Can meditation increase telomere length?

Alexandra Davidson
Dec 19, 2022

How does meditation impact biomarkers of aging? Research suggests that meditation practices can lengthen telomeres.

Study Summary

Telomeres are DNA-protective caps at the end of portions of DNA called ‘chromosomes.’ They are a biomarker for declining health and early mortality.

A study showed that women who practiced loving-kindness meditation for at least 4 years had longer telomeres than those who did not.

Similarly, another study showed that after 12-weeks of loving-kindness meditation, participants had less telomere attrition (shortening) compared to those who did not meditate.

Loving-kindness meditation is a type of meditation focused on relaying love and appreciation towards yourself and others – nourishing a sense of self-love, compassion and gratitude. It makes use of self-oriented positive affirmations, as well as positive affirmations towards those you love, have reservations about, and don’t know.

Out of three reviews focusing on telomere length and meditation, two reviews support meditations potential in enhancing telomere health, while the last suggests the need for more high-quality trials.

The Hearty Take

At Hearty, we believe that optimism can be practiced through various techniques. Practice “positive reframing,” by seeing a negative situation in a positive light. Practice gratitude: gratitude journaling is linked to greater feelings of optimism. Lastly, surround yourself with optimistic people!

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