Tue, 11 Nov 2014 13:04:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Study shows that autistic children have much more nerve cells Sun, 13 Nov 2011 14:11:20 +0000 Related posts:
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Researchers have found that autistic children have much more nerve cells than children without autism in a part of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex which is involved in processing social skills.

Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. These signs all begin before a child is three years old. Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize; how this occurs is not well understood.

 Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child’s life. The signs usually develop gradually, but some autistic children first develop more normally and then regress. About a third to a half of individuals with autism do not develop enough natural speech to meet their daily communication needs. Differences in communication may be present from the first year of life, and may include delayed onset of babbling, unusual gestures, diminished responsiveness, and vocal patterns that are not synchronized with the caregiver. In the second and third years, autistic children have less frequent and less diverse babbling, consonants, words, and word combinations; their gestures are less often integrated with words.

Brain cells
Brain cells are electrically excitable cells that process and transmit information by electrical and chemical signaling. Chemical signaling occurs via synapses, specialized connections with other cells. Neurons connect to each other to form networks. Neurons are the core components of the nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral ganglia. A number of specialized types of neurons exist: sensory neurons respond to touch, sound, light and numerous other stimuli affecting cells of the sensory organs that then send signals to the spinal cord and brain.

There are about 100 billion neurons in the brain.There are many types of neurons,  varying in size from 4 microns (.004 mm) to 100 microns (.1 mm) in diameter. Their length varies from a fraction of an inch to several feet. There are many more glial cells providing support functions for the neurons.

Autistic children have much more nerve cells than normal children
A new study has found that excess of brain cells exists in children with autism.

In the research reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), scientists at the University of California, San Diego, found that autistic children have about 67% more nerve cells in a part of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex than children without autism. The prefrontal cortex is involved in processing social skills, communication, cognitive functions and language — all areas in which autistic children often show abnormal development.

 They studied the brains of seven autistic boys between the ages of 2 and 16 after their death and compared his analysis to the brains of six unaffected boys who died at similar ages. The excess of neurons was found with a surprise since in most cases, deficits in social skills in autistic children typically are linked to less nerve tissue/cells.

 Equally significant is the fact that the excess of neurons in the prefrontal cortex are not formed after birth, but during early development in utero. That suggests that the changes responsible for autism are occurring much earlier than scientists had thought.

 The lead researcher Courchesne concluded, “Knowing that we have a specific type of defect that occurs very early in development really helps us to focus and sharpen the next steps in research to determine what caused the excess and hopefully find new treatments that can help children and their families cope better with the symptoms of autism.”


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Amperometer measures glucose levels from tears Sun, 13 Nov 2011 05:50:10 +0000 Related posts:
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There is ongoing effort to develop technologies to monitor glucose without the need of pricking your finger.  Some of the technologies include, transdermal device, Raman spectroscopy through skin, fluorescent hydrogel, etc.  Scientists have successfully developed an electrochemical sensor device that can measure blood sugar levels from tears instead of blood. This could save the world’s 350 million diabetes patients the discomfort of pricking their fingers for droplets of blood used in traditional blood sugar tests. A report appears in ACS journal Analytical Chemistry.

glucometer is a medical device for determining the approximate concentration of glucose in the blood. It is used for home blood glucose monitoring (HBGM) by people with diabetes mellitus or hypoglycemia. A small drop of blood, obtained by pricking the skin with a lancet, is placed on a disposable test strip that the meter reads and uses to calculate the blood glucose level. The meter then displays the level in mg/dl.

 Problems with diabetes and glucose testing
About 5% of the world’s population (and about 26 million people in the U.S. alone) have diabetes. The disease is a fast-growing public health problem because of a sharp global increase in obesity, which makes people susceptible to developing type-2 diabetes. People with diabetes must monitor their blood glucose levels several times a day to make sure they are within a safe range. Current handheld glucose meters require a drop of blood, which patients draw by pricking their fingers with a small pin or lancet. However, some patients regard that pinprick as painful enough to discourage regular testing.

