A new study shows that just six minutes of vigorous exercise each day can extend the lifespan of the brain and delay the onset of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Research published last week Journal of Physiology, They found that short but intense cycling can increase the production of special brain proteins associated with brain formation, learning, and memory.
Scientists, including those from the University of Otago in New Zealand, say a special protein named brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) can protect the brain from age-related cognitive decline.
Previous research has shown that increasing the availability of BDNF in the brain promotes memory formation and storage, enhances learning, and improves overall cognitive performance.
“BDNF shows great promise in animal models, but pharmaceutical interventions have so far failed to harness the protective power of BDNF safely in humans,” said lead study author at the University of Otago. A Travis Gibbons said in a statement.
“We recognized the need to explore non-pharmacological approaches that could preserve the brain’s capacity for humans to naturally increase BDNF and use it to aid in healthy aging,” said Dr. Gibbons.
In a new study, researchers analyzed the effects of fasting and exercise on BDNF production in 12 physically active participants (6 men, 6 women) aged 18 to 56.
They evaluated factors such as 20 hours of fasting, light exercise, 6 minutes of high-intensity vigorous cycling, and the combined effect of fasting and exercise for their role in contributing to the production of this protein.
Scientists have found that short but vigorous exercise, with or without long sessions of light exercise, is the best way to increase BDNF compared to a full day of fasting.
According to the researchers, BDNF increased four to five times compared to fasting and prolonged activity.
“A six-minute interval of high-intensity cycling increased all measures of circulating BDNF 4- to 5-fold over longer periods of low-intensity cycling,” the researchers wrote in their study.
However, the causes of these differences remain unclear, they say, adding that more research is needed to understand the biological mechanisms involved.
Scientists suspect that the brain switches from one preferred fuel source to another during exercise to ensure that the body’s energy needs are met.
“We are currently studying how fasting, for example, for up to 3 days, affects BDNF. Yes,” said Dr Gibbons.
“Fasting and exercise are seldom studied together. We believe that the combined use of fasting and exercise can optimize BDNF production in the human brain,” he added. rice field.