SOUND BODY, SOUND MIND
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Exercise has also been found to boost mood and reduce anxiety.
Studies have for some time now been touting the benefits of exercise not just on the body but also on the mind. Now researchers from Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet have found the link. It turns out that when muscles are at work during exercise, they produce an enzyme that breaks down kynurenine – a compound that’s higher in people with depression – into kynurenic acid. Since kynurenic acid can’t cross the bloodbrain barrier, and is also cleared from the bloodstream when muscles are working, exercise effectively prevents it wreaking havoc in the brain. It’s a relationship that goes both ways; reducing kynurenine not only helps to reduce depression, it also boosts fat metabolism and the body’s anti-inflammatory response.