Yoga may Influence Genetic Expression

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Mind-Body Therapies (MBTs), such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and tai-chi have been found to epigenetically affect genes and other areas in our genomes that are implicated in inflammation, stress, and distress.

Epigenetic changes are reversible as they do not change your DNA sequence.

‘Yoga has the potential to alter the way genes are expressed, which can have benefits on immunity, cancer and embryonic development.’

A recent review showed that MBTs can affect the genetic expression of an individual, including a significant alternation in a variety of histone deacetylase enzymes in the mindfulness meditation group compared to the control group.

Histone demethylases have a potential role in cancer by regulating cellular processes and embryonic development. Many cells are involved in stress processes, but some of them only demonstrate tumor suppressor function and stress reducing properties. This is a complicated finding with different meaning.

Another key finding was the methylation of the tumor necrosis factor gene, which is implicated in psychological distress shown to significantly decrease for the women who performed yoga.

These findings highlight the scope for incorporating yoga into mainstream healthcare for more holistic approach, and beneficial to the individual.

Source: Medindia

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