 Measurement of tear glucose levels with amperometer
Scientists at the University of Michigan have developed an electrochemical glucometer that has shown good results comparable to traditional blood glucose testing, but uses only 4–5 μL of tears. An amperometric needle-type electrochemical glucose sensor is deployed for tear glucose measurements in conjunction with a 0.84 mm i.d. capillary tube to collect microlitre volumes of tear fluid.

The sensor is based on immobilizing glucose oxidase on a 0.25 mm o.d. platinum/ iridium (Pt/Ir) wire and anodically detecting the liberated hydrogen peroxide from the enzymatic reaction. Inner layers of Nafion and an electropolymerized film of 1,3-diaminobenzene/resorcinol greatly enhance the selectivity for glucose over potential interferences in tear fluid, including ascorbic acid and uric acid.

The new sensor is optimized to achieve very low detection limits of 1.5 ± 0.4 μM of glucose (S/N = 3) that is required to monitor glucose levels in tear fluid with a glucose sensitivity of 0.032 ± 0.02 nA/μM (n = 6). Only 4–5 μL of tear fluid in the capillary tube is required when the needle sensor is inserted into the capillary.

Tests of the approach in laboratory showed that levels of glucose in tears track the amounts of glucose in the blood. “Thus, it may be possible to measure tear glucose levels multiple times per day to monitor blood glucose changes without the potential pain from the repeated invasive blood drawing method,” say the researchers.

This technology is an effort to reduce pain out of diabetic patients from pricking their fingers.  Are you thinking would you rather cry by pricking your finger or to product tear to perform this tear test?

Healthy Monitoring!


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Is prenatal genetic testing a need for most of women Wed, 09 Nov 2011 00:13:23 +0000 Related posts:
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Genetic testing (also called DNA-based tests) is among the newest and most sophisticated of techniques used to test for genetic disorders which involves direct examination of the DNA molecule itself. Other genetic tests include biochemical tests for such gene products as enzymes and other proteins and for microscopic examination of stained or fluorescent chromosomes. Genetic tests are used for several reasons, including prenatal diagnostic testing and newborn screening.

Genetic testing allows the genetic diagnosis of vulnerabilities to inherited diseases, and can also be used to determine a child’s paternity (genetic father) or a person’s ancestry. Normally, every person carries two copies of every gene (with the exception of genes related to sex-linked traits, which are only inherited from the mother by males), one inherited from their mother, one inherited from their father. The human genome is believed to contain around 20,000 – 25,000 genes. In addition to studying chromosomes to the level of individual genes, genetic testing in a broader sense includes biochemical tests for the possible presence of genetic diseases, or mutant forms of genes associated with increased risk of developing genetic disorders.

Do all women need Genetic testing before pregnancy
Geneticists in Maryland and New Jersey looked for cellular changes that are fatal and ones that are treatable and they decided to include close to 600 mutations found in more than 160 diseases in a single genetic screening test.

GenPath Women’s Health, part of N.J.-based Bio-Reference Laboratories, announced recently about the most comprehensive screen currently offered in a field of rare diseases, the test distinguishes itself by scanning for 95 disorders, including 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA lyase deficiency and cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis. They call it the Pan-Ethnic Carrier Screen as a way to signal to all women, regardless of ethnicity, that genetic-testing is important for them.

 But do all women really need to undergo genetic testing? Many of the pregnant women undergo some kind of prenatal screening or testing of their fetus. But how many women undergo prenatal screening or testing of their fetus and how many women screening based on their ethnic background, although many are also screened for cystic fibrosis. Traditionally, certain ethnic groups — especially Ashkenazic Jews of Eastern European descent — have been advised to undergo carrier screening for various fatal conditions including Tay-Sachs and Canavan diseases.

Marc Grodman, CEO of Bio-Reference says, “There are a good number of ethnicities that have been ignored by genetic testing. Parents would want to know ahead of time about any increased risks in order to be prepared. The biggest fear about rare disorders is that a baby is born and no one can make a diagnosis. Just because it’s a hard decision and a hard process doesn’t mean we should shy away from asking the questions.”


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Parents beware! Dangerous sugar levels in beverages for kids Fri, 04 Nov 2011 04:34:28 +0000 Related posts:
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Yale University’s Rudd Centre For Food Policy & Obesity has found that many popular beverages for the kids in the market are having very high level of sugar. It has warned the parents not to be under a false notion of considering these healthy as an alternative to soft drinks.

