|Year : 2015 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 10-14
Effects of yogic practices on total cholesterol and triglyceride among obese women
V Malarvizhi1, R Elangovan2
1 Department of Physical Education, Karpagam University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Yoga, Tamil Nadu Physical Education and Sports University (TNPESU), Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Date of Web Publication||9-Dec-2016|
Department of Yoga, Tamil Nadu Physical Education and Sports University (TNPESU), Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Context: Obesity has been globally recognized as a risk factor for human health. It not only affects our health but also challenges our emotions and behavioral patterns. It is a significant problem among Indian women because many of them are homemakers and have sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, there is a growing urgency to counter obesity among women.
Aim: The objective of the study was to find out the effect of yogic practices on cholesterol and triglyceride levels among obese women. It was hypothesized that yogic practices would significantly decrease total cholesterol and triglyceride levels among obese women in comparison to the control group.
Method: The study consisted of yoga and control group, each containing twenty obese women randomly selected from Mogappair (Chennai). The yoga program was conducted three days a week (50–60 min/day) for twelve weeks. Cholesterol and triglycerides were tested on both groups at zero time and after 12 weeks, and the data were analyzed with independent t-test.
Results: The post-test mean value of total cholesterol (193.4 mg/dL) and triglyceride (144.9 mg/dL) of the yoga group considerably reduced with respect to the corresponding mean value of post-test total cholesterol (213.1 mg/dL) and triglyceride level (167.8 mg/dL) of the control group. The independent t-test indicated that the total cholesterol (p < 0.05) and triglyceride (p < 0.05) levels were significantly decreased in the yoga group after twelve weeks of yogic practices.
Conclusion: Regular practice of yoga significantly improved the health condition of obese women by decreasing total cholesterol and triglyceride.
Keywords: Obesity, total cholesterol, triglyceride, women, yoga
|How to cite this article:|
Malarvizhi V, Elangovan R. Effects of yogic practices on total cholesterol and triglyceride among obese women. Yoga Mimamsa 2015;47:10-4
|How to cite this URL:|
Malarvizhi V, Elangovan R. Effects of yogic practices on total cholesterol and triglyceride among obese women. Yoga Mimamsa [serial online] 2015 [cited 2019 Jun 17];47:10-4. Available from: http://www.ym-kdham.in/text.asp?2015/47/1/10/195459
| Introduction|| |
Obesity has been recognized as a risk factor for human health across the world. According to the survey reported in the year 2013, India is in the third place among top ten countries in the world with highest number of obese people and it is just behind USA and China (Ng et al., 2014). The main reason for the growing obesity in India is increasing urbanization and rapidly changing food habits such as eating fast food and junk food. The most likely reason for the mortality due to obesity arises from the coronary artery diseases (CAD). Indians have considerably higher premature CAD and death rates in comparison to Europeans and other Asian countries (Anand et al., 2000). A UK-based survey (WHEC, 2011) reported that women spent most of their lifetime in poorer health conditions and disabilities than men. However, women are less likely to realize that they are at risk. Although not certain, the most likely reason for obesity among Indian women is due to a sedentary lifestyle resulting from their role in the family as homemaker and child bearing. Hence, countering obesity among women is a growing concern across the globe. Adoption of physical activities, such as yoga, in day-to-day life may reduce the risk of CAD and even prevent the obesity-driven disabilities. Yoga has continued to play a critical role in treating several health problems that include asthma (Taskinen, 2002), type II diabetes (Mooradian, 2009), pain, stiffness, osteoarthritis, blood pressure (Ebnezar, Nagarathna, Yogitha, & Nagendra, 2012), irritable bowel syndrome (Brands, Purperhart & Deckers-Kocken, 2011), depression, anger and anxiety (Shapiro et al., 2007) and sleep disorder (Krauss, 2005). People who practice yoga have more endurance and feel young (Podder, 2007).
