Elderly, long-term meditators have lower blood levels of lipid peroxides, substances linked to heart disease, compared with elderly people who do not meditate. According to a recently published scientific study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, individuals may be able to reduce atherosclerosis and slow the aging process through meditation techniques.

Lipid peroxides are compounds resulting from the oxidation of blood-borne fats. These substances are thought to accumulate on the lining of arteries, contributing to arteriosclerosis or “hardening of the arteries.” In the study, blood tests revealed “significantly lower (15 percent less) serum levels of lipid peroxides” in the group of meditators as compared to the non-meditators. The researchers theorize that meditation, in reducing psychological stress levels, may also trigger an increase in a hormone which enhances antioxidant levels in the human system, thereby retarding the aging process.