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This Year’s Nobel Prize In Medicine Puts Fresh Focus On Ayurveda

A medicina ocidental atual sabe que não consegue decifrar e curar tudo, e muitas vezes não usa os recursos mais coerentes.

Surge aí o reconhecimento da maravilha da Ayurveda, medicina indiana, a mais antiga do planeta, que olha para o ser humano de forma completa.

A Ayurveda não tem objetivo de curar sintomas e sim descobrir a causa do problema/doença/patologia, e procura a cura através do reestabelecimento do equilíbrio natural da pessoa, utilizando tratamentos terapêuticos naturais.

Muito bom ver o reconhecimento da Ayurveda, especialmente no Prêmio Nobel em Medicina, pois pode ajudar imensamente a todos nós.

The American scientists’ phenomenal research work has left us at an important juncture, where solutions need to be explored. Interdisciplinary and integrative research that blends insights from Ayurveda and modern medicine could probably offer solutions.

With the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology having been announced, there is a lot to rejoice, not just for the scientific community but for the common man also, because it helps us to develop a better understanding of how our body works. This year’s prize is shared among American scientists Jeffrey C Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W Young for their work on “molecular mechanisms controlling circadian rhythms”. This would be great news for researchers and students of Ayurveda, the Indian science of health, as it will directly resonate with what they know about the relation between the human system and the nature. Such findings give researchers of Ayurveda concrete modern frameworks to communicate their knowledge on global platforms. With chronobiology gaining prominence after these laureates’ work, it would be relevant at this time to draw parallels with what is mentioned in Ayurveda and the prize winning research. According to news articles and the summary provided in the official Nobel Prize website, some of the key findings of the research are as follows:

  1. The gene that controls the daily biological/circadian rhythm responds to light by degradation of the protein accumulated in the cell during nights

  2. Hence, our inner clock adapts our physiology to the dramatically different phases of the day with great precision

  3. There are also indications that chronic misalignment between our lifestyle and the rhythm dictated by our inner time-keeper is associated with increased risk for various diseases.

Circadian Rhythm And Well-being

This Nobel Prize winning research work is based on the circadian rhythm, which refers to biochemical oscillators that respond to solar cycles. To quote Sir Paul Nurse, 2001 Laureate, “All plant and also animal behaviour is determined by the light-dark cycle. We on this planet are slaves to the sun”. Jeffrey Hall and Michael Rosbash discovered that PER, the protein encoded by period, accumulated during the night and was degraded during the day. Thus, PER protein levels oscillate over a 24-hour cycle, in synchrony with the circadian rhythm.

It is striking to note how Ayurveda establishes the link between the revolution-rotation of the earth and human health. According to Ayurveda, the different tridoshas (the three humors: Vata, Pitta and Kapha, in the body that need to be balanced for perfect health), are predominant during different times of the day. For instance, Pitta Dosha which controls digestion, metabolism and energy production is high between 10am and 2pm. Pitta ensures the availability of energy to perform various activities. This very well correlates with the high alertness, best co-ordination and fastest reaction times shown in the illustration below. Research works on circadian rhythm from the perspective of Ayurveda correlate the time of the day and hormonal activity, very similar to the degeneration of protein with the day as discovered by the laureates. For example, Kapha dosha is predominant in early phase of the day. Most of the hormones are at the peak level in the morning and they decline with the time and are lowest at the evening time.

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