Coronavirus Strategies to Boost Community Coronavirus Strategies to Boost Community

ADVERTISEMENT

How exercise treats depression

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • Research suggests exercise is a powerful tool for the prevention and management of depression, in part by normalizing insulin resistance
  • Mechanistic studies have also linked the antidepressant effects of exercise to molecular mechanisms involving kynurenine, myokines, BDNF, the endocannabinoid system and beta endorphin
  • By allowing for more tryptophan to be transported into your brain, exercise raises your serotonin and inhibits conversion into kynurenine, thereby boosting mood and preventing depression
  • Low BDNF levels have been implicated as a central component of depression, as depressed patients typically have lower levels than healthy controls
  • While exercise euphoria is typically attributed to the release of endorphins, vigorous exercise also dramatically increases anandamide — an endocannabinoid — in the body, which influences opioid and endorphin receptors. The higher your anandamide level, the better you feel

In this short video, Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D., a biomedical scientist and researcher with the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in La Jolla, California, discusses the science behind the mood-lifting effects of exercise. Indeed, many experts agree that exercise is one of the most powerful tools available for the prevention and management of depression.

For example, a meta-analysis published in 2016, which looked at 23 randomized controlled trials in which exercise was used as treatment for unipolar depression, found that, compared to no intervention, exercise “yielded a large and significant effect size,” which led them to conclude, “Physical exercise is an effective intervention for depression.”


Read the Full Article for Free!
Subscribe to the #1 Natural Health Newsletter
  • Unlock censored health information that Google doesn't want you to read
  • Keep your privacy secure — We are no longer active on Facebook and are blocking our content from Google search to ensure your privacy stays protected
  • Get access to all of Dr. Mercola's health articles, E-books and special reports

Existing Subscribers: Enter your email address for instant access