These popular brands of beverages increase the risk of diabetes and obesity in the children up to the extent that even one 8 ounce bottle or pouch consumed daily, increase the chances of the child’s becoming obese by 60%.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture, a 4 to 8 year old kid should not consume more than 15 to 18 grams of sugar per day.

The researchers analyzed the popular brands of these beverages in the market and concluded that following brands were the culprits, listed in the increasing order of the sugar levels:

  1. Powerdale Play, projected as sports drink, 10 ounce bottle contains 15 grams of sugar, the day’s requirement of sugar.
  2. Capri Sun, a 6 ounce pouch contains 16 grams of sugar which gives 107% more sugar than required for the  day.
  3. Sunny D, an 8 ounce pouch contains 20 grams of sugar which gives 130% more sugar than required for the day.
  4. Kool-Aid, a 6.8 ounce pouch contains 24 grams of sugar which gives 160% more sugar than required for the day.
  5. Minute Maid, a 6.7 ounce pouch contains 25 grams of sugar which gives 175% more sugar than required for the  day.
  6. Arizona Kids, a 10 ounce bottle contains 27 grams of sugar which gives 180% more sugar than required for the day.
  7. Hawaiian Punch, an 8 ounce serving contains 27 grams of sugar giving 193% more sugar than required for the day.

Kids like to consume these drinks and more often as a substitute to their regular meals.  It is parent’s responsibility to keep an eye on the type of food children are consuming and advise them accordingly.

Healthy Parenting!


CDC recommends be safe and enjoy Halloween Mon, 31 Oct 2011 09:53:43 +0000 Related posts:
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Halloween is an annual holiday observed on October 31, which includes activities such as trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, carving jack-o’-lanterns, bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films. Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy or sometimes money, with the question, “Trick or treat?” The word “trick” refers to a (mostly idle) “threat” to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. In some parts of Scotland children still go guising. In this custom the child performs some sort of trick, i.e. sings a song or tells a ghost story, to earn their treats.

Safety suggested by CDC
Halloween is a favorite holiday for the kids. The streets will be full of ghosts, goblins, and princesses all in a hunt for candy. The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised a few safety tips to be observed by all keep on this occasion:

  • 1. Jaywalking and darting into traffic by children may cause accidents. Hence an adult or responsible teenager travels with the kids especially, if they are on foot to make sure they travel the route you want them to go and that they are safe.
  • 2. Check the trick or treaters costume before they leave the house. If they are wearing a mask, be sure the eyeholes are big enough for them to see properly and accidents are avoided.
  • 3. Make sure that child’s costumes are not dragging on the ground so that they can walk properly without getting entangled.
  • 4. Use reflective tape so that they are visible to motorists and keep a flashlight handy so they can see in the dark.
  • 5. Parents be sure to check the child’s candy to make sure it is safely wrapped, when in doubt throw it out, if the candy looks like it has been tampered.
  • 6. If you are on the other side of the door and are the ones passing out candy, make sure your porch light is on.
  • 7. Be sure that your drive way is clear so that no one trips on their way to your doorstep.

Already news is rolling in about children run down by cars when crossing the street to collect candies.  It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Be safe and enjoy Halloween.


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Avoid eating too much black licorice during Halloween – Warns FDA Sun, 30 Oct 2011 03:08:01 +0000 Related posts:
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Licorice or Liquorice is the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra from which a somewhat sweet flavur can be extracted. The liquorice plant is a legume (related to beans and peas) that is native to southern Europe and parts of Asia. It is called “Mulethi” in Northern India. The flavor of liquorice comes mainly from a sweet-tasting compound called anethole. Much of the sweetness in liquorice comes from glycyrrhizin, a compound sweeter than sugar.

Glycyrrhizin is the main sweet-tasting compound from liquorice root. It is 30–50 times as sweet as sucrose (table sugar). Upon hydrolysis, the glycoside loses its sweet taste and is converted to the aglycone glycyrrhetinic acid plus two molecules of glucuronic acid. The acid form is not particularly water-soluble, but its ammonium salt is soluble in water at pH greater than 4.5.

