Practise meditation, yoga daily to 'reverse' stress-causing DNA reactions!

17 Juin, 2017, 08:06 | Author: Cyril Hebras
  • Practise meditation, yoga daily to 'reverse' stress-causing DNA reactions!

Yoga and meditation may do more than just help you feel relaxed in the moment. Now researchers out of Coventry University in the United Kingdom and Radboud University in the Netherlands have discovered that activities that link body and mind can actually reverse a genetic process that leads to inflammation and disease.

The researchers looked at previous studies that measured the results of activities like yoga and meditation, which are known as mind-body interventions (MBIs).

Researchers reviewed 18 studies - featuring 846 participants over 11 years - analysing how the behaviour of our genes is affected by different mind-body interventions (MBIs) including mindfulness and yoga. The studies all included gene-expression analysis as part of the measurements of outcomes.

When a person is exposed to a stressful event, their sympathetic nervous system (SNS) - the system responsible for the "fight-or-flight" response - is triggered, in turn increasing production of a molecule called nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) which regulates how our genes are expressed. When present in the body over the long term, this pro-inflammatory compounds can increase cancer risks, lead to accelerated aging and even contribute to depression.

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"Millions of people around the world already enjoy the health benefits of mind-body interventions like yoga or meditation, but what they perhaps don't realize is that these benefits begin at a molecular level and can change the way our genetic code goes about its business", said lead investigator Ivana Buric.

"These activities are leaving a molecular signature in our cells, which reverses the effect that stress or anxiety would have on the body by changing how our genes are expressed", said Buric. This leads to production of NF-kB which thereby created molecules called cytokines that triggers cellular inflammation. It controls your fight or flight response. Apart from exhibiting fewer signs of inflammation, people who engage in MBIs show a decrease in the inflammatory protein, which signifies the reversal of the molecular signs of chronic stress.

To clarify, researchers admit that this is a fairly new field of study and that these benefits may also be achieved through other positive lifestyle changes, but as it stands, now existing studies suggest that MBIs steer our DNA toward an improved well-being.

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