As a study finds that daily meditation cuts heart attack death rates by half, we review other health benefits attributed to the practice.
Transcendental meditation has been shown to significantly reduce depressive symptoms. One study of 36 patients with clinical depression found that symptoms almost halved after just three months and the benefits were maintained over a year-long period.
Another study of 112 patients at high risk of depression found that depressive symptoms fell by a third over the initial three-month period.
People who meditate in the long-term have "significantly larger" hippocampi – the part of the brain associated with memory and learning – a study found. The research on 44 people, half of whom had practised meditation for between five and 46 years, found those who had meditated also had increased grey matter.