The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Yoga asana sessions increase brain GABA levels

    Depression and anxiety disorders are associated with low GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) levels, and these disorders have been successfully treated with pharmaceutical agents designed to increase GABA levels.

    This study suggests that the practice of yoga should be explored as a treatment for disorders with low GABA levels.

    First, the details.

    • 8 yoga practitioners completed a 60-minute yoga session.
    • 11 people in the comparison group completed a 60-minute reading session.

    And, the results.

    • There was a 27% increase in GABA levels in the yoga practitioner group after the yoga session
    • No change in the comparison subject group after the reading session.
    • The difference was significant.

    The bottom line?
    The researchers from Harvard Medical School in Boston concluded, “These findings demonstrate that in experienced yoga practitioners, brain GABA levels increase after a session of yoga.”

    “The development of an inexpensive, widely available intervention such as yoga that has no side effects but is effective in alleviating the symptoms of disorders associated with low GABA levels has [a] clear public health advantage,” added senior author Dr. Perry Renshaw.

    5/31/07 21:53 JR

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