The effect of diaphragmatic breathing

Ma, X., et al. (2017). The effect of diaphragmatic breathing on attention, negative affect and stress in healthy adults. Frontiers in psychology, no. 8, pp. 874, Full text.

From the Abstract. A growing number of empirical studies have revealed that diaphragmatic breathing may trigger body relaxation responses and benefit both physical and mental health. However, the specific benefits of diaphragmatic breathing on mental health remain largely unknown.

The present study aimed to investigate the effect of diaphragmatic breathing on cognition, affect, and cortisol responses to stress. Forty participants were randomly assigned to either a breathing intervention group (BIG) or a control group (CG). The BIG received intensive training for 20 sessions, implemented over 8 weeks, employing a real-time feedback device, and an average respiratory rate of 4 breaths/min, while the CG did not receive this treatment. . . . 

The findings suggested that the BIG showed a significant decrease in negative affect after intervention, compared to baseline.  . . .  In conclusion, diaphragmatic breathing could improve sustained attention, affect, and cortisol levels.

Mindful eating and early stage chronic kidney disease

Timmerman, Gayle M., et al. “Self-management of dietary intake using mindful eating to improve dietary intake for individuals with early stage chronic kidney disease.” Journal of Behavioral Medicine, vol. 1, no. 10.

From the Abstract Using mindful eating to improve specific dietary recommendations has not been adequately studied. This feasibility study examined an intervention, self-management of dietary intake using mindful eating, with 19 participants that had mild to moderate chronic kidney disease, using a prospective, single group, pretest–posttest design.

The intervention had six weekly classes focused on self-management using mindful eating, goal-setting, problem-solving, and food label reading. Weight, body mass index (BMI), 3-day 24-h dietary recalls and fasting blood samples were measured.

Participants improved significantly in mean weight but not in dietary intake nor blood measures with the exception of cis-beta-carotene levels, which correlates to fruit and vegetable servings. These promising results warrant further testing of the intervention in randomized control trials.