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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 99-101

Healthy progeny and epigenetic programming an ayurvedic perspective

Department of Rachana Sharir, Chaudhary Brahm Prakash Ayurved Sansthan, New Delhi, India

Date of Submission21-Oct-2022
Date of Decision27-Oct-2022
Date of Acceptance13-Dec-2022
Date of Web Publication16-May-2023

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Geetanjali
Department of Rachana Sharir, Chaudhary Brahm Prakash Ayurved Sansthan, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jihs.jihs_13_22

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The ancient concept of Putreshna (healthy progeny) depends on several factors. Every individual is solely responsible for producing a healthy future generation. An inappropriate lifestyle and exposure to unfavorable conditions lead to several diseases. Especially in pregnant women, daily regimen interactions with the environment may cause epigenetic modifications that affect gene expression and change the phenotype or well-being of their progeny. The human body is constituted by what type of nourishment and environment we provide to it. The quality and functioning of every single unit of the body can be improved through a balanced diet (Ahar), sleep (Nidra), and Brahmacharya (Triupstamb). Understanding good morals and thoughts and all pregnant women should protect themself with a healthy lifestyle as mentioned in Garbhini Parichaya. Garbha Samskara is one of the traditional procedures by which parents can avoid the Beeja Dushti or Beejbhag avyav dushti (epigenetic mutation). Garbhini is very much susceptible to disease due to the aggravation of Doshas because the body is in a highly sensitive state, so the use of a balanced diet plays important role in pregnant women for their health and the development of the fetus. Quality and quantity of nutrition directly affect the functioning of the body during the pregnancy period.

Keywords: Epigenetics, fetal programming, garbhsanskar, oxidative stress

How to cite this article:
Geetanjali, Sabharwal P. Healthy progeny and epigenetic programming an ayurvedic perspective. J Integr Health Sci 2022;10:99-101

How to cite this URL:
Geetanjali, Sabharwal P. Healthy progeny and epigenetic programming an ayurvedic perspective. J Integr Health Sci [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Jun 9];10:99-101. Available from: https://www.jihs.in/text.asp?2022/10/2/99/377143

  Introduction Top

Homo sapiens are competent on this earth to maintain their sustainability by molding themselves according to the circumstances. In the ancient era, various methods were elucidated regarding Supraja (eugenics). Vedic scriptures provide a description of the unique process of womb formation and systemic approach to conscious conception in terms of Garbhasankar.[1],[2],[3] Dietary and lifestyle customs are explained in the form of Garbhini Paricharya and Garbhaupaghatkar Bhava for antenatal care and disease-free progeny.[4] Putreshana the “desire for offspring or male offspring” depends on the main four components for conception and fetal growth are Ritu, Kshetra, Ambu, and Beeja.[5],[6],[7] Similarly, in the current era, the quality of parental gametes, correct period, and environment and physical wellness of females affect the well-being of future generations. In the present scenario, the world is dealing with an outburst in cases of infertility, pediatric diseases, and metabolic disorders due to epigenetic modification through an inappropriate regimen.

  Materials and Methods Top

Collaboration of various concepts from Samhitas, books, and commentaries are collected. Apart from this, various research articles published are also searched from various websites. All relevant matter is compiled and analyzed for the discussion and an attempt has been made to draw some conclusions.

  Result and Discussion Top

Ancient texts have multiple shreds of evidence to attain the supreme desire of Putreshna (healthy progeny).[8] Garbhaupnishad and Shrimad Bhagavad Gita provide significant knowledge of embryology and fetal nutrition for healthy progeny, which states that right from conception, moral education, and traditional spiritual values can be indulged in the womb.[9],[10],[11] During the antenatal period, a healthy balanced diet that provides strong development growth to the fetus, and a healthy placenta determines the birth weight and future health of the child in adult life. The ancient text states that skin color can be determined or influenced by the changing dominance of a specific combination of Panchamahabhuta.[12] Four major factors Ritu, Kshetra, Ambu, and Beeja individually play crucial roles in the conception and further development of the fetus. Description of six procreative factors (Shadgarbhakar Bhava) introduces fetal development in a unique manner. Rasaj bhav is one of the components in shadgarbhakar bhav which totally represents the nutritional pathway of the mother and fetus.[13],[14] Remissness toward the Matrija, Pitrija, Aatmaja, Rasaja, Satmyaja, and Sattvika bhavas causes defective childbirth and unhealthy progeny.[15]

