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Yoga may not help asthma sufferers much

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Although yoga can be considered an alternative to breathing exercises for asthma patients, new research has found that there is little evidence that it will cure the symptoms.

Many people, including asthma sufferers, practice yoga for its health benefits.

“Yoga cannot be considered a routine intervention for patients with asthma. But it can be considered an alternative to breathing exercises for asthma patients interested in complementary interventions,” said Holger Cramer, yoga research director at the faculty of medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.

To prove their point, researchers examined 14 previously published studies to determine the effectiveness of yoga in the treatment of asthma.

“We reviewed the available data to see if it made a difference and found only weak evidence that it does,” Cramer said.

In the review, 824 adults were part of 14 studies examined for evidence that yoga improves control, symptoms, quality of life and lung function in patients with asthma.

“If yoga helps asthma sufferers feel better and breathe better, patients should by all means practice it. At the same time, we do not advise that yoga be recommended to asthma sufferers as a treatment,” said allergist Michael Foggs, president, American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

According to ACAAI, prevention is always the best strategy in controlling asthma symptoms.

Asthma sufferers should work with allergists to determine situations that prompt attacks and avoid these situations whenever possible, said the study published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

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