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Meditation’s effects on telomere length – Insight meditation and telomere biology: The effects of intensive retreat and the moderating role of personality
Mediation is becoming an increasingly hot topic these days and many companies, such as Google, are creating mindfulness programs for their workers. While mediation’s psychological benefits are becoming well documented (You can read about a few of them in this post: 4/24/2019) research is now beginning to suggest that meditation can also have a measurable positive effects on certain aspects of our biology. One such effect is the lengthening of telomeres.
Telomeres are “caps” that are attached to the end of every chromosome. Much like the caps on the ends of shoelaces, they prevent chromosomes from unraveling. However, every time a cell divides (which most cells do quite a lot) the telomeres on the ends of its chromosomes become slightly shorter. After a certain amount of telomeric shortening, the cell dies. Although this shortening is a natural process, certain behaviors such as smoking can hasten it, leading to premature cell aging and death. Fortunately, it has also been shown that other behaviors can lengthen telomeres. One such behavior is meditation. As the study in the title details, mindfulness meditation, if practiced over a consistent period of time, can led to a marked increase in telomere length.
For more information on telomeres, click here.
A Humans of New York Post, that made me cry
To doubt everything and to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions, both dispense with the necessity of reflection.
- Henri Poincaré