A calm mind can slow aging and help prevent cancer

What if it turned out that in order to slow down the aging process and reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases, it was enough to slow down thespirit ?

Studies have shown that meditation and mindfulness can help improve longevity and reduce the risk of developing cancer and other chronic diseases by increasing the length of telomeres. Although these studies are mixed, there is some consistency in their results.

Telomere length can indicate biological age and disease risk

Telomeres are the protective caps located at the end of chromosomes. They are DNA and protein complexes necessary for DNA replication and chromosome stability.

Telomeres protect chromosomes from unraveling and sticking together (which would destroy or mix up genetic information). They also protect against cellular aging. They look like the plastic ends of shoe laces, which is how they keep the chromosomes from unraveling.

Our age is definitely the criterion that will induce illnesses and death, however, there are big differences between people in how they will get sick and die. Researchers have studied and researched potential markers of biological age as well as factors that may influence them, one of them being telomere length.

Telomere length shortens with age and can be a early indicator several chronic diseases, including hypertension, atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease (regardless of age), cognitive decline and dementia.

When telomeres are shorter, it may indicate a more advanced biological age and therefore greater exposure to disease.

the stress chronic illness and depression can accelerate telomere shortening

Various factorsincluding poor sleep, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and a sedentary lifestyle, can accelerate telomere shortening.

However, the state of mind can also play a role. Of the studies showed that exposure to chronic stress and depression play a role in the rate of telomere shortening.

A study showed that women with the highest levels of perceived stress had shorter telomeres on average, which is equivalent to “at least ten years of additional aging compared to low-stress women”. This information could provide clues to the role that stress plays in the early onset of certain age-related diseases.

Another one study examined whether healthy young women under chronic stress had shorter telomeres than unstressed ones. Regular stress may be associated with shorter telomeres. Scientists have also found that according to caregivers, people with dementia have more or less long telomeres.

others studies found telomere shortening in people with major depression and in those with low socioeconomic status.

“Chronic stress wears down telomeres and creates inflammation, which exposes us to age-related diseases”, explains Elissa Epel, professor and vice chair of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of California. She has also co-authored a number of studies on meditation, stress, and telomere biology.

Meditation can lengthen telomeres

Research has shown that healthy lifestyle habits can help promote telomerase (a cellular enzyme that protects telomere length), healthy cell function, telomere maintenance and lengthening.

In particular, lifestyle habits such as a Mediterranean diet and exercise can reduce physiological stress – stress hormones, inflammation and oxidative stress, “they are important for the prevention of diseases and the slowing down of biological aging”, says Professor Epel.

Studies have also suggested that meditation is likely to have a positive effect on telomere length. At this time, scientists aren’t sure exactly how meditation is related to telomere lengthening.

The study Zen meditation, telomere length and the role of experiential prevention and compassion compares the telomere length of a group of experienced Zen meditators to that of a similarly sized group of participants who have never meditated. The control group of non-meditators consisted of friends and relatives of the meditators.

Non-meditators shared similar lifestyle habits to meditators and were similar in gender, age, and ethnicity. All study participants were between the ages of 18 and 65.

Genomic DNA from both groups was taken to measure telomeres. The scientists found that the meditating group had a longer telomere length and a lower percentage of short telomeres than those in the non-meditating control group. The meditators group had an average telomere length of 10.82 kb, compared to 9.94 kb for the non-meditators. In addition, the prevalence of short telomeres was significantly lower in the meditating group than in the non-meditating group.

Eighteen other recent studies have examined telomere biology in relation to meditation. A second cross-sectional study also found longer telomeres in experienced meditators compared to those who did not meditate.

The other studies looked at whether meditation had an effect on telomerase activity or telomere length. Nine of eleven studies of telomerase activity found that meditation actually increased telomerase activity. However, only two of nine studies measuring telomere length involving “interventions of relatively high intensity or duration” showed an increase in telomere length in participants. None of the other studies showed a true increase in telomere length.

“The numerous studies on meditation and other mind-body practices suggest that they can reduce inflammation, or the expression of genes linked to inflammation,” explains Professor Epel. “Some studies indicate that these practices have an impact on the genetic expression of genes that regulate mitochondria, telomeres or telomerase. In this way, they could slow down the aging of our cells, if practiced over time. »

Meditate to age less quickly

What do these studies mean for ordinary mortals? What is the first step we can take to live healthier and increase our longevity? What type of meditation should we practice and for how long?

“Being mindful is a first step towards many other ways to reduce stress. This helps us to notice our emotions, and to better regulate them (name them to tame them). We notice the feeling of stress in our body. When we are in pleasant environments, we can open our senses and allow our bodies to relax. Our mind follows the movement. »

“It’s the mind-body practices that help reduce inflammation.” LAdequate meditation depends on what a person is looking for and enjoys.

“People have different opinions, but what brings them together are the health-beneficial commonalities. Mind-body practices slow down the breath. They help restore attention. They increase the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system. »

Prof. Epel adds that most studies suggest a daily meditation practice of at least 20 minutes, but claim that any amount of daily meditation is beneficial.

“Actually, the current advice is to do whatever you want – even if it’s only 5 minutes a day. The best time and the best duration for you is what you want to do, regularly. One can change the state of stress in just a few minutes, but yes, longer is better. »

Support Epoch Times from 1€

How can you help us keep you informed?

The Epoch Times is a free and independent media, receiving no public support and not belonging to any political party or financial group. Since our inception, we have faced repeated attacks to silence our information. This is why we count on your support to defend our independent journalism and to continue, thanks to you, to make known the truth.

We would love to say thanks to the author of this write-up for this incredible content

A calm mind can slow aging and help prevent cancer

Our social media profiles here and other pages on related topics here.https://nimblespirit.com/related-pages/