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J Nutr Health Aging. 2011 Aug;15(7):577-84.

Dietary intakes and antioxidant status in mind-body exercising pre- and postmenopausal women.

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Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, Nice, FRANCE.



The decline in antioxidant defenses due to both estrogen loss and frequent adoption of poor dietary choices exposes postmenopausal women to cardiovascular diseases. Adequate nutrition and physical exercise are two factors of health promotion. This study investigated whether regular practice of mind-body exercise (yoga and/or tai chi) alters dietary intake and antioxidant status and balances the menopause-related increases in lipid peroxidation and cardiovascular risk.


Cross-sectional study.


The study was conducted in an urban community in Bangkok (Thailand) between May and August 2007.


Premenopausal (Pre M; 39±8 yrs; n=56) and postmenopausal (Post M; 54±5 yrs; n=39) women who had been practicing yoga (Y) and/or tai chi (TC) more than 3 hours/week for a year, or who had no regular physical activity practice (sedentary, S).


All participants completed food frequency questionnaires and 4-day food and activity records. Blood was collected on day 5. Factorial ANOVA tests were performed according to menopause status, exercise, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) groups.


Post M had higher (p = 0.01) dietary fiber intake compared with Pre M. Yoga practitioners had lower BMI (p = 0.004) and lower fat intake (p = 0.02) compared with their S and TC counterparts. Plasma total antioxidant status was significantly and independently lower and higher in Y and Post M groups, respectively. However, no difference was shown after adjusting for BMI. Regardless of menopause status and HRT, the activity of erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase - an aerobic training-responsive enzyme - was higher (p < 0.001) in TC practitioners compared with other groups. No effects were shown on erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activity, plasma lipid peroxidation (TBARS) or total homocysteine concentrations.


Yoga and tai chi exercises can be used as components of a strategy to promote healthy lifestyles (balanced diet and moderate intensity exercise) in vulnerable populations, such as menopausal women, in order to prevent aging induced oxidative stress-related diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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