J Ayurveda Integr Med 2014 Jul;5(3):167-75
Division of Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India.
Background: Constitutional type of an individual or prakriti is the basic clinical denominator in Ayurveda, which defines physical, physiological, and psychological traits of an individual and is the template for individualized diet, lifestyle counseling, and treatment. The large number of phenotype description by prakriti determination is based on the knowledge and experience of the assessor, and hence subject to inherent variations and interpretations.
Objective: In this study we have attempted to relate dominant prakriti attribute to body mass index (BMI) of individuals by assessing an acceptable tool to provide the quantitative measure to the currently qualitative ayurvedic prakriti determination.
Materials And Methods: The study is cross sectional, multicentered, and prakriti assessment of a total of 3416 subjects was undertaken. Healthy male, nonsmoking, nonalcoholic volunteers between the age group of 20-30 were screened for their prakriti after obtaining written consent to participate in the study. The prakriti was determined on the phenotype description of ayurvedic texts and simultaneously by the use of a computer-aided prakriti assessment tool. Kappa statistical analysis was employed to validate the prakriti assessment and Chi-square, Cramer's V test to determine the relatedness in the dominant prakriti to various attributes.
Results: We found 80% concordance between ayurvedic physician and software in predicting the prakriti of an individual. The kappa value of 0.77 showed moderate agreement in prakriti assessment. We observed a significant correlations of dominant prakriti to place of birth and BMI with Chi-square, P < 0.01 (Cramer's V-value of 0.156 and 0.368, respectively).
Conclusion: The present study attempts to integrate knowledge of traditional ayurvedic concepts with the contemporary science. We have demonstrated analysis of prakriti classification and its association with BMI and place of birth with the implications to one of the ways for human classification.