Small World

The DNA of Ayurveda is Correct

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A new study finds a genetic basis for the medical system’s classification of patients
Two of the principle ideas in ayurveda are concepts of doshas and prakriti. The dominance of one dosha determines the prakriti or phenotype of the individual. In ayurvedic practice, the prakriti of an individual determines his predisposition to disease as well as response to treatment. The treatment for the same disease to two people can vary greatly, depending on their prakritis.

Now for the first time, a team of researchers have been able to find a scientific rationale for this essential tenet of ayurveda. Studying the genomes of a number of participants, the researchers, led by the CSIR- Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad, have found a genetic basis behind prakriti classification.

For the study, which was published in the journal Nature and reported in the science portal Nature India, a total of 262 men from various parts of the country were studied. After assessments by ayurveda physicians and a prakriti software, Ayusoft, the individuals were categorised in either of the three doshas, depending upon which dosha was predominant.

The researchers then, using around one million genetic markers conducted a genome-wide analysis of the DNA isolated from their blood samples. “The data we obtained from this analysis was further subjected to various statistical analysis,” says Dr Kumarasamy Thangaraj, the lead researcher. Thangaraj and his team were able to identify 52 genetic variations that distinguished one prakriti from the other two.

Says Thangaraj, “The association of genomic variations with prakriti classification, which would prove the scientific basis for such classification, has been lacking.” According to Thangaraj, future research in this field can lead to the sub-classification of each dosha and perhaps result in the development of personalised medicine.