Although sweet, the taste sensation of glycyrrhizin is different from that of sugar. The sweetness of glycyrrhizin has a slower onset than sugar has, and lingers in the mouth for some time. Unlike the artificial sweetener aspartame, glycyrrhizin maintains its sweetness under heating. Glycyrrhizin is used as a flavoring in some candies,   pharmaceuticals, and tobacco products.

Health effects
Side-effects of glycyrrhizin use are related to the inhibition of cortisol metabolism within kidney and subsequent stimulation of  mineralocorticoid receptors; can lead to hypertension and edema (water retention). Thus, consumption of black licorice can mimic disorders of excess aldosterone.

Too much liquorice consumption may cause serious health problems
On the occasion of Halloween, FDA has warned against eating too much black licorice, particularly for the people more than 40. Eating 2 ounces a day for two weeks may lead to hospitalization with complaints of arrhythmia or irregular heart rhythm.

The main problem that large consumption of glycyrrhizin can cause body’s potassium levels to drop, leading to abnormal heartbeat and high blood pressure.

The good news is that potassium levels roll back to normal once you stop eating black licorice, with no permanent health effects. You will be glad to know that many licorice-flavored products don’t actually contain any real licorice; they are usually flavored with anise oil instead.

FDA says, “No matter what your age, don’t eat large amounts of black licorice at one time. If you have been eating a lot of it and have an irregular heart rhythm or muscle weakness, stop eating it immediately and call your doctor.”

Halloween is a day to collect and eat candy. Try not to eat too much candy having black licorice and stay healthy.

Healthy Eating!


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Find baby’s sex early & risk of gender-linked diseases via blood test Sun, 30 Oct 2011 01:43:22 +0000 Related posts:
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The most commonly used method to find out sex of the baby is ultrasound or sonogram. This method is most accurate between 18-22 weeks. It is normally done at the time when fetal anatomy is done in the mid-second trimester. At this point, it is usually easier to tell the sex of the baby. Earlier dates are usually too difficult to tell and at later dates become difficult because of crowding in the uterus. According to a research, you can find out sex of your baby by utilizing a blood test at seven weeks of pregnancy.  This blood test can also reveal many gender-linked abnormalities.

Obstetric sonography
Obstetric sonograph
 (ultrasonography) is the application of medical ultrasonography to obstetrics, in which sonography is used to visualize the embryo or fetus in its mother’s uterus (womb). The procedure is often a standard part of prenatal care, as it yields a variety of information regarding the health of the mother and of the fetus, as well as regarding the progress of the pregnancy.

All embryos have a small bud or swelling. It’s known as the genital nub or protuberance. In case of a boy, testosterone starts being produced when you are about seven weeks pregnant, prompting the bud to grow and develop into a penis and scrotum. In a girl, the genital nub will become the clitoris and labia.

A blood test to determine baby’s sex early
A new research has found that a simple blood test can determine the baby’s sex for expectant parents at just seven weeks, much earlier than procedures like ultrasound. It is even with far less risky than invasive tests like amniocentesis, which can trigger miscarriage.

The research has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. A review was done for 57 previous studies of the test, called cell-free fetal DNA. Between 7 to 12 weeks, overall results were correct about 94% that of a boy would be born and 98% that a girl would be born. After 20 weeks, the results were almost 100%.

The test scans the mother’s blood test for fetal DNA finding for fragments of the X and Y chromosome to determine the baby is a son or a daughter, between 7 to 12 weeks of pregnancy. While ultrasound procedure is not conducted before second trimester, the other procedures like chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis have some risk of miscarriage.

Families with a history of gender-linked diseases will certainly like to avail this test, since it can help in identifying at-risk babies early. However, there is a worry that some couples will misuse it for sex selection of the baby.

For now, the debate is going on in the U.S., where the test — estimated to cost more than $400 — is not as widely available as it is in Europe. “It is being used in Europe for medical indications, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be used in the U.S.

The blood test seems useful to determine sex of your baby as well as gender-linked ailments. There is always a debate about exposure of the fetus to ultrasound waves. Looks like the limiting factor for insurance companies is the cost of the test itself.  In my opinion, if the test offers determination of gender-liked diseases, it’s cost can be justified.


