A research conducted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has revealed that oxidative stress (OS) or oxidative DNA damage (ODD) in sperm may lead to childhood cancer.
The researchers had taken a sample size of 131 fathers and children with Rb (cancer gene) against 50 healthy pairs. These sets were examined and then re-examined with yoga and meditation compliance at every follow-up. The yoga sets, who quit smoking as well, showed reduced DNA damage over a period of six months.
The process of oxidation happens as our bodies process the oxygen that we breathe in and our cells produce energy from it. This process also produces free radicals –which interact with the molecules within our cells resulting in damage to nearby cells. Free radicals are normal and necessary to some degree. In addition to causing some damage, they also stimulate repair. It is only when the amount of free radicals produced overwhelms the repair processes that it becomes an issue and this is what is called ‘oxidative stress’.
“Our study reveals that OS and ODD DNA may contribute to the development of childhood cancer. Fathers of children with higher Rb showed high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels (which is also a cause of male infertility), whereas children had fathers with controlled ROS levels. Also, yoga and meditation helped a great deal in improving ROS levels. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to report a decline in OS and ODD and improvement in sperm DNA integrity following adoption of meditation and yoga,” said Dr Rima Dada, clinical researcher, professor-in-charge of the laboratory of molecular reproduction and genetics, Department of Anatomy at AIIMS.
Yoga practitioners agree with the research conducted at AIIMS and confirm that they have been practicing and guiding what the research says.
“It is a known fact that a bad lifestyle causes our body to act differently. Smoking, alcohol consumption, leaves our seminal DNA damaged. Thus it is very important to practice regular yoga and meditation not just for our healthy selves but also to avoid getting this unhealthy or damaged DNA from passing on to our younger ones,” said Gopal Krishnan, a yoga teacher.
HOW IT WORKS
- The researchers had taken a sample size of 131 fathers and children with Rb (cancer gene) against 50 healthy pairs.
- These sets were examined and then re-examined with yoga and meditation
- The yoga sets, who quit smoking as well, showed reduced DNA damage over a period of six months