Based on these facts, there is a growing demand for yoga in preventing cardiac problems in obese women. Cardiac problems mainly arise due to the accumulation of fatty substances such as cholesterol, triglycerides, and other related molecules in the body tissues (Nelson & Cox, 2008). Cholesterol is the main steroid which is one of the integral components of membrane that allows the transport of fatty materials across the membrane. Several bio-molecules such as bile acids, steroid hormones, and vitamin D are produced from cholesterol. However, excess cholesterol leads to gallstone formation and several cardiac problems. Elevated levels of cholesterol lead to medical conditions such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, and other cardiovascular diseases. Triglycerides are other components of lipids that are a stored form of energy, thus, supporting our day-to-day activities. However, continuous accumulation of excessively consumed or unused triglyceride and cholesterol make people overweight and obese. Because triglycerides are a major component of very-low-density lipoprotein, their increased level leads to the heart diseases such as atherosclerosis. The proper utilization or directed utilization of cholesterol and triglycerides will not only lead to the reduction of body weight but will also improve health condition of the individual. Herein, we report the effect of yogic practices on cholesterol and triglyceride levels in obese women.
It was hypothesized that yogic practices will significantly reduce the total cholesterol and triglyceride levels among obese women in comparison to the control group.
| Method|| |
The subjects (n = 40) selected from Mogappair, a location in Chennai, India, through advertisement in a local newspaper (Mogappair Times, 13/11/2011), were randomly assigned into two equal groups of twenty obese women each [Figure 1]. The groups were assigned as experimental group and control group. The body mass index (BMI) of 29 and above has been used as the standard cut-off for obesity. Pre-tests were conducted for all the subjects by withdrawal of blood after overnight fasting (8 hours after meals) according to the guidelines provided by the Indian Council of Medical Research. Total cholesterol and triglycerides were measured for the pre-tests. Before beginning the study, all the subjects were asked to maintain their routine activities and not to initiate any new physical activities during the experimental period. There was no dietary restriction followed in this study. However, subjects were instructed to chew the food items properly rather than just swallowing. The experimental group participated in their respective yogic practices for a period of 12 weeks and the control group was not given any practice, but they were in active rest. After a period of 12 weeks, post-tests were conducted on both groups. The data collected from the obese women on total cholesterol and triglyceride was statistically analyzed by independent t-test. The analysis was performed to find out whether there was any significant change in the means of variables (total cholesterol and triglycerides) at 0.05 level of confidence (Clark & Clark, 1970) on the subjects due to the intervention. The normal distribution of the variables in the sample data set was analyzed using D'Agostino-Pearson omnibus normality test (D'Agostino & Stephens, 1986) prior to the independent t-test. The statistical analyses were performed using GraphPad Prism, Version 6 (GraphPad Software Inc., La Jolla, California, USA). GraphPad software is a powerful combination of biostatistics, curve fitting (nonlinear regression) and scientific graphing. It offers statistical packages such as t- tests, nonparametric comparisons, one-, two- and three-way ANOVA, analysis of contingency tables, and survival analysis. The training practices of asanas, pranayama, and meditation adopted in this study are listed in [Table 1],[Table 2],[Table 3]. These practices have been recommended for general weight reduction processes (Chadrasekaran, 1999; Iyengar, 2004; Mishra, 1999). In addition, similar practices have been adopted to control body fat and lipids in CAD (Pal et al., 2011) and diabetic patients (Chidambara, 2014).
| Results|| |
After validating the data of 40 obese women, who completed the study protocol, for its normal distribution [Table 4], data were subjected to independent paired t-test to obtain the t ratio and p values. The pre-test mean values obtained for the total cholesterol of the experimental and control groups were 212.7 mg/dL and 217.9 mg/dL, respectively [Table 5]. The pre-test mean values obtained on the triglyceride level of the experimental and control groups were 166.8 mg/dL and 167.7 mg/dL, respectively. The post-test mean value of cholesterol level of the yoga group was 193.4 mg/dL and that of the control group was 213.1 mg/dL. Similarly, the post-test mean triglyceride level of the yoga group is 144.9 mg/dL and that of the control group is 167.8 mg/dL. [Table 5] and [Table 6] summarize pre and post-differences, respectively, in mean values of the total cholesterol level and triglyceride level and t and p values. The obtained mean values of total cholesterol and triglyceride in pre-test and post-test for the respective group are represented as a bar diagram in [Figure 2] and [Figure 3].
