Meditation May Effect Gut Microbes for Improved Health

Did you know that your brain and gut are connected? A new study reports that regular practice of deep meditation helps regulate the gut microbiome and may have the potential to lower anxiety, depression, and heart disease. The researchers studied 56 Tibetan Buddhist monks by examining their intestinal flora through fecal samples. Researchers also examined biochemical indices in the participant’s plasma. The study’s findings present exciting potential positive effects of the healing power of meditation. 

What is long-term deep meditation? 

The researchers in this study investigated traditional long-term Tibetan Buddhist meditations. These participants meditate at least 2 hours a day. And, have been practicing deep meditations for years (3+ at least). 

What does this study add? 

This study confirms that long-term deep meditation (through Tibetan Buddhism) may positively impact physical and mental health by regulating the gut microbiome. This study supports the idea that our gut and brain communicate and influence each by providing evidence that meditation (as a mental exercise) can positively impact the regulation of a person’s physical and mental health.

The Take Away

Long-term deep meditation may play a role in preventing or treating illnesses by improving our gut health.

It is important to note that this study has a small sample size and more research is needed.

Sun, Ying & Ju, Peijun & Xue, Ting & Ali, Usman & Cui, Donghong & Chen, Jinghong. (2023). Alteration of faecal microbiota balance related to long-term deep meditation. General Psychiatry. 36. e100893. 10.1136/gpsych-2022-100893. 

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