Study: Meditation’s Anti-Aging Properties
There have been thousands of scientifically conducted studies done on meditation with some significant findings. We will focus on several of them throughout these 30 days to help get the conceptual mind excited to meditate too! First up is the amazing anti-aging properties of meditation.
Here are some highlights that show just how powerful meditation can be to make real, life-enhancing changes within the human body.
Meditation decreases levels of Cortisol “The Stress Hormone”
Cortisol is called the “stress hormone” and it is “age accelerating” by nature. Higher levels of Cortisol can decrease bone density, elevate blood pressure, lower immunity, increase abdominal fat storages, and weaken cognitive performance. This hormone is put back into balance through meditation. In PTSD patients Cortisol levels are actually too low, and yet with meditation, they too come back into balanced levels.
Meditation increases DHEA “The Youth Hormone”
On the other side of the spectrum meditation can increase DHEA, the “Youth Hormone”. DHEA can help brain cells involved in memory function, relieve depression, enhance mood, support bone health, strengthen immunity, lower blood glucose, limit the complications of obesity and diabetes, and aid healthy cardiovascular function. Yes, its properties are amazing and in fact that is just a short list!
Want more DHEA?
Meditators secrete more DHEA as they age than non-meditators. In one study of 45 + year olds, males had an average of 23 percent more DHEA than non-meditators, and meditating females had an average of 47 percent more! Incredible, right?
The Anti-Aging Enzyme: Telomerase
Telomerase is the name given to an enzyme that is directly attributed to the aging of our cells. As explained below as these enzymes break down, so do our cells. But with meditation, they actually strengthen. Stress is a common suspect for the degeneration of telomerase, so it only make sense that meditation would help improve their stability.
TIME’s writer Maia Szalavitz, explains:
…Telomerase, the structures located on the ends of chromosomes, are like the plastic aglets at the tips of shoelaces, they prevent the chromosome from unraveling. Each time a cell reproduces, its telomerase become shorter and less effective at protecting the chromosome — this, researchers believe, is a cause of aging… telomerase can mitigate — and possibly stop — cell aging.
In studies, meditators were found to contain about 30 percent more activity of the telomerase enzyme. That’s a 30 percent increase in your body’s ability to counteract the effects of cellular aging, just by meditation!
Iron Spine provides a new way to be reminded of our universal wisdom and compassion that aligns with the purpose of yoga and meditation. Find us on instagram @ironspineco to stay in touch and learn more.