In a recent opinion piece published in Prostate Cancer and Diseases, researchers suggest the potential benefits of yoga in improving prostate health.
Research: Yoga, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and lower urinary tract symptoms: a new path to clinical trials. Image Source: Tommaso Lizur/Shutterstock.com
Yoga is a therapeutic strategy that promotes physical and mental health while treating a variety of biological and physiological problems.
It is effective in treating chronic back pain and asthma, and improves lung function in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cancer patients and cancer survivors.
Yoga can also help treat schizophrenia, epilepsy, and depression. It strengthens pelvic muscles and improves quality of life and urinary incontinence after radical prostatectomy.
Yoga can effectively improve symptoms of prostate cancer (PCa), chronic pelvic discomfort and chronic prostatitis. However, little is known about the effects of yoga programs on benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).
Several researchers have investigated the effects of yoga practice on these parameters and the results suggest that it may aid in the management of BPH and LUTS.
In current perspective, researchers describe the effects of yoga practice on prostate health.
Yoga, inflammation, the microbiome, and cardiovascular disease
Thai yoga significantly reduces airway inflammation in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) by reducing exhaled nitric oxide (NO) fraction and oxidative stress while enhancing lung output and respiratory muscle performance.
Yoga also helps them control blood sugar levels. However, data on this topic are diverse.
In trials involving patients experiencing psychological distress, yoga did not significantly reduce interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), or C-reactive protein (CRP) levels.
The main limitation of this study is the differences in yoga sessions, which may result in different effects on inflammatory pathways. Overall, the evidence for the anti-inflammatory benefits of yoga is unclear.
A recent meta-analysis (six studies, including 395 people) found that yoga increased brachial fiber dysfunction (FFD; mean difference, 1.2%).
In addition, yoga had moderate but beneficial effects on blood lipids, blood pressure (BP), body mass index (BMI), and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), suggesting that it may play a supporting role in preventing cardiovascular disease. The findings suggest that yoga may significantly influence cardiovascular risk variables and thereby help prevent cardiovascular disease.
Researchers propose yoga as a treatment to address microbiome changes in LUTS. Research reports that combining yoga with a vegan diet boosted beneficial bacteria in the guts of 288 people, even three months after completing the Three Hills Yoga program.
Additionally, mindfulness-driven stress management significantly improved symptoms in patients with interstitial cystitis (IC) or bladder pain syndrome (BPS) using the Urogenital Distress Inventory Short Form (UDI-6) and IC Pain and Symptom Index Measurement.
The drug significantly affected the overall composition of the urine microbiome, resulting in an increase in microbial diversity. Future studies should examine the effects of yoga practice on urinary tract disorders.
Yoga and prostate cancer link
Yoga can improve quality of life and reduce incontinence in individuals after serious surgery. Yoga can reduce symptoms of stress, improve cortisol levels and immune function, and lower blood pressure.
Organized yoga sessions twice a week during radiotherapy (RT) cycles can significantly reduce fatigue and improve sexual and urinary dysfunction in PCa patients.
The recent study randomly assigned 29 men with localized prostate cancer to receive a six-week yoga intervention or usual care before undergoing radical prostatectomy.
Yoga increases the number of helper T lymphocytes and cytotoxic T lymphocytes, enhances interferon gamma (IFN-γ) production, and type III fragment crystal (Fc) receptor counts in natural killer (NK) lymphocytes .
Additionally, yoga significantly improved health-related quality of life measures. These trials provide strong evidence to support research on yoga interventions for men with prostate cancer.
Yoga affects many pathophysiological pathways involved in the development of LUTS/BPH. The EAU recommends promoting lifestyle changes in patients with moderate LUTS, such as limiting fluid consumption, avoiding coffee and alcohol, using distraction strategies, relieving constipation, engaging in physical activity, and bladder retraining.
However, further research could evaluate the benefits of yoga practice in this regard and its integration with health care.
Based on this view, yoga can improve men’s health, especially by treating LUTS associated with BPH through various processes.
Yoga improves cardiovascular health by increasing blood vessel formation, restoring gut microbiota, and improving immune function by blocking reactive oxygen species and reducing oxidative stress.
Despite peer-reviewed literature and hundreds of novel studies on BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and LUTS (lower urinary tract symptoms), the health effects of yoga practice still require further research.
Academic questions remain, such as the benefits of yoga practice in treating LUTS and BPH, the effectiveness of different yoga practices, potential harms, patient satisfaction, and the effectiveness of yoga practice in reducing anxiety in active cases.