You are on page 1of 2

Scientific basis of yoga

1.Study: How Yoga Alters Genes

All of the subjects' blood samples revealed changes in gene expression
following meditation. The changes were the exact opposite of what
occurs during flight or fight: genes associated with energy metabolism,
mitochondrial function, insulin secretion, and telomere maintenance
were turned on, while those involved in inflammation were turned off.
These effects were more pronounced and consistent for long-term

2. Meditation and yoga can 'reverse' DNA reactions which

cause stress, new study suggests
When a person is exposed to a stressful event, their sympathetic nervous system (SNS) -- the
system responsible for the 'fight-or-flight' response -- is triggered, in turn increasing production of a
molecule called nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) which regulates how our genes are expressed.
NF-kB translates stress by activating genes to produce proteins called cytokines that cause
inflammation at cellular level -- a reaction that is useful as a short-lived fight-or-flight reaction, but if
persistent leads to a higher risk of cancer, accelerated aging and psychiatric disorders like
According to the study, however, people who practise MBIs exhibit the opposite effect -- namely a
decrease in production of NF-kB and cytokines, leading to a reversal of the pro-inflammatory gene
expression pattern and a reduction in the risk of inflammation-related diseases and conditions.

Oxidative stress (OS) and associated DNA damage is the main cause of defective sperm function. Sperm
is particularly vulnerable to oxidative attack on account of being rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids in
plasma membrane, deficient in cytosolic antioxidants and limited DNA damage detetion and repair
mechanism. The induction of lipid peroxidation cascade by excessive production of reactive oxygen
species (ROS) predisposes to the clustering of different lipid aldehydes (Aitken et al., 2013; Bisht et al.,
2017). The DNA damage in the spermatozoa is mainly oxidative and is characterized by single and
double strand breaks, abasic sites, DNA fragmentation, intrastrand DNA cross linking, accelerated
telomeric shorteneing and epigenetic alterations. Oxidative DNA damage (ODD) and its repair is crucial
for the viability of cleavage and blastocyst stage embryos.