The ancient Ayurvedic classification of ailments into different types, like Vata, Pitta and Kapha, may have a genetic basis, according to a study carried out by scientists of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
The results of the study, conceptualised by CSIR Director General Samir Brahmachari, have been reported in the September 2008 issue of Journal of Translational Medicine. The study explored the links between ayurvedic classification and modern genomics.
Brahmachari said, “Genomics is trying to create personalised and multi-target medicines. And the Ayurvedic system is also based on those principles unlike modern medicines which have single targets.”
Dr Mitali Mukerji of Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, who led the study, told Hindustan Times: “Predictive and personalised medicines existing 4,000 years ago. It has been well documented in the Ayurvedic system. Now, modern
biology also aims at predictive and personalised medicines.”
According to ayurveda, an individual’s basic constitution or Prakriti, determines his vulnerability to a disease to a large extent. It also determines the diet, environment or drug dosages suitable for an individual.
Informing that the classification of individuals’ constitutions had been made according to their anatomy and physiology, she said the study explored whether this ancient and documented system of Prakriti analysis could be correlated in modern biological terms.
The study screened more than 1,000 people. of them, 120 individuals were identified with clear signs of Prakriti. And subsequently, 96 unrelated but ethnically matched healthy individuals between 18 to 40 years of age with Vata (39 individuals), Pitta (29) or Kapha (28) were recruited for further analysis.
She said the integrated principles of Ayurveda with genomics have been termed as Ayurgenomics and it has great potential for manufacturing predictive and personalised medicines at affordable costs.