Ritukaal means the fertile period for conception. A healthy menstrual cycle represents appropriate menstrual flow in gap-specific time periods excluding abnormal associated symptoms.[16],[17],[18],[19],[20] There are numerous diseases in which directly or indirectly menstrual cycle and ovulation get affected, i.e., polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or - poly cystic ovary disease (PCOD), uterine fibroid, ovarian cyst, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, and hypothyroidism.[21] An abundance of research and clinical cases explains faulty lifestyle and dietary pattern leads to an epigenetic modification. Research shows androgen receptor gene variations and X-chromosome inactivation patterns exert an effect on follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone values and also have the potential to affect the etiopathogenesis of premature ovarian failure and PCOS. The hypothalamic–pituitary–ovarian (HPO) axis is contemporaneous and regulated with each other and responsible for the maintenance of the reproductive behavior of females.[22],[23] The hormonal and neuronal signals in the HPO axis and other factors impact upcoming generations through epigenetic factors affecting the development of germ cells and the brain.[24]

Kshetra represents male and female reproductive organs in the human body. Any diseases in respective parts of the abovementioned area may further result in poor quality of gametes, alteration in the regulation of reproductive hormones, and incompetent uterus.[25],[26] Smoking in males shows a remarkable difference in semen analysis and is one of the important causes of male infertility. According to the researchers, paternal chronic smoking before pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of leukemia in offspring.[27] Numerous data show smoking leads to alteration in sperm DNA methylation and phenotypic modification in future offspring.[28] Maternal smoking affects the antenatal period and shows a different type of methylated genes related to the developing phase of the fetus;[29] the insulin growth factor marks a significant role in prenatal tissue growth. Prenatal smoke exposure affects the fetal programming of Igf1r and Igf.[30]

Ambu is a nutritional factor directly provided to the fetus which indicates toward amniotic fluid and placenta.[31] Dhatu, Vridhi, Varna, Bala, Kshaya, and all these outcomes completely depend on the diet of the mother. The nutrition Rasa gets circulated with help of vata through the multiple channels of the mother.[32] The placenta contributes an important role in fetal programming. In cases of intrauterine growth retardation, an increase in placental vascular resistance results in increased heart workload, representing an association between permuted placental structure and fetal programming of heart diseases. The abatement in placental (11β-HSD-2) type 2 isoform of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase can increase fetal vulnerability to maternal cortisol. Later in adult life, this leads to hypertension. According to the potential of the maternal supply line, the placenta is responsible for regulating nourishment and helps in nutrient transport. It is transferring fetal nutrient results in fetal growth which play a crucial role in fetal programming.[33] If parents consume excessive dry (Ruksha) food items (preservative based) and suppress the natural urges, it vitiates the Vata in the fertile period which further leads to deafness, hoarseness of voice, and Vataja disorders in the fetus. Vata is responsible for premature graying of hairs, baldness, absence of hair on the face, discoloration of the skin, nails, hairs, and other malformations of Vata. When a pregnant woman continuously ingests kapha aggravating food items, it produces leprosy, anemia, skin disorders, and leucoderma, respectively, kushtha, pandu, kilasa, switra, and congenital presence of teeth.[34] Intrauterine hypoxia and growth retarded cases show alteration in DNA methylation of selected genes in different tissues including the placenta, liver, adrenal gland, heart, pulmonary arteries, and pancreas. The above studies have identified specific target genes in fetal and offspring organs whose expression is altered by changes in DNA methylation associated with intrauterine hypoxia, intrauterine growth restriction, and protein restriction.[35] Oxidative stress directly influences the mechanism of fetal programming through epigenetic modification.[36]

  Conclusion Top

The concept of Loka Purusha Samya Siddhanta is the principle of the ancient era which represents a harmonious connection of this universe to a human being. The essence of this theory is that the human body and soul are the minuscule reflection of the universe. Purusha (human) and the Loka (Universe) should not be seen or studied in an isolated manner but in the context of harmony between man and the environment. Every individual and universe cosmos are in synchronization. Whatever exists in the universe, the same exists inside the human body. Similarly, whatever changes occur outside the universe or planet directly affects our bodies. In a seasonal variation, climate changes in all these phenomena alter our living senses and eating habits. These environmental changes are very much capable to change the phenotypic expression of an individual. Hence, every living or nonliving material in this universe is Panchbhutika and has great power to influence each other. The human body gets its nutrition from outside that is affected by numerous factors such as emotions, sleep, stress, food, surrounding, temperature, altitude, and many more. All these can lead to oxidative stress on gene and cell-specific responses to intrauterine stress, as well as, developing therapeutic strategies for elevating long-term programmed consequences associated with adult disease.

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Conflicts of interest

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  References Top

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