As you aptly point out in your summary, research has been growing demonstrating that the benefits of meditation are indeed “also physiological.” Also, the ‘mind-body connection’ is starting to be explained in physiological and biochemical terms by some very great minds, which to me is important progress.
So I would like to add to this discussion research evidence which also demonstrates a strong Telomere/Telomerase connection. I will leave it to others much more expert than I in such matters to discuss association, causation, etc., but here is a summary of the 6 study Abstracts shown below:
1. From Elizabeth Blackburn, Elissa Epel, et.al. (2011): Subjects engaged in intensive Meditation (3 month program) showed a significant increase in Telomerase Activity (measured in PBMCs) vs. control.
2. In an admittedly Pilot study by Blackburn, Epel, et.al. (2013), subjects engaged in “brief daily yogic meditation” “showed 43% improvement in telomerase activity compared with 3.7% in the relaxation group (p = 0.05).”
3. The groundbreaking work of Drs. Epel and Blackburn in demonstrating the very powerful connection between stress and reduced telomere length (e.g., among caregivers) is well known, and here, Rita B. Effros, et. al. (2008) appear to identify at least one potential common biochemical link involved in both the Stress-Telomere Length connection and perhaps also the Meditation-Telomerase relationship: cortisol, where the authors “demonstrate that exposure of human T lymphocytes to cortisol is associated with a significant reduction in telomerase activity.” And that: “Higher concentrations of hydrocortisone, comparable to those that might be reached in vivo during stress, reduced telomerase activity by as much as 50%.”
4. Similarly, Blackburn, Epel, et.al. (2012) demonstrate an association between higher cortisol levels and shorter telomeres.
5. and 6. Where the authors demonstrate a positive impact of meditation and/or mindfulness programs in reducing cortisol levels, which should benefit telomerase activity and telomere length.
I hope this helps the group study and understand the dynamics of meditation, and its impact, with what I believe is important additional evidence and knowledge.
Telomere Biosciences, LLC.
David B. Cross
Founder & President
TELO-100 with T-Activator 150
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