NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New research indicates yoga may have some medical benefits beyond improved balance, flexibility and stress reduction.

As CBS 2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported, scientists at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center recently conducted the largest ever study on the medical benefits of yoga.

“Even three months of yoga made a difference in terms of the women for fatigue and for inflammation. So that modest practice over a period of several months could have substantial benefits,” Dr. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser of the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center said of the findings.

After analyzing blood samples from nearly 200 breast cancer survivors over five years, researchers found that six months after taking up yoga, fatigue was reduced by 57 percent and inflammation was cut by up to 20 percent.

The findings could help the long-term health of breast cancer survivors since the disease and their treatments take a toll on patients.

“It’s one of the reasons we think there are higher levels of inflammation in cancer survivors. So something that reduces inflammation could potentially be very beneficial,” Dr. Kiecolt-Glaser said.

Since inflammation has been implicated in a number of other diseases – including heart disease, diabetes and arthritis – anything that reduces inflammation might also ease those problems.

In any case, there aren’t any bad side effects of properly done yoga, Gomez noted.

Blood tests from the study showed that the more yoga a woman did, the better her results.

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