A clinical study to evaluate the effects of yoga and pharmacotherapy on pulmonary functions, mechanism of inflammation, and quality of life in bronchial asthma patients

Author(s): Babita*, Gulati K, Menon BK, Rajkumar, Ray A

Aim: To evaluate the effects of pharmacotherapy and along with Yoga on airways inflammation and quality of life in bronchial asthma patients. Methods: Patients with a clinical diagnosis of mild to moderate bronchial asthma were recruited as per the inclusion criteria and randomized into Group I (conventional anti-asthma pharmacotherapy) - and Group II (yogic intervention + pharmacotherapy). This latter group was given yogic intervention daily for 50 min in addition to conventional pharmacotherapy. Pulmonary functions, inflammatory markers, oxidative stress markers, and quality of life were assessed in both groups at baseline and after 1, 2, and 3 months of therapy and compared. Results: The results showed that Group II patients (pharmacotherapy+yogic intervention) showed a significant and persistent improvement in pulmonary functions and greater reductions in inflammatory markers, viz. IL-6, TNF-α, and FENO, as compared to Group I (pharmacotherapy alone). The oxidative stress marker, MDA was significantly reduced whereas, anti-oxidant markers, SOD and GSH, were elevated in Group II, as compared to Group I. These differences were seen at 1, 2, and 3 months, with maximal effects being at 3 months. There was also a significant improvement in the quality of life in Group II as compared to Group I patients, as assessed by the Asthma Quality of life Questionnaire. Conclusion: It was inferred that introducing Yoga as an adjunct therapy in patients of bronchial asthma improved asthma symptoms and the quality of life, which may possibly be due to modulations of cellular and molecular markers of inflammation and immunity.