|Figure 2: Bar diagram showing pre and post-test mean values of total cholesterol|
Click here to view
|Figure 3: Bar diagram showing pre and post-test mean values of triglycerides|
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| Discussion|| |
Results indicated that there is very little difference between the pre-test mean values of the cholesterol level of the yoga group and control group at baseline [Figure 2]. A similar trend is observed for the triglyceride pre-test mean values as well. The t ratio obtained from the analysis of pre-test cholesterol level of the control and yoga group is 0.081, which is much lower than the standard table t ratio (2.02) for the degrees of freedom 38. Similar observation has also been found in the t ratio (0.495) while analyzing the pre-test triglyceride level of the control and yoga group. Hence, both the groups were equal in terms of cholesterol and the triglyceride mean values before the beginning of training. This is further evident from the p values obtained for cholesterol (0.936) and triglyceride (0.623) levels, which do not reach the accepted level of significance (0.05).
As indicated in [Table 6] and [Figure 3], the post-test mean value of cholesterol level of the yoga group (193.4 mg/dL) is considerably low while comparing to the control group post-test cholesterol level (213.1 mg/dL). Similarly, the post-test mean triglyceride level of the yoga group (144.9 mg/dL) is lower than post-test triglyceride mean value of the control group (167.8 mg/dL). Thus, compared to the control group, the results obtained for the yoga group revealed a pattern of reduction in total cholesterol and triglyceride level at the 0.05 level of significance after 12 weeks [Table 6]. In addition, it is very apparent that the yoga group post-test mean values, both cholesterol and triglyceride level, are remarkably lower when compared to the corresponding pre-test mean values. The significance of the results was further supported by the p values and t ratio. The t ratio obtained on both variables, cholesterol (9.24) and triglyceride (8.77), while analyzing the control and yoga group post-test data are higher (2.02) than the standard t ratio, indicating the effect of yogic practice. Similarly, the p value (<0.0001) obtained while analyzing the post-test cholesterol level and triglyceride level of the control and yoga group is significantly greater than the accepted significance level (0.05). Therefore, our hypothesis, yogic practices will significantly reduce the total cholesterol and triglyceride level among obese women in comparison to the control group, is accepted at the 0.05 level of significance.
In addition, these findings are in accordance with the previous findings reported in different contexts that yogic practices significantly reduced the levels of body fat and lipids in CAD patients (Pal et al., 2011). Another study describes that yoga practices significantly reduced the total cholesterol, triglycerides, and uric acid among women diabetic patients (Chidambara, 2014). Therefore, the present study has significance in the context of treating obese women subjects with yogic practices.
Yogic practices have been generally known to regulate all the systems of the body, especially endocrine system through the hormonal homeostasis. Obesity is an abnormality where obese subjects suffer from disturbed metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, reproduction, sleep, and emotions, etc. Yogic practices of asanas, pranayama, and meditation adopted in this study presumably regulate the subjects' endocrinal system, which lead to the reversal of endocrinal abnormalities to its normal functioning. This possible endocrinal regulation could be related to the observed effects on total cholesterol and triglycerides among obese women.
| Conclusion|| |
It is concluded that the 12 weeks of yogic practices described in the current study significantly decreased the total cholesterol and triglycerides among obese women. Although this study focused on a small sample in a specific part of Chennai, it can be conducted on a larger sample in the future in different parts of India or elsewhere. We believe that this study will trigger interest among the research community to take yoga forward as a means for improving the health condition of obese individuals. 
The authors thank all participants of this study. They are also thankful to the correspondent of the Velammal Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Mogappair, Chennai for providing a place for conducting the study.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]
[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6]