Within the factors that contribute to telomere shortening or lengthening, stress plays an essential role. Several studies confirm that prolonged stress, even chronical, and anxiety situations affect decisively our telomeres and, as a consequence, our health.
Therefore, it is a valid hypothesis that stress relieving practices or therapies would have a protective effect on our genetics. As good nutrition, stop smoking and physical exercise may boost telomeres, other practices with our mind also leverage them. The confirmation of this hypothesis was offered by a recent study presenting the positive effect meditation has on telomeres.
To demonstrate scientifically this hypothesis, Life Length has participated in two studies conducted by different institutions: among them, Miguel Servert University Hospital (Zaragoza), el Centro Rodero: Clinica de Neurociencias (Santander), University Federal of Sao Paulo (Brasil) or the Institut Universitari d’Investigació en Ciències de la Salut (Universitat Illes Baleares). In the first one, whose results were published in February 2016 in the Mindfulness magazine, it came to showing that meditation and longer telomeres are strongly associated, as well as psychological variables which take part in this tie. The study concluded that the participants who were practicing meditation presented longer average telomere length values.
The second study, called Age-Well, is still in early development. Age-Well (AW), within the framework of the European project Medit-Ageing, aims to investigate the effectiveness of a variety of interventions on healthy ageing, with a key focus on mental health and well-being. Researchers will conduct clinical trials involving patients with existing subjective cognitive decline, and participants from the general public over the age of 65.