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   Table of Contents     
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 162
Yoga as an effective lifestyle intervention for Bhopal methyl isocyanate gas leakage catastrophe victims

1 Department of Anatomy, Laboratory for Molecular Reproduction and Genetics, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Physiology, Integral Health Clinics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences New Delhi, India

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Date of Web Publication10-Jun-2015

How to cite this article:
Kumar SB, Yadav RK, Dada R. Yoga as an effective lifestyle intervention for Bhopal methyl isocyanate gas leakage catastrophe victims. Int J Yoga 2015;8:162

How to cite this URL:
Kumar SB, Yadav RK, Dada R. Yoga as an effective lifestyle intervention for Bhopal methyl isocyanate gas leakage catastrophe victims. Int J Yoga [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Jan 31];8:162. Available from:
Dear Sir,

The unfortunate Bhopal gas tragedy and subsequent methyl isocyanate (MIC) contamination occurred 30 years ago, but the city is still experiencing the effects of the gas leak. Around 6000 people died immediately, and 2 lakh were injured following an incident in December 1984. The stillbirth rate was 300% and neonatal mortality (death as an infant) was about 200% following the tragedy. [1]

Recent studies have observed that exposure to MIC leads to dysfunction of the immune system, and alter the DNA of a person, leading to chromosomal abnormalities. Babies born to a pregnant woman exposed to MIC in the first trimester of pregnancy showed symptoms of persistent immune system hyper-responsiveness. [2] There has been a drastic increase in the number of babies born with physical as well as mental deformities. Children, born without arms or legs, are often unable to speak or care for themselves. A population-based cancer registry has been established in Bhopal, but the onset of gas leak related cancers is not expected to occur before the 30-40 years lag period. As per local doctors' views these deformities are very different from conventional birth defects and therefore very difficult to treat. It is thus a matter of great public concern. [3] A study by Bhargava et al. documented that there was a significant increase in all inflammatory biomarkers levels in the population of survivors. [4]

We propose that yoga-based lifestyle intervention may actually aid in improving the health and reducing the sequel to MIC exposure. In an ongoing study in our lab we have documented a decline in free radical levels, and the level of the inflammatory marker, interleukin-6, and upregulation of β-endorphins following a short yoga-based intervention. In addition, studies from our laboratory have shown that yoga practices can produce significant changes in various marker of cellular aging (increase in telomerase levels) and even dramatic reduction in the level of oxidative DNA damage marker 8-hydroxy-2'- deoxyguanosine in the blood as well as sperm. [5] A significant improvement in sperm DNA integrity with lower sperm DNA damage (fragmentation and denaturation) were observed after 6 months of yoga practice. A possible mechanism of action of yoga in this cases appears to be balancing of body oxidants-antioxidant levels. Therefore, Yoga/meditation as a lifestyle intervention might be useful in these unfortunate victims.

   References Top

Fortun K. Advocacy after Bhopal. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 2001. p. 259.  Back to cited text no. 1
Mishra PK. A pragmatic and translational approach of human biomonitoring to methyl isocyanate exposure in Bhopal. Indian J Med Res 2012;135:479-84.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Dhara R. Health effects of the Bhopal gas leak: A review. Epidemiol Prev 1992;14:22-31.  Back to cited text no. 3
Bhargava A, Punde RP, Pathak N, Dabadghao S, Desikan P, Jain A, et al. Status of inflammatory biomarkers in the population that survived the Bhopal gas tragedy: A study after two decades. Ind Health 2010;48:204-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
Kumar SB, Yadav R, Yadav RK, Tolahunase M, Mishra SS, Vemparala K, et al. Impact of life style interventions on markers of cellular aging. Andrology 2014;Suppl 3: 1:73.  Back to cited text no. 5

Correspondence Address:
Rima Dada
Department of Anatomy, Laboratory for Molecular Reproduction and Genetics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-6131.154072

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