Exercise and BDNF: How to Boost Your Brain Health


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in maintaining a healthy mind and body. Discover what exercise can do to increase the production of this important protein, keeping you mentally sharp and strong!

Could just six minutes of high-intensity exercise lead to improvements in your brain? Recent research suggests it can!

Studies have found that even short bursts of intense physical activity can increase BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) levels.

BDNF is a protein that helps keep neurons healthy and plays an important role in forming memories, learning new things, and regulating moods.

It also plays a role in the progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Travis Gibbons from the University of Otago, New Zealand, says BDNF has shown great promise in animal models, but pharmaceutical interventions have so far failed to fully exploit it. security its protective power in humans.

In this study, 12 physically active volunteers were put through three tests to see which was better at generating BDNF in the brain: 20 hours of fasting, 90 minutes of medium-intensity cycling, or 6 minutes of intense cycling.

If you’re looking to increase your production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a study has found that intense, short cycling sessions yield the best results.

After completing a 15-minute biking session with sprints, the participants in the study saw their BDNF levels jump by four to five times what they were after a light exercise.

How can exercise boost BDNF?

The next question is to know the mechanism of action. 

Exercise is thought to increase levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which is a protein that helps to maintain and promote the growth of certain neurons in the brain.

Studies have shown that there is a peak in BDNF concentration after intense exercise, which could be due to the natural increase in blood platelets associated with exercise, as they store high levels of BDNF.

The research team is now keen to perform more experiments, such as adding three days of fasting, to see how this affects blood BDNF levels. The combined effects of fasting and intense exercise are another potential avenue to explore.

Exercise has been widely recognized to promote mental health and cognitive functioning, and now new findings suggest that it may be linked to increased levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

Research conducted at the University of Otago found that intense physical activity can lead to an increase in BDNF levels. While exercise is widely accessible and inexpensive, this latest study provides another incentive for people to get moving!

The research was published in the Journal of Physiology.