Telomerase activity and cellular aging might be positively modified by a yoga-based lifestyle intervention

J Altern Complement Med. 2015 Jun;21(6):370-2. doi: 10.1089/acm.2014.0298. Epub 2015 May 12.


Objectives: Recent studies showed that a brief yoga-based lifestyle intervention was efficacious in reducing levels of oxidative stress and cellular aging in obese men. The objective of this case report was to assess the efficacy of this intervention in reducing the levels of biochemical markers of cellular ageing, oxidative stress, and inflammation at baseline (day 0), at the end of active intervention (day 10), and follow-up at day 90.

Design: Single case report from a prospective ongoing study with pre-post design assessing the level of various markers of cellular aging.

Setting: Integral Health Clinic, an outpatient facility conducting meditation and yoga-based lifestyle intervention programs for management of chronic diseases.

Patient: A 31-year-old man with class I obesity (body-mass index, 29.5 kg/m(2)) who presented to the medicine outpatient department at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India, with a history of fatigue, difficulty losing weight, and lack of motivation. He noted a marked decrease in his energy level, particularly in the afternoon.

Intervention: A pretested intervention program included asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), stress management, group discussions, lectures, and individualized advice.

Results: From baseline (day 0) to day 90, the activity of telomerase and levels of β-endorphins, plasma cortisol, and interleukin-6 increased, and a sustained reduction in oxidative stress markers, such as reactive oxygen species and 8-hydroxy-2-deoxy-guanosine levels.

Conclusions: Adopting yoga/meditation-based lifestyle modification causes reversal of markers of aging, mainly oxidative stress, telomerase activity, and oxidative DNA damage. This may not only delay aging and prolong a youthful healthy life but also delay or prevent onset of several lifestyle-related diseases, of which oxidative stress and inflammation are the chief cause. This report suggests this simple lifestyle intervention may be therapeutic for oxidative DNA damage and oxidative stress.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cellular Senescence / physiology*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Telomerase / blood*
  • Yoga*


  • Telomerase