Mindfulness meditation: Key to a longer, stress-free life?

March 14, 2013

Oliver Ubeda, Synapse: During my first year of pharmacy school, I attended an alternative medicine Saturday elective where Dr. Dean Ornish spoke about the benefits of meditation and the effect it has on lengthening our chromosomal telomeres.

Telomeres are portions of repetitive DNA at the ends of our chromosomes that protect our chromosomes from deteriorating.

Meditation was the focus of research at UC Davis and UCSF by Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, and others as part of the Shamatha project.

The 2011 study found that meditation increased activity of telomerase — enzymes that can rebuild and lengthen our chromosomal telomeres…

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Explaining why meditators may live longer

December 24, 2010

The image of the ancient but youthful-looking sage meditating on a mountaintop might be closer to reality than you think, according to a new study that found that after a three-month stay at a meditation retreat, people showed higher levels of an enzyme associated with longevity.

The study is preliminary and didn’t show that meditation actually extends life, but the findings suggest a possible means by which it could.

Researchers led by Tonya Jacobs of the University of California-Davis compared 30 participants at a meditation retreat held at the Shambhala Mountain Center in Colorado with matched controls on a waiting list for the retreat. Participants meditated six hours per day for three months. Their meditation … Read more »