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Yoga Improves Mitochondrial Health And Reduces Severity Of Autoimmune Inflammatory Arthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Abstract

Background

Oxidative stress (OS) and mitochondrial alterations have been implicated in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Various environmental triggers like air pollutants, smoking, unhealthy social habits and sedentary lifestyle induce OS, which may compromise mitochondrial integrity.

“This trial was designed to explore the effect of 8-weeks yoga practice on mitochondrial health and disease severity in an active RA group compared with a usual-care control group.”

Methods

A total of 70 subjects were randomized into two groups: yoga group and non-yoga group. Mitochondrial health was assessed by calculation of mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA-CN), OS markers, mitochondrial activity, mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), circadian rhythm markers and transcripts associated with mitochondrial integrity: AMPK, TIMP-1, KLOTHO, SIRT-1, and TFAM. Parameters of disease activity and disability quotient were also assessed by disease activity score – erythrocyte sedimentation rate (DAS28-ESR) and health assessment questionnaire-disability index (HAQ-DI), respectively.

Results

In yoga group, there was a significant upregulation of mtDNA-CN, mitochondrial activity markers, ΔΨm, and transcripts that maintain mitochondrial integrity after 8-weeks of yoga. There was optimization of OS markers, and circadian rhythm markers post 8-weeks practice of yoga. Yoga group participants showed significant improvements in DAS28-ESR (p < 0.05) and HAQ-DI (p < 0.05) over the non-yoga group.

Conclusion

Adoption of yoga by RA patients holds the key to enhance mitochondrial health, improve circadian rhythm markers, OS marker regulation, upregulation of transcripts that maintain mitochondrial integrity, reduce disease activity and its associated consequences on health outcome and hence can be beneficial as an adjunct therapy.

Source: Mitochondrion, Volume 58, May 2021, Pages 147-159, (mitochondrial membrane potential).

Unhurry Expert Research Team

Articles researched and written by our expert research team at Rachna Restores & Unhurry.

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