MBIs cause brain to steer DNA processes along a path and improves well being: Ivana Buric
Researchers from the universities of Coventry (UK) and Radboud (Netherlands) have revealed through 18 studies — featuring 846 participants over 11 years – that practising mind-body interventions (MBIs) such as meditation, yoga and Tai Chi daily reduces risk of depression and cancer by reversing the molecular reactions in DNA.
“Put simply, the MBIs cause the brain to steer our DNA processes along a path which improves our wellbeing,” said lead investigator of the research team, Ivana Buric.
The research was published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology.
The explanation offered by this study is that when people experience stress, their sympathetic nervous system (SNS) — the system responsible for the ‘fight-or-flight’ response — is triggered.
This phenomenon produces a molecule called nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB), which activates genes to produce proteins called cytokines that cause inflammation at cellular level and if persistent, leads to a accelerated aging, higher risk of cancer, and depression.
However, according to the study, people who practise MBIs experience a decrease in production of NF-kB and cytokines, leading to a reversal of the pro-inflammatory gene expression pattern resulting in a reduced risk of inflammation-related diseases and conditions.
“These activities are leaving what we call a molecular signature in our cells, which reverses the effect that stress or anxiety would have on the body by changing how our genes are expressed. Put simply, the MBIs cause the brain to steer our DNA processes along a path which improves our wellbeing,” said Ivana Buric
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)