Modern medicine has shown that as human beings age, secretions by the endocrine system decline, particularly GH (Growth Hormone and DHEA). Yogic texts have claimed since ancient times that regular yoga practice helps maintain general endocrine functions and helps slow the symptoms of aging. A 2014 study published in Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine reveals that regular Yogic practice does provide non-pharmacological replacement of these hormones.
Growth Hormone and Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate (DHEA) often call the “youth hormones”, are secreted by the Pituitary and Adrenal glands. They have cardio protective, anti-obesity, and immune enhancing properties. They play a complex role in the growth of tissue and bone density. They are components of the steroid pathways to the sex hormones. Low endocrine function can result in slower metabolic processes, slower healing from injury or illness, worsening body composition changes and overall cognitive decline.
The study revealed that Yoga was found to raise the threshold of neuroglandular activity. Base levels of serum DHEA and GH? increased after 12 weeks of simple yoga which consisted of sun salutations and pranayama (breathing exercises). The participants had measureable benefits in their autonomic system which is our stress response and balance system with the intervention.
The study shows evidence for Yoga to be a natural regulating agent to the Endocrine system. Utilizing yoga in regular practice can be an effective strategy to promoting healthy aging.