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Yoga is an ancient Indian form of exercise. It has been shown to control oxidative stress in the body. However, the effect on pregnancy is not clearly known. A study published recently in the Indian Journal of Medical Specialities evaluated the effects of yoga exercise on lipid peroxidation and antioxidant status in pregnant women. Overall, 62 pregnant women were recruited in the study. The participants were divided into two groups: a control group that did not receive any treatment and a group of pregnant women who received regular yoga exercises. Analysis of F2-isoprostane and 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) was performed by using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique. Glutathione peroxidase and total antioxidant capacity were analyzed using a spectrophotometer.
F2-isoprostane and 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) levels were found to be significantly lower in the group given regular yoga exercises as compared to controls. Glutathione peroxidase and total antioxidant capacity were significantly higher among the group given regular yoga exercises than that of controls. Yoga exercises suppress lipid peroxidation through increased endogenous antioxidants. Therefore, yoga can be safely practiced by pregnant women to control oxidative stress.