Double risk of blood clot by new contraceptive birth control pills Sat, 29 Oct 2011 22:03:39 +0000 Related posts:
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The combined oral contraceptive pill is a birth control method that includes a combination of an estrogen (oestrogen) and a progestin (progestogen). When taken by mouth every day, these pills inhibit female fertility. These pills were developed to prevent ovulation by suppressing the release of gonadotropins. Combined hormonal contraceptives  inhibit follicular development and prevent ovulation as their primary mechanism of action.

Progestagen negative feedback and the lack of estrogen positive feedback on LH release prevent a mid-cycle LH surge. Inhibition of follicular development and the absence of a LH surge prevent ovulation.

Blood Clotting
Blood Clotting or Coagulation
 is a complex process by which blood forms clots. It is an important part of hemostasis, the cessation of blood loss from a damaged vessel, wherein a damaged blood vessel wall is covered by a platelet and fibrin-containing clot to stop bleeding and begin repair of the damaged vessel. Disorders of coagulation can lead to an increased risk of bleeding (hemorrhage) or obstructive clotting (thrombosis).

Venous thrombosis or blood clots in a vein occur when a person becomes immobilized and muscles are not contracting to push blood back to the heart. This stagnant blood begins to form small clots along the walls of the vein. This initial clot can gradually grow to partially or completely occlude or block the vein and prevent blood from returning to the heart. An analogy to this process is a slow moving river. Over time, weeds and algae start to accumulate along the banks of the river where the water flows more slowly. Gradually, as the weeds start to grow, they begin to invade the center of the river because they can withstand the pressure of the oncoming water flow.

The newer contraceptive birth control pills have double the risk of blood clots
FDA is reviewing the safety of newer birth control pills, its birth control investigation was announced shortly. The study published in BMJ is going to trouble doctors, patients and drug companies. In September, the agency said, “remains concerned about the potential increased risk of blood clots with the use of drospirenone-containing birth control pills.”

It is one of the largest studies to look at the risk in regards to venous thrombosis. The researchers stressed that women should consult their doctor before changing brands or formulas.

Blood clots can be particularly dangerous because once formed in a peripheral vein, usually in the leg, the clot can break free and travel to more sensitive parts of the body, such as brain or vital organs.

Medical records of about 1.3 million women were included in the study, with 30% of them never having used hormonal contraception, while nearly 70% having used some form of hormonal birth control.

Of the total, 4,307 cases of blood clots required treatment with (64%) as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), where a blood clot chokes circulation in a limb, causing a leg or arm to become swollen, stiff, or painful. 25% were blood clots in the lungs. Around 2% had blood clots that caused strokes. The older-generation pill that contains an estrogen and the progestin hormone levonorgestrel roughly doubled the risk compared to women not on any hormonal birth control.

The newer kinds of pills, which contain the progestin hormones drospirenone, desogestrel, or gestodene along with estrogen, doubled the risk again, making it six to seven times as high as women who weren’t using hormonal forms of birth control. On average, roughly 10 out of 10,000 women taking newer kinds of birth control pills had venous thrombosis within a year.

But experts say changing back to an older version of the pill may not be the smartest choice for all women. Philip C. Hannaford, MD, who is the Grampian Health Board chair of primary care at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, says “It is important to have a range of different oral contraceptives available because some women tolerate one preparation better than another. This means that clinicians and women often chose to use combined oral contraceptives which do not contain levonorgestrel, and this seems a pragmatic and sensible thing to do given that the background risk of DVT is very low.”

Also women and their health care professionals have to take into account other factors, like medical history, family history and other risk factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, weight and general health.


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Are all organic food products free from contamination? Sat, 29 Oct 2011 12:24:12 +0000 Related posts:
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Organic foods are foods that are produced using methods that do not involve synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers; do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives. For the vast majority of human history, agriculture can be described as organic; only during the 20th century was a large supply of new synthetic chemicals introduced to the food supply. As generally perceived, organic food may not be nutritionally superior than non-organic food. A report revealed that organic food are also immune to contamination and care should be taken while consuming it.

Organic food production is a heavily regulated industry. Currently, the European Union, the United States, Canada, Japan and many other countries require producers to obtain special certification in order to market food as organic. The producers have to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. If livestock are involved, the livestock must be reared with regular access to pasture and without the routine use of antibiotics or growth hormones.

