Breakthrough research reports yoga and mindfulness meditation maintain telomere length in breast cancer patients and may promote cancer survival.
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A 2015 randomized controlled study found yoga and mindfulness meditation maintain telomere length in breast cancer patients and may promote cancer survival. Telomeres, located at the tips of DNA chromosomes, shorten with aging and oxidative stress. Telomere shortening is associated with aging and diseases.
Researchers at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada administered either a gentle yoga and meditation program (Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery), supportive-expressive group therapy (SET), or 1-day stress management seminar (control) to 88 breast cancer survivors. All of the cancer patients suffered from significant emotional stress following cancer treatment.
The yoga group participated in weekly 90-minute yoga sessions for 8 weeks and practiced the yoga and meditation program at home.
Researchers found both MBCR and SET groups maintained telomere length, while the control group had shortened telomeres.