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J Altern Complement Med. 2013 Jan;19(1):20-3. doi: 10.1089/acm.2011.0113. Epub 2012 Sep 10.

Effect of yoga on serum homocysteine and nitric oxide levels in adolescent women with and without dysmenorrhea.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.



The purpose of the present study is to explore the effect of yoga on the serum levels of homocysteine and nitric oxide (NO) in a cohort of women with primary dysmenorrhea and normal healthy controls.


A prospective controlled trial was conducted in 35 women with primary dysmenorrhea and 35 healthy controls in a community-based study. Short-form Menstrual Distress Questionnaires (MDQs) were administered to assess the menstrual symptoms. All participants were provided yoga intervention, twice a week at 30 minutes/session, consecutively for 8 weeks. Blood samples were drawn from each woman on the third day of the menstrual cycle. Assessments of MDQs and blood samples for the determination of homocysteine and NO concentrations were performed at baseline and within the first 3 days of their next menses after completion of yoga intervention.


A total of 30 women from the dysmenorrheal group and 30 from the control group completed the study. Homocysteine levels were higher in those with dysmenorrhea when compared with healthy controls before yoga intervention (Mann-Whitney U test, p<0.05); however, no statistically significant differences were found between the two groups after 8 weeks of yoga training (p<0.05). The concentrations of homocysteine in both the dysmenorrheal and control groups after 8 weeks decreased by 51.37% and 46.46%, respectively (p<0.001). There were no statistically significant differences in NO levels between the two groups at baseline and after intervention. The total scores on the MDQs decreased significantly after yoga intervention in the dysmenorrheal group (p<0.05).


Yoga intervention was found to be associated with reductions in severity of dysmenorrhea and may be effective in lowering serum homocysteine levels after an intervention period of 8 weeks. These observations suggest that yoga may have therapeutic effects in women by restoring endothelial function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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