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Ayurveda Prakriti classification has genetic basis: Study


By Nithin Sridhar

Ayurveda is among the oldest systems of health, medicine and holistic living. The central philosophy of Ayurveda revolves around facilitating each individual to understand his/her own body and mind, so that he/she can cultivate a healthy lifestyle accordingly.

To this effect, Ayurveda recognizes that each individual has a particular temperament and constitution (Prakriti) that is formed during the union of sperm and ovum itself, and hence it is genetic in origin.

Prakriti Classification of Individuals

Ayurveda classifies people into three categories of Prakriti based on the Dosha and the associating elements and Gunas (refers to 3 qualities – Sattva etc.) that are prominent in each individual. Doshas are three in number: Vata (related to movement), Pitta (related to digestion), and Kapha (related to cumulation).

Based upon which Dosha is predominant in an individual, people are classified into three categories of PrakritiVata, Pitta and Kapha.

Further, Ayurveda defines health and illness in terms of equilibrium or imbalance in these Doshas. If a person’s Doshas are in sync with his Prakriti, then such a person is healthy. If the proportion of Doshas significantly differ from his Prakriti, then there is imbalance that leads to illness.

Thus, Prakriti classification not only plays a central role in cultivating a healthy lifestyle, but also in diagnosing the illness of a patient. Further, without knowing the Prakriti of an individual, no treatment is possible in Ayurveda.

Genetic basis of Prakriti Classification

For long, the correlation between Genomics and Prakriti classification was hypothesized. Many studies in the past have tried to establish the correlation as well. But a recent paper published in Nature journal by a team of Indian scientists has come upon definite results that clearly establishes a genetic basis for Prakriti classification.

The scientists screened a total of 3416 healthy men located at different geographical locations and belonging to diverse linguistic and ethnic groups. Out of 3416 men, 262, who could be clearly classified into various Prakriti types based on their examination by senior Ayurveda physicians as well as Ayurveda software, were selected.

The scientists conducted a genome wide ‘single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)’ analysis on those 262 subjects. The analysis revealed that there were 52 SNPs (genetic variations) that were prominently different from the three Prakriti types. Using the principal component analysis of these 52 SNPs, the scientists successfully classified their 262 subjects into their Prakriti types.

The scientists further validated their findings by further analyzing samples of 297 Indians with known ancestry. The highlight of the study is that, the scientists were able to classify subjects into Prakriti types using SNP’s irrespective of their ancestry. Further, they found a gene PGM1 that correlates with Prakriti type-Pitta.

The study thus clearly establishes a genetic basis of Ayurvedic classification of individuals based on Prakriti and has provided scientific evidence for the same. This marks another successful attempt at bridging the gap between Ayurveda and evidence based scientific approach.

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  • jazz gem

    That is really good . Finally india will know about efficacy of its own grand medicinal heritage. Kudos

  • jazz gem

    That is really good . Finally india will know about efficacy of its own grand medicinal heritage. Kudos

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Genetics May Play Big Role In Kid’s Snacking Patterns

The children with the genetic variant related to fat taste sensitivity were found to consume snacks with higher energy density

These genes can cause heart failure. Pixabay
These genes can cause heart failure. Pixabay

Parents, take note! The types of snacks a child chooses could be linked to genetics, a new study has claimed.

The researcher investigated whether genetic variants in taste receptors related to sweet preference, fat taste sensitivity, and aversion to bitter green leafy vegetables influenced the snacks chosen by the study participants.

They found that nearly 80 percent of the study participants carried at least one of these potential at-risk genotypes that could predispose them to poor snacking habits.

ALSO READ: App to help scientists study cancer genetics

“Kids are eating a lot more snacks now than they used to, and we think to look at how genetics can be related to snacking behavior is important to understanding increased obesity among kids,” said Elie Chamoun from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

“This new research could help parents understand how their kids taste and tailor their diet for better nutritional choices,” Chamoun added.

The researchers also tested the participants’ saliva to determine their genetic taste profile. Pixabay

ALSO READ: Scientists Use Pocket-size Device to Map Human Genetic Code

They discovered that kids with a sweet tooth, who have the gene related to sweet taste preference, ate snacks with significantly more calories from sugar. They also ate those snacks mostly in the evening.

“It’s likely these kids snacked more in the evening because that’s when they are at home and have more access to foods with high sugar,” said Chamoun.

The children with the genetic variant related to fat taste sensitivity were found to consume snacks with higher energy density. People with this genetic variant may have a low oral sensitivity to fat and therefore consume more fatty foods without sensing it, the researcher said. (IANS)