Scientists know that physical activity can boost brain health, even if the source of exercise’s health benefits have been difficult to trace. Researchers have now identified an exercise-induced blood protein that can play a significant role in rejuvenating brains and combatting cognitive decline.
The substance, glycosylphosphatidylinositol (phospholipase D1)—or GPLD1 for short—is a protein produced primarily in the liver and distributed via plasma in the blood. While it already exists in humans, exercise makes more of it.
Scientists have confirmed the results, but aren’t sure how GPLD1 works since it doesn’t cross directly into the brain to reverse brain aging. They suspect the magic protein initiates a chain reaction that, in turn, causes a brain boost.
From Mice to Men
Lab testing began with mice, but the results have also been validated in humans. In the experiments, both young and elderly mice were put through a six-week running regimen. Then blood from the active mice, both young and old, was transfused into elderly, sedentary mice.
The elderly, non-exercising mice performed better on cognitive tests regardless of whether they received their transfusions from older or younger active mice. The brains of these transfused mice also showed a boost in the creation of new brain neurons.
The scientists isolated GPLD1 as the difference between the active and the sedentary mice by testing and comparing their blood. Elderly mice saw the same mental benefits, without exercise, from artificial boosts in GPLD1.
The scientists also compared the blood of older adults who exercised regularly to older people who did not exercise and found higher levels of GPLD1 in active individuals.
The research hints at the possibility of creating an “exercise pill.” However, scientists are far from understanding how the whole system works or whether high amounts of synthetic GPLD1 is even desirable.
In the meantime, the best option is to rely on traditional forms of fat burning and muscle building exercises to enhance your natural levels of the powerful protein.
Commit to Regular Exercise
Exercise isn’t just good for keeping your waistline trim or your physical appearance more youthful. The latest research proves that it can keep your brain young, too, “turning back time” and making your brain function like a younger version of yourself.
So get out of your chair and do something active and fun. It will do your body and your brain a world of good!