Compilation of Researches: Yoga intervention for a Healthy Gut-Brain Axis

gut brain axis

“Be brave, be wise, and always trust your gut,” goes an old proverb. However, why does our gut provide instinct and not any other part of our body?

The phrase “gut instinct” suggests a relationship between our subconscious or intuitive comprehension of a situation and our gut feelings.

In order to understand gut instinct, we should understand, “the gut-brain axis which is a bidirectional communication system between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain. The enteric nervous system (ENS) in the gut, the gut microbiota, and the central nervous system (CNS) interact synergistically in this relationship.

Comprehending the gut-brain axis holds utmost significance in the management of diverse ailments, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), anxiety, depression, and other disorders that are associated with the gut-brain axis. In this blog post, we provide a compilation of the researchs that explains how yoga interventions might enhance the gut-brain axis:

1. Possible Roles of Cyclic Meditation in Regulation of the Gut-Brain Axis

This research explains how cyclic meditation (CM), which is a moving meditation technique practiced by combining physical postures (asanas) with relaxation procedures works on Gut Brain Axis.This research  findings strongly suggest that as CM can enhance the vagal tone and improve cognitive functions, it can be hypothesize that CM can improve the gut-brain axis crosstalk by fine-tuning the modulation of the gut microbiota through the CNS and ANS pathways.  

2. Effect of an 8-Week Yoga-Based Lifestyle Intervention on Psycho-Neuro-Immune Axis, Disease Activity, and Perceived Quality of Life in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial

In this study a total of 66 patients were randomized into two groups: yoga group or non-yoga group and were assessed for a panel of inflammatory cytokines, mind-body communicative markers and transcript levels of various genes. It was concluded that the yoga group observed significant improvements in the levels of markers, confirming yoga possesses an immune-modulatory potential which regulates the psycho-neuro-immune axis.

3. Yoga as a Therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Evidence from randomized controlled trials identified yoga as more effective compared to pharmacological treatment and equally effective as dietary interventions or moderate-intensity walking. Improvements were seen in both physical health (IBS symptom severity, gastric motility, autonomic and somatic symptom scores, and physical functioning) and mental health outcomes (depression, anxiety, gastrointestinal-specific anxiety, and quality of life).

4. Protocol for a randomized controlled study of Iyengar yoga for youth with irritable bowel syndrome

This study focussed on the sample size of young people aged 14-26 years with irritable bowel syndrome.

5. Role of yoga therapy in improving digestive health and quality of sleep in an elderly population: A randomized controlled trial

This research results were encouraging and suggestive of including yoga in the management of chronic constipation and sleep disorders, as it can improve the quality of life in the geriatric population.

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