Scientific experts now believe we have in-built mechanisms that can fight and reverse the aging process. Innovative research into the reversal of aging is well underway and, while scientists debate the many different theories, research has revealed that meditation dramatically affects the production of three important hormones related to stress, longevity and aging.
Cortisol, DHEA and Melatonin.
Cortisol, the ‘stress hormone’, is naturally produced by the adrenal glands. Our bodies produce cortisol (and adrenaline) when we react to stress. Long term or chronic stress however means that the body is over exposed to these hormones, and this can lead to increased anxiety, depression, an inability to cope, and ultimately, physical illness.
David Zava, Ph.D., a biochemist and prominent researcher and speaker on the topic of hormones says, “Too much cortisol, caused by stressors, over a prolonged period of time, results in excessive breakdown of all structural tissues of the body including muscle, bone, skin and brain, causing accelerated aging.”
DHEA, known as the ‘youth’ hormone, is also produced by the adrenal glands and acts as a buffer against stress-related hormones (like cortisol). It is a key determinant of physiological age and dramatically decreases as we get older. When DHEA levels are low we are more susceptible to aging and disease. Anxiety and stress lower DHEA levels.
DHEA has extended rodent lifespans by up to…
50%. The animals not only lived longer, but they also appeared younger. DHEA levels are directly related to mortality (the probability of dying) in humans. In a 12-year study of over 240 men aged 50 to 79 years, researchers found that DHEA levels were inversely correlated with mortality, both from heart disease and from all other causes.
Melatonin is a key determinant of restful sleep and is known to have a calming effect, improving our mood and feelings of contentment. Current research has also revealed melatonin to be a powerful antioxidant but as we age we create less and less melatonin.
Studies by immunologist Dr. Walter Pierpaoli of the Biancalana-Masera Foundation for the Aged in Ancona, Italy, and various colleagues have shown that melatonin treatments extended the lifespan of mice by as much as 25 percent. Moreover, mice that had been treated with melatonin not only lived longer, but they also appeared younger, healthier, more vigorous, and sexually rejuvenated.
Studies conducted by pioneering University of Texas melatonin researcher Dr. Russel Reiter show melatonin to be the most potent scavenger of free radicals – unstable molecules that promote cancer and heart disease by damaging DNA, cells, and tissue.
Dr. Vincent Giampapa, M.D., head of Longevity Institute International and Past-President of the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine, plays a prominent role in some of the latest scientific research into aging. His study, using specific audio technology designed for deep meditation, revealed:
* Cortisol decreased by an average of 46.47%, with positive changes in 68% of the people
* Over 68% had increases in DHEA levels, with an average increase of 43.77%
* Melatonin levels increased an average of 97.77%, with positive changes happening in over 73% of the people
Regular meditation practice brings a whole range of health benefits but the most fascinating, at the forefront of modern medicine, is how it seems to activate the body’s natural anti-aging capabilities.
“Most people think that aging is irreversible and we know that there are mechanisms even in the human machinery that allow for the reversal of aging, through correction of diet, through anti-oxidants, removal of toxins from the body, through exercise, yoga and breathing techniques, and through meditation.” – Deepak Chopra