Yoga is a mind-body modulation technique that has been shown to have beneficial effects on various diseases related to various systems in the body. However, the molecular basis of mechanism of action is not clear. Hence, this study was designed to study the leukocyte telomere biology and its relation with homocysteine and oxidative stress in yoga practitioners.
Materials And Methods
This is a prospective case-control study involving Yoga practitioners aged 30-40 y with minimum of two years yoga practice (Yoga group) and age, gender and body mass index matched sedentary healthy general population with no medical problems (Control group). Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) was measured by using quantitative PCR (qPCR), fasting plasma homocysteine was measured by a rapid high-performance liquid chromatography assay and the oxidative stress was assessed with total antioxidant status (TAOS), malondialdehyde (MDA) measured by calorimetry.
The LTL was shorter in control group than in yoga group (p<0.001). The TAOS was more in yoga group when compared to control group (p=0.008), MDA and homocysteine was high in control group when compared to Yoga group (p<0.001). Further, the LTL was positively correlated with TAOS (r=0.841, p<0.001) and negatively correlated with MDA (r=-0.931, p<0.001) and Homocysteine (r=-0.756, p<0.001).
The LTL is well-preserved in people who practice Yoga regularly with lower systemic oxidative stress compared to those who have a relatively sedentary lifestyle despite lack of any medical disorders. The habitual yoga practice seems to inhibit replicative cellular senescence.