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Physiological persona differences based on stress and inflammation between meditators and healthy controls

Dipti Magan and Raj Kumar Yadav

Abstract

Background

Nowadays, yoga is endorsed and advised routinely to stay fit and healthy, as well as control many chronic diseases including diabetes type 2, hypertension, coronary artery diseases, etc. Now, our assumption is that those who do regular yoga have different persona than who do not do yoga regularly. We planned to test our hypothesis scientifically, and therefore baseline physiological characteristics with stress and inflammation levels in long-term and short-term meditators and healthy novice controls were analyzed.

Methods

In this retrospective analysis, 97 male participants were included for their Baseline analysis. Fifteen apparently healthy subjects practicing preksha meditation (since >5 years, at least 5 days a week) were included as long-term meditators (LTMs); 58 subjects who attended one of our short-term yoga-based lifestyle intervention programs for 2 weeks were included as short-term meditators (STMs); 24 male novice subjects, who did not participate in any yogic intervention, were included as healthy controls. Here, we analyzed the Baseline plasma levels of stress and inflammatory markers, cortisol, β-endorphin, interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in long-term meditators vs. short-term meditators vs. healthy controls.

Outcome measures

The study parameters body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), plasma levels of stress and immune markers, cortisol, β-endorphin (β-Ed), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), were assessed in all the three groups at baseline.

Results

Significant (p<0.05) differences were observed at baseline for plasma levels of stress and inflammatory markers as well as body mass index and systolic blood pressure among LTM vs. STM vs. healthy controls.

Conclusions

Our observations suggest that the subjects who do regular yoga-meditation practice have better stress & inflammation status than comparable age matched healthy controls.

  1. Author Disclosure Statement: The authors have nothing to disclose.

  2. Source of Funding: The authors are greatly thankful to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT, BT/PR10269/GBD/27/82/2007), New Delhi, for granting the financial support for successfully completing the study.

  3. Conflict of Interest: There are no conflicts of interest.

  4. Author Contributions: Dipti Magan: study conduct, acquiring data, analyzing and interpretation of data, and writing of the manuscript; Raj Kumar Yadav: study conceptualization, study design, data interpretation, and writing of the manuscript and approving the final content of the manuscript.

  5. Clinical Trial Registry: The study was registered at Clinical Trial Registry India (CTRI), CTRI/2009/091/000727

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Received: 2019-04-16
Accepted: 2019-05-29
Published Online: 2019-12-24

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