6 minutes of intense physical exercise would be enough to slow down age-related cognitive decline

The study shows that a short but intense cycling session would be more effective than a longer light session, or than a day of fasting, in stimulating the production of a protein that protects cognitive decline.

To delay the onset of neurodegenerative disorders such asAlzheimer and Parkinson’s disease, short, high-intensity physical exertion is better than prolonged light exercise, according to a new study. It shows that a total of six minutes (in intervals) of high-intensity cycling increases the production of a specialized protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), four to five times more than prolonged low-intensity cycling. .

BDNF helps form new neural connections, aids in learning and memory, and may protect the brain from cognitive decline age related. This is why it is part of research on aging, in a more hygieno-dietetic than pharmacological approach.

Effects of fasting and different exercise intensities

physical exercise and intermittent fasting are known to exhibit potent neuroprotective effects by increasing BDNF. One of the explanatory hypotheses is related to the change in brain substrate during fasting or physical activity: the switch from glucose (the brain’s preferred fuel source) to ketone bodies or lactate promotes the production of BDNF in the rodent brain.

Nevertheless, a 20-hour fast had no effect on BDNF measurements in the peripheral circulation. Prolonged exercise (90 minutes) of light cycling increased BDNF (regardless of diet or fasting), but intense exercise was most effective in this regard.

Only six women and six men between the ages of 18 and 56 took part in the study. Other work now aims to study fasting and exercise together. ” We are curious whether intense exercise at the start of a fast accelerates the beneficial effects of fasting. We believe the two can be used together to optimize BDNF production in the human brain. », clarified Travis Gibbons, lead author of the study.

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