Patel V, Menezes H, Menezes C, Bouwer S, Bostick-Smith CA, Speelman DL. Regular Mindful Yoga Practice as a Method to Improve Androgen Levels in Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2020;120(5):323–335. doi: https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2020.050.
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Holistic approaches are needed to complement existing therapies for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common disorder affecting the health of reproductive-aged females.
To determine whether thrice-weekly mindful yoga practice improves endocrine, cardiometabolic, or psychological parameters in women with PCOS.
Thirty-one women with PCOS between the ages of 23 and 42 years and living in Erie County, Pennsylvania, were recruited for this randomized, controlled study arm, which was part of a larger 3-part investigation. Women were randomly assigned to either a mindful yoga intervention group or no intervention (control) group. Group classes were 1 hour, thrice weekly. Initial endocrine, cardiometabolic, and psychological measurements were compared with measurements taken after the 3-month intervention period. Measurements included free testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, androstenedione, body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, fasting blood glucose and insulin levels, and anxiety and depression scores.
Twenty-two women completed the 3-month intervention period, 13 in the mindful yoga group and 9 in the control group. Paired comparisons of pre- and postintervention parameters indicated that women who completed the mindful yoga intervention had significantly lower free testosterone levels (5.96 vs 4.24 pg/mL; P<.05) and dehydroepiandrosterone levels that trended lower. Improved testosterone may persist for several months after completion of a 3-month, thrice-weekly mindful yoga intervention. Additionally, improvements were seen in measures of anxiety and depression.
The improvements observed suggest that regular mindful yoga practice can be a useful complementary therapeutic option for women with PCOS, particularly for improving serum androgen levels, a hallmark feature of PCOS. This improvement occurred in the absence of weight loss and may persist even if there is a lapse in practice. (ClinicalTrials.gov No. NCT03383484)
aStatistical significance was set at P<.05, with P values between .05 and .10 considered trending.
Abbreviation: BMI, body mass index.
aData are given as mean (SD) unless otherwise indicated.
bP value was used to evaluate endocrine, metabolic, and psychologic differences between the group that completed regular yoga intervention and the group that did not (control). Statistical significance was set at P<.05, with P values between .05 and .10 considered trending.
Abbreviations: A4, androstenedione; BAI, Beck Anxiety Inventory; BDI, Beck Depression Inventory BG, blood glucose; BMI, body mass index; HOMA-IR, homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance; T, testosterone; mFG, modified Ferriman-Gallwey.
*Statistical significance was set at P<.05, with P values between .05 and .10 considered trending.
Abbreviations: BMI, body mass index; DHEA, dehydroepiandrosterone; T, testosterone.
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