This paper constitutes a review of data linking telomere length to cognitive stress. Telomeres are the protective caps of repetitive DNA found at the ends of chromosomes. Cells lose the ability to divide as they age because their telomeres become progressively shorter with each cell division. Telomere length has therefore been proposed as a marker of biological ageing. The paper’s authors propose that meditation may have protective effects on telomere length by reducing cognitive stress and increasing positive states of mind, and that this results in hormonal changes that promote telomere maintenance and slow the cellular ageing process. (Can meditation slow rate of cellular ageing? Cognitive stress, mindfulness, and telomeres. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Aug;1172:34-53).

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