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New research finds less atherosclerosis, better cholesterol

The Review, Maharishi University of Management - USA    Translate This Article
5 May 2010

Research presented in March at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society found that one year of practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique resulted in a regression of atherosclerosis and improved levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.

Maharishi University of Management faculty researcher John Salerno presented results from a randomized controlled trial showing regression of atherosclerosis in high-risk subjects, compared to controls who received conventional health education with diet and exercise recommendations.

The study, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the NIH [National Institutes of Health], focused on high-risk subgroups who had suffered from a previous heart attack, metabolic syndrome (a combination of insulin resistance, obesity, unhealthy levels of blood lipids, and hypertention), or hypertension alone.

In addition to reduced atherosclerosis, those assigned to the group practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique had one-third the number of hospitalizations and adverse clinical events compared to controls.

Faculty researcher Ken Walton presented findings from a randomized controlled trial of older African-American women with diabetes who showed deficient levels of HDL (''good'') cholesterol and/or high levels of triglycerides at the beginning.

After one year of practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique, the levels of both HDL and triglycerides were significantly improved compared to control patients who received conventional health education classes with diet and exercise recommendations. Because low HDL and high triglycerides may contribute to atherosclerosis, this finding may help to explain effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique on heart disease.

Dr. Walton and Dr. Salerno also attended a one-day workshop on meditation research at the beginning of the conference in which participants shared results and their experiences of the design/protocol challenges confronting meditation researchers.

''This meeting was the most open and interdisciplinary I have attended in years,'' Dr. Salerno said. ''It's encouraging to see so many scientists from diverse fields come together to advance the knowledge of how stress contributes to disease and to explore mind-body interventions for preventing or reversing these effects.''

Other Maharishi University of Management faculty coauthors of these papers included Dr. Robert Schneider, Dr Sanford Nidich, Dr Maxwell Rainforth, and Dr. Carolyn King.

© Copyright 2010 Maharishi University of Management®

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