Are Local, Organic Foods Always Safer ?
A small outbreak of salmonella in organic eggs from Minnesota shows that no food is immune to contamination, although foods produced at smaller farms or labeled “local,” “organic” or “natural” are supposed to be safer. The government has been traditionally  focusing on safety at large food operations including farms, processing plants, and retailers because they have maximum reach to the most people. Recent outbreaks in cantaloupe, ground turkey, eggs and peanuts at large farms and plants rendered thousands of people across the country sick and resulted in some deaths, is a cause of serious review.

Erik Olson, a food safety advocate at the Pew Health Group observed, “While it’s critical that food processors be regularly inspected, there is no way the Food and Drug Administration would ever have the resources to check every farm in the country, nor are we calling for that. Unfortunately, there are regulatory gaps, with some producers being completely exempt from FDA safeguards.”

 Smaller farms have some obvious food safety advantages as owners have more control over what they are producing and often do not ship to far off places, reducing the chances for contamination in transport. If the farm is organic, an inspector will have to visit the property to certify.

Egg safety is ambiguous as many people like to buy cage-free eggs, those chickens may be exposed to bacteria on the grounds where they are roaming.

Experts are telling to follow the traditional rules, no matter what the variety of food is supplied. It is advised to cook foods like eggs and meat and to make sure to scrub fruits and vegetables and cleaning the kitchen well.

I think the report makes sense, organic food should not be deemed as the most superior quality food that is free of all sorts of contaminants.  Treat it as other food and cook it properly before consuming it.

Healthy Eating!


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Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originated in ancient India. The goals of yoga are varied and range from improving health to achieving moksha, which is liberation from all worldly suffering and the cycle of birth and death. A US study showed that yoga ease out moderate lower back pain.

Benefits of Yoga
Not only does yoga affect the physical aspect of the body, it addresses the mind and spirit as well. Daily exercises are a great way to help relieve the stress of the day and can bring a sense of well-being to life. Here are some of the benefits of yoga:

Stress relief, Pain relief, Better breathing, Flexibility of body, Increased strength level, Body weight management, Improved blood circulation, Cardiovascular conditioning, Improved concentration skills and most important – Inner Peace

Many important personalities, executives and busy professionals, all over the world practice yoga in one form or the other. Some of the glaring examples are from Hollywood as below:

  • Eva Longoria Incorporates Yoga into Her Fitness Routine
  • Naomi Watts Uses Yoga To Help Get Rid of Baby Weight
  • Jessica Biel Stays Fit With Her Yoga Routine
  • Jennifer Lopez Practices Yoga For Fitness
  • Sarah Jessica Parker Uses Yoga to Balance a Crazy Lifestyle, and
  • Brad Pitt practices yoga to maintain a balance of the crazy and serene.

Studies on yoga certifies that it does ease chronic back pain
Karen J. Sherman, senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) and his team conducted one of the largest US studies on yoga, certifies that it does ease chronic back pain and other associated symptoms.

The researchers selected 228 adults in six cities who were randomly assigned to 12 weekly 75-minute classes of either yoga or stretching exercises or a comprehensive self-care book. Back-related function was better and symptoms diminished with yoga at 12 weeks with benefits, including less use of painkillers. It lasted at least six months for both yoga and stretching, with a thorough follow-up.

Participants in the trial typically had moderate, not severe, back pain and relatively good mental health. Interviewers, who didn’t know the patients’ treatment assignments,  assessed their back-related function and pain symptoms at six weeks, 12 weeks and six months.

The type of yoga used in the trial was Viniyoga which adapts the principles of yoga for each individual’s physical condition, with modifications for people with physical limitations. The yoga classes also used breathing exercises, with deep relaxation at the end.

Sherman concluded, “Our results suggest that both yoga and stretching can be good, safe options for people who are willing to try physical activity to relieve their moderate low back pain.”

Yoga is beneficial for many health ailments and to prove out one of those benefits like lower back pain in actual study is quite compelling.  Well if you are willing to take up some regular exercise, you can start thinking about yoga for mental and physical health benefits.


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