Effect of 6 months intense Yoga practice on lipid profile, thyroxine medication and serum TSH level in women suffering from hypothyroidism: A pilot study

Savitri Nilakanthan 1 , Kashinath Metri 1 , Nagaratna Raghuram 1  and Nagendra Hongasandra 1
  • 1 Department of Yoga and Life Sciences, S-VYASA University, Bangalore, Karnataka 560019, India
Savitri Nilakanthan, Kashinath Metri, Nagaratna Raghuram and Nagendra Hongasandra


Background: A significant number of women in India are suffering from hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is characterized by elevated lipid profiles and thyroid stimulation hormone (TSH). It leads many comorbid conditions such as coronary artery disease, obesity, depression, osteoporosis, sleep apnea, and etc. Yoga is proven to be effective in reducing weight, dyslipidemia, depression and it brings the balance in autonomous nervous system. We aimed to study the effect of 6 months yoga practice on lipid profile, thyroxine requirement and serum TSH in women suffering from hypothyroidism.

Methods: Twenty-two household women suffering from hypothyroidism between the age range of 30 and 40 (mean±SD; 36.7±3.2) years, with average 4±1.12-year history of hypothyroidism were included in this study. Subjects with known cardiac issues, hypertension, history, recent surgery, slip disc and low back pain were excluded from this study. None of the subjects were on any other medication except thyroxine which was kept during the intervention phage (mean 65.78±22.74 mcg). All the subjects underwent 6 months of yoga practice 1 h daily for 4 days a week. Lipid profile, thyroxine dosage and serum TSH level were assessed before and after intervention. Data was analyzed using paired sample t test & Wilcoxon’s signed rank test.

Results: The paired sample t-test showed significant reduction in total cholesterol (p=0.006; –8.99 %), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) (p=0.002; –9.81 %) and triglycerides (p=0.013; –7.6 %), and there was a significant improvement in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) (p=0.02; +9.65 %) along with nonsignificant reduction in TSH level (p=0.452; –9.72 %). Wilcoxon signed-rank test showed significant reduction in thyroxine medication score (p=0.029; –15.30 %) from.

Conclusion: 6 months practice of yoga may help in improving cholesterol level, serum TSH, may also help in reducing the thyroxine requirement in female patients suffering from hypothyroidism. However, further randomized controlled studies need to be conducted to confirm the present finding.

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The Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine focuses on evidence concerning the efficacy and safety of complementary and alternative medical (CAM) whole systems, practices, interventions and natural health products, including herbal medicines.