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Ayurveda in Early Life to Prevent Noncommunicable Diseases From Epigenetical Alterations

Context • The incidence of non communicable disease (NCD) is rising globally and is currently the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Some evidence suggests that factors affecting growth and development from the period of conception through fetal life to early childhood and adolescence are major risk determinants for NCD later in life. Among them, epigenetic changes are drawing attention and remain largely unexplored. Objective • The literature search intended to examine the types of preventive and curative measures that are available to prevent epigenetic changes at an early stage of life, long before the clinical occurrence of disease, through proper nutrition in pregnancy and childhood and the use of Garbhini paricharya, a monthly regimen for pregnant women (Garbhini). Design • The research team performed a literature review, searched relevant literature databases. The sources of data included classical Ayurvedic texts namely Charak Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Vagbhata Samhita. The online databases like The Cochrane library, PubMed, Science Direct, AYUSH Research Portal, ShodhGanga a reservoir of Indian Theses and DHARA were also searched for both qualitative and quantitative studies published. The key words adopted for online search strategy were “Ayurveda Intervention”, “Epigenetics”, “Garbhiniparicahrya”, “Antenatal care”, “pregnant women”. The studies describing intervention other than Ayurveda were excluded. Results • The online search strategy could not result in any effective clinical trial or review studies published on concept undertaken to study the effects of Ayurveda intervention during pregnancy to prevent from non-communicable disease in early life due to epigenetical alterations. However, the broader concept of obstetrical care described in Ayurvedic texts, enlighten us about the hidden concepts of not only pertaining to curative aspect but also preventive measures to be adopted by pregnant women in order to deliver healthy child devoid of any complications. Conclusion • Ayurveda has accurately described the correlation between the influences of the intrauterine environment , and the dietary habits and lifestyle of the mother, and the onset of diseases in later life. Emerging and developing sciences, such as epigenetics, can provide a better understanding of diseases caused by changes in genes without alterations in the DNA sequence.

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