Yoga and meditation are well-documented to have psychological, emotional and physical benefits for people at all stages of health, including cancer patients. Now breakthrough research reveals yoga and meditation can positively affect DNA.
Telomeres, located at the tips of DNA chromosomes, shorten with aging and age-related diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. As telomeres shorten, cells age and die more quickly. Conversely, telomere lengthening can increase a cellâ€™s longevity.
Treating cancer is all about finding healthcare that works for the person affected. For example, some people turn to medical marijuana cancer treatment. Supporters of medical marijuana find it can effectively treat inflammation, nausea and pain. Nonetheless, this new research suggests that perhaps yoga and meditation could pose a solution. A cbd vape starter kit could be a good consumption method for those who are interested in using medical marijuana to treat their aliments.
The following studies have found yoga and meditation can protect and even lengthen DNA telomeres.
Yoga and Meditation Maintain Telomere Length in Cancer Survivors
A 2015 randomized controlled study, published in the journal Cancer, found yoga and meditation maintained telomere length in breast cancer patients.
Researchers at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada administered either a yoga and meditation program, supportive group therapy, or 1-day stress management seminar to 88 breast cancer survivors. All of the cancer patients suffered from significant emotional stress following cancer treatment. Blood samples and telomere length were assessed before and after the study.
The yoga group participated in weekly 90-minute yoga sessions for 8 weeks. The yoga group also practiced the yoga and meditation program at home. The supportive group participated in weekly 90-minute group therapy for 3 months.
The researchers found the yoga and group therapy participants had maintained their telomere length. However, the seminar group had shortened telomeres.
â€œTogether, these changes suggest an effect of the interventions on potentially important biomarkers of psychosocial stress,â€ the study authors write. â€œGiven the increasingly well-documented association between telomere length and cancer initiation and survival, this finding adds to the literature supporting the potential for stress-reducing interventions to impact important disease-regulating processes and ultimately disease outcome.â€
Meditation Lengthens Telomeres
A small but significant study published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity reports loving-kindness meditators have longer telomeres than non-meditators.
Loving-Kindness Meditation is a Buddhist meditation practice focusing on health, happiness and well-being towards all people.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School obtained blood samples from 15 meditators and 22 non-meditators. Chromosomal DNA was extracted from blood cells.
The researchers found the meditators had longer telomeres than non-meditators. Furthermore, female meditators had significantly longer telomere length than than non-meditators
â€œAlthough limited by small sample size, these results offer the intriguing possibility that Loving Kindness Meditation practice, especially in women, might alter relative telomere length, a biomarker associated with longevity,â€ the study authors conclude.
To learn more about yoga and meditation, download a free sample from Elaine Gavalasâ€™ book, THE YOGA MINIBOOK SERIES BALANCE SET: The Yoga Minibook for Stress Relief and The Yoga Minibook for Energy and Strength.
Elaineâ€™s the author of numerous health articles and books including â€œYogi in the Kitchenâ€, â€œThe Yoga Minibook for Weight Lossâ€, â€œThe Yoga Minibook for Longevityâ€, â€œThe Yoga Minibook for Energy and Strengthâ€, â€œThe Yoga Minibook for Stress Reliefâ€ and â€œSecrets of Fat-Free Greek Cooking.â€ You can buy Elaine Gavalasâ€™ books here.
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Elaine Gavalas is founder of Galen Botanicals, co-founder of Simply Centered and an exercise physiologist, nutritionist, yoga therapist, weight management specialist, and healthy recipe developer. Visit ElaineGavalas.com for more of Elaineâ€™s articles, recipes, videos, and natural remedies.