Empirical evidence has finally been provided in the form of a research which says that meditation activates genes that are used to combat Covid amongst other serious illnesses. The study looks into the correlation between meditation and activation of genes that are crucial for natural immunity.
According to a recent investigation, meditating for a handful of minutes per day could become the initial move in aiding the body combat cancer and viruses like COVID-19. The immune system of the body is greatly boosted by meditation and yoga routines, or Inner Engineering techniques, according to a study from the University of Florida.
Patients were asked to practice these strategies for more than a week, meditating for more than 10 hours per day. Meditation camps have grown in popularity in recent years as more individuals want to unwind from their hectic lives and enjoy some time undisturbed with their thoughts.
Although meditation’s benefits have been well established, little is understood on how it impacts biological systems at the molecular scale. Scientists have discovered that investing a week in silent meditation has genetic effects that may aid in the prevention of life-threatening illnesses.
During the retreat, these people also ate a vegetarian diet and slept on a fixed schedule, however these healthy behaviors did not get the equivalent impact as meditation, according to the researchers. Dr. Vijayendran Chandran, the study’s lead author, started meditating for 21 minutes a day when his wife recommended he try it.
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“I was just trying to be open-minded. I tried it and it worked really well. My clarity and focus were improved. I just felt great,” Chandran recalls in a university release.
Meditation for ten hours activates disease-fighting genes
In 2018, 106 people participated in the study, which took place at the Isha Institute of Inner-Sciences in Tennessee. Attendees inside this closely supervised retreat sat silently for eight days, meditated for almost ten hours per day, proceeded to eat solely vegetarian dishes, and had a good night’s sleep.
Blood specimens were gathered five to eight weeks from prior to retreat, right before and after the retreat, and three months afterwards. They detected genetic variations in samples collected before and after the intensive meditation retreat. Specifically, 220 genes associated with the immunological mechanism in the body became increasingly active after respondents participated in the Inner Engineering meditation retreat. This includes 68 genes linked to interferon signaling, which aids the body in fighting infections and cancer.
“What we found was that multiple genes related to the immune system were activated — dramatically — when you do Inner Engineering practices,” Dr. Chandran reports. “This is the first time anyone has shown that meditation can boost your interferon signaling. It demonstrates a way to voluntarily influence the immune system without pharmaceuticals.”
Could meditation aid in the enhancement of COVID defenses?
Interferon signaling abnormalities have also been discovered in individuals having extreme COVID-19 and multiple sclerosis (MS) in recent research. The scientists examined the interferon gene function of attendees to that of COVID patients and discovered significant variations. In moderate COVID patients, mediation triggered 76 percent of the virus-fighting interferon genes, relative to 31 percent in serious cases.
Similarly, for MS patients, meditation was found to be more effective than standard interferon regimens.
The results, according to Dr. Chandran, justify the use of meditation to possibly alleviate a variety of health concerns. The authors of the paper say that further research is needed, and that they wish to see if less rigorous meditation programs over a prolonged period of time can have comparable beneficial immune system effects.
The study’s discoveries have been released in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.