Implication of Asana, Pranayama and Meditation on Telomere Stability.
Int J Yoga. 2018 Sep-Dec;11(3):186-193. PMID: 30233111
Telomeres, the repetitive sequences that protect the ends of chromosomes, help to maintain genomic integrity and are of key importance to human health. Telomeres progressively shorten throughout life and a number of studies have shown shorter telomere length to be associated with lifestyle disorders. Previous studies also indicate that yoga and lifestyle-based intervention have significant role on oxidative DNA damage and cellular aging. However, very few publications investigate telomere stability and its implication from the point of view of asana, pranayama, and meditation. In this context, a review was conducted to systematically assess the available data on the effectiveness of asana, pranayama, and meditation in maintaining telomere and telomerase. Literature search was performed using the following electronic databases: Cochrane Library, NCBI, PubMed, Google Scholar, EMBASE, and Web of Science. We explored the possible mechanisms of how asana, pranayama, and meditation might be affecting telomere length and telomerase. Moreover, results showed that asana and pranayama increase the oxygen flow to the cells and meditation reduces the stress level by modulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Summing up the result, it can be concluded that practice of asana, pranayama, and meditation can help to maintain genomic integrity and are of key importance to human health and lifestyle disorders.