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Meditation may Improve Cardiac Risk Factors in Patients with Coronary Heart Disease

blood glucose and insulin levels, which signify reduced insulin resistance; and more stable functioning of the autonomic nervous system. 'These physiological effects were accomplished without changes in body weight, medication or psychosocial variables and despite a marginally statistically significant increase in physical activity in the health education group,' the authors write.

'These current results also expand our causal understanding of the role of stress in the rising epidemic of the metabolic syndrome,' they continue. 'Although current low levels of physical activity, unhealthy eating habits and resultant obesity are triggers for this epidemic, the demands of modern society may also be responsible for higher levels of chronic stress.' Such stress causes the release of cortisol and other hormones and neurotransmitters, which over time damage the cardiovascular system.

"Our results, demonstrating beneficial physiological effects of transcendental meditation in the absence of effects on psychosocial variables, suggest that transcendental meditation may modulate response to stress rather than alter the stress itself, similar to the physiological impact of exercise conditioning," the authors write. This method of controlling the body's response to stress may provide a new target for the treatment and prevention of coronary heart disease, warranting further study, they conclude.

(Source: IANS News)
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