, Volume 15, Issue 7, pp 577-584
Date: 14 Apr 2011

Dietary intakes and antioxidant status in mind-body exercising pre- and postmenopausal women

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Abstract

Objective

The decline in antioxidant defenses due to both estrogen loss and frequent adoption of poor dietary choices exposes postmenopausal women to cardiovascular diseases. Adequate nutrition and physical exercise are two factors of health promotion. This study investigated whether regular practice of mind-body exercise (yoga and/or tai chi) alters dietary intake and antioxidant status and balances the menopause related increases in lipid peroxidation and cardiovascular risk.

Design

Cross-sectional study. Setting: The study was conducted in an urban community in Bangkok (Thailand) between May and August 2007.

Participants

Premenopausal (Pre M; 39±8 yrs; n=56) and postmenopausal (Post M; 54±5 yrs; n=39) women who had been practicing yoga (Y) and/or tai chi (TC) more than 3 hours/week for a year, or who had no regular physical activity practice (sedentary, S).

Measurements

All participants completed food frequency questionnaires and 4-day food and activity records. Blood was collected on day 5. Factorial ANOVA tests were performed according to menopause status, exercise, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) groups.

Results

Post M had higher (p = 0.01) dietary fiber intake compared with Pre M. Yoga practitioners had lower BMI (p = 0.004) and lower fat intake (p = 0.02) compared with their S and TC counterparts. Plasma total antioxidant status was significantly and independently lower and higher in Y and Post M groups, respectively. However, no difference was shown after adjusting for BMI. Regardless of menopause status and HRT, the activity of erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase an aerobic training responsive enzyme was higher (p < 0.001 ) in TC practitioners compared with other groups. No effects were shown on erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activity, plasma lipid peroxidation (TEARS) or total homocysteine concentrations.

Conclusion

Yoga and tai chi exercises can be used as components of a strategy to promote healthy lifestyles (balanced diet and moderate intensity exercise) in vulnerable populations, such as menopausal women, in order to prevent aging induced oxidative stress diseases.