Investigators from the Division of Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles evaluated the efficacy of Transcendental Meditation (TM) on components of Metabolic Syndrome and Coronary Heart Disease (CHD).They conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 16 weeks duration on a total of 103 subjects with stable CHD, testing the impact of TM vs. health education.

Main outcome measures included blood pressure, lipoprotein profile, and insulin resistance; endothelial function as measured by brachial artery reactivity testing; and cardiac autonomic system activity, as measured by heart rate variability

The study found that the TM group showed beneficial changes in adjusted systolic blood pressure, insulin resistance, and heart rate variability, as compared to the health education group, respectively. There was no effect of brachial artery reactivity.

The researchers conclude that using TM for 16 weeks in CHD patients improved blood pressure and insulin resistance components of the metabolic syndrome, as well as cardiac autonomic nervous system tone, as compared with a control group receiving health education. These results suggest that TM may modulate the physiological response to stress and thus improve CHD risk factors. This appears to be a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of CHD.

Citation:  Paul-Labrador M, Polk D, Dwyer JH, Velasquez I, Nidich S, Rainforth M, Schneider R, Merz CN.
Effects of a randomized controlled trial of transcendental meditation on components of the metabolic syndrome in subjects with coronary heart diseaseArchives of Internal Medicine. 2006 Jun 12; 166 (11): pages 1218-24.