A new study published in PLOS ONE found that the Transcendental Meditation technique and lifestyle changes both appear to stimulate genes that produce telomerase, an enzyme associated with reduced blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and mortality. Both stress reduction approaches prevented telomere deterioration, suggesting a possible underlying mechanism for the improved cardiovascular health in a high-risk population. See a graph showing the growth of telomerase in both groups. Read the full press release at EurekAlert/AAAS.
News of the study was reported by ANI and AINS and as a result it went viral all over India and Asia. There are pages of reports on Google News. The Times of India picked it up—Daily meditation can slow ageing and blood pressure—and so did many others reproducing it.
But one of the news reports that stood out to me was at Sify News. They chose a picture of India’s Prime Minister Modi to announce the news. He is seen exiting a plane with his hands together in a namaste pose as if showing respect to Maharishi University and their research scientists! See their full report: Transcendental Meditation lowers BP, heart and mortality risks.
Another Indian news outlet, The HealthSite, announced the study to its readers in a more instructional way. They had previously published an editorial on TM taking the world by storm, and link to it and previous TM articles from this current report on the new TM study with this well written opening paragraph:
Since the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the enzyme telomerase in 1984, identifying other biological molecules that lengthen or shorten the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes has been slow going.
A new Maharishi University of Management study found that the Transcendental Meditation technique and lifestyle changes both appear to stimulate genes that produce telomerase, an enzyme that’s associated with reduced blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and mortality. Specifically, these approaches were found to activate two genes that code for telomerase, which adds molecules to the ends of chromosomes, or telomeres, protecting them from deteriorating.
Read the rest of the article: Practise Transcendental Meditation to lower BP, heart and mortality risks.
In the west, Science Codex and Medical Xpress were the first to announce the news. PsychCentral posted Meditation & Lifestyle Both Can Improve Cardio Health. Then, Medical News Today ran two articles, one on the study itself, Transcendental Meditation and lifestyle modification increase telomerase, new study finds, followed by a more in-depth article by MNT’s senior editor and writer Marie Ellis: Can meditating reduce blood pressure?, which is now being referenced in other related articles, like Latinos Post, with their more direct title answering MNT’s question: Meditation Can Help Reduce Blood Pressure – Study.
Other medical blogs are also posting news about this study in more detail. Doctors Health News wrote: Can Transcendental Meditation Reduce Blood Pressure? New Study Says It Can. Syracuse Natural Health Examiner: Transcendental meditation can lower your blood pressure.
The Optimist wrote this great introduction to our study and then linked to the Psych Central article, which reprinted our MUM/EurekAlert press release. See: Transcendental Meditation improves blood pressure and cardio health.
Telomeres are stretches of DNA at the ends of chromosomes that protect our genetic data. Telomere length shortens with age. Researchers also suspect that telomere dysfunction contributes to hypertension and cardiovascular disease. So it’s fantastic to know that we might be able to protect our telomeres a bit. A new study shows that Transcendental Meditation—a technique for avoiding distracting thoughts and promoting a state of relaxed awareness—stimulates genes that produce telomerase, an enzyme that elongates telomeres. After 16 weeks of meditating, study participants showed significant increases in telomerase gene expression and reductions in blood pressure.
The TMhome website introduced a clear understanding of the role telomeres play on DNA reproduction and the effect meditation, diet and exercise can have on them and our health. See their illustrated explanation why telomeres are the key to our health and aging.
This new scientific evidence at the level of DNA now shows how Transcendental Meditation allows the body to make the necessary changes to repair itself, lower the risks of heart disease, and extend life.
See Dr. Robert Schneider’s presentation at Our Conscious Future: Mind Over DNA: Transforming DNA from the Inside Out.
To learn how the mind can influence our epigenetics, click this link: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/Gu33jzWYxQU?rel=0.
John Fagan, professor of molecular biology at Maharishi University of Management and senior author on the study, met with Prime Minister Modi in New Delhi, on Jan 13, 2016. My guess is he may have discussed food safety with the prime minister.
Tags: AAAS, ANI, blood pressure, EurekAlert!, gene expression, HealthSite, lifespan, Maharisihi University of Management, Medical News Today, meditation, Modi, PLOS ONE, Prime Minister Modi, Robert Schneider, telomerase, telomeres, Times of India, Transcendental Meditation