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Integrative Medicine Program: Possible Cure for Cancer and Diabetes

A study found a possible treatment for cancer and diabetes in a program comprised of diet, herbs, yoga, meditations, massages, and lectures, as it was proven to lead to a statistically significant decrease in distinct plasma metabolites linked to these illnesses.

Senior author Deepak Chopra, MD, first author Christine Tara Peterson, as well as 11 co-authors confirmed that the decline can only be attributed to the integrative medicine program since the experiment spanned for only six days.

“Panchakarma promoted statistically significant changes in plasma levels of phosphatidylcholines, sphingomyelins and others in just 6 days”, said Peterson. “Phosphatidylcholines are directly correlated with serum cholesterol while inversely correlated with Type 2 diabetes risk. Sphingomyelins which we can find in eggs may have a regulatory role on cholesterol absorption and inflammation”

The participants were divided into two groups, the control (Resort Vacation) and the experimental (Perfect Health), and the differences in their metabolomics data before as well as after the experiment were measured. The former was instructed to do their normal vacation activities with minimal restrictions while the latter was directed to go through an integrative medicine program.

Findings published last September 9 in Scientific Reports had shown that those who were part of the experimental group experienced a greater decrease in 12 phosphatidylcholines compared to those who were in the control group. With a p-value of .01, the differences in scores between the two groups were considered significant.

In an interview with University of California San Diego, Chopra said that “a one-week Panchakarma program can significantly alter the metabolic profile of the person undergoing it “, but the authors expressed their interest in expanding the research to the correlation of the changes with a person’s psychological health as well as his gene expression.

They have recognized in their paper that much is not yet understood about Ayurveda as well as about Panchakarma and their paper aims “to address these gaps in the literature”, according to UC San Diego professor and study co-author Paul Mills, PhD. “Studies on its psychosocial and psychological effects on healthy and depressed subjects respectively were demonstrated, but there are no studies delving into its physiological and metabolic effects.”

Aside from being healthy and English-speaking, men and women aged 30 to 80 years old who participated in the study had no current medical conditions such as heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disease, and diabetes. Eligible participants were also not smokers, pregnant, taking antidepressants or hormone replacement therapy, or having a diagnosed PTSD. Targeted metabolomics that combines liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry was used for blood plasma analysis pre- and post-testing.

Given the length of the experimental period, the diet of vegetarian lunch and dinner was seen to have the biggest impact on the plasma metabolite changes, while yoga, herbs and other inclusions of the integrative medicine program had the less significant effect. The effect of the former was more immediate than that of the latter. To confirm this hypothesis, another study with less variables must be conducted, according to the authors.

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