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Effect of Transcendental Meditation on cholesterol and other cardiovascular risk factors

Ask the Doctors -    Translate This Article
7 September 2011

Cardiologist César Molina,* M.D., F.A.C.C., and neurologist Gary P. Kaplan, M.D., Ph.D,** answers questions about effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique in reducing cholesterol and other factors related to cardiovascular disease.

Q: Can the TM technique help control both blood sugar and cholesterol? What about weight? 

Dr. Kaplan:
There is evidence now from a well-controlled scientific study published in Archives of Internal Medicine in 2006 that the TM technique can reduce the components of ''metabolic syndrome,'' a major cause of poor health and premature death. Patients with metabolic syndrome are characteristically overweight, with high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar and triglycerides, and low HDL (good) cholesterol.

Q: Can the Transcendental Meditation program lower cholesterol? 

Dr. Molina:
In a study published in the Journal of the Israeli Medical Association, researchers reported a significant drop in total cholesterol in people who practice the Transcendental Meditation technique. So yes, the Transcendental Meditation technique is an effective way to lower total cholesterol.

Most of the emphasis today is on lowering cholesterol, and thus you hear many advertisements for cholesterol medications on TV. Yet we need to remember that high blood pressure is, in fact, the most important risk factor for both stroke and coronary heart disease. Research studies have consistently demonstrated a drop in the blood pressure of people who practice the Transcendental Meditation technique. So we should not underestimate the power of lowering the blood pressure of anyone, whether or not they have high cholesterol.

Click here for more about Transcendental Meditation and cholesterol, including related research showing reduced cardiovascular risk factors in patients with coronary heart disease; as well as decreased cholesterol, lower blood pressure, reduced atherosclerosis/stroke, reduced congestive heart failure, decreased free radicals, and reduced metabolic syndrome/pre-diabetes.

* César Molina, M.D., F.A.C.C., is Medical Director of the South Asian Heart Center at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, CA. He is a graduate of Yale University School of Medicine and a fellow of the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Molina has recently appeared in the international edition of CNN discussing the benefits of diet and exercise in the treatment and prevention of coronary heart disease.

** Gary P. Kaplan, M.D., Ph.D., is a neurologist and associate professor of clinical neurology at Hofstra University School of Medicine. He is also a recipient of the Albert H. Douglas Award from the Medical Society of the State of New York for outstanding achievements as a clinical teacher interested in promoting and improving the medical education of physicians.

© Copyright 2011 American Association of Physicians Practicing the Transcendental Meditation Technique

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