Can Transcendental Meditation Increase Ojas and Reprogram our Genome and Gene Expression for Longevity?
Supaya Wenuganen, PhD, USA
We have begun to explore Ojas level and global gene expression in groups of practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation technique (TM) compared to matched non-practitioner control groups. We determined Ojas level through pulse diagnosis (Nadi Vigyan) in four groups of participants: Young (20-30 years old) TM practitioners, Young Non-TM controls, Older (55-70 years) TM practitioners, and Older Non-TM controls. We measured the global gene expression profile of about 40.000 genes probe from blood cells using the Illumina DNA microarray system, validated the expression of key genes using real-time PCR, and examined for anti-aging effects of TM. Finally, we analyzed the correlations between Ojas level and level of gene expression for specific genes.
The results of our studies showed that the TM subjects in both the young and the older groups had higher levels of Ojas than their respective controls. Global gene expression results suggested that TM can affect global gene expression in a manner consistent with its many clinical and anti-aging benefits documented in previous research. TM appears to down-regulate genes involved in blood coagulation and the stress response, and to up-regulate genes involved in the immune response and genes involved in mechanisms preventing inflammation.
A quantitative analysis (using qPCR) of expression of select genes found that AHSP and CXCL10 genes may be biomarkers for a TM effect. The data suggest that AHSP gene expression is regulated through an epigenetic mechanism, while CXCL10 expression may be regulated by genomic reprogramming during long-term TM practice. Two other genes (ITGB5 and SOCS3) appeared to be biomarkers for a TM-induced anti-aging effect. Finally, we found that expression of two genes correlates with Ojas level.
These findings suggest the TM program can influence Ojas level and can reprogram gene expression to create major benefits for maintaining good health into old age