Doing sports is good for the brain. The key to this link is in a protein isolated by researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in the United States, published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
The protein with the associated benefit, called FNDC5, is naturally produced in the body thanks to the hard work of muscles in resistance sports. When the protein reaches the hippocampus a reaction takes place which causes an improvement in learning ability, memory and cognitive function in general.
The scientists at Harvard even experimented on the possibility of achieving similar results by delivering the protein to test subjects who didn’t exercise. Their intuition was rewarded with the same confirmation that the protein has a positive influence on cognitive wellbeing. The experiment showed the benefits of endurance sports, as well as opening the door to the development of functional foods that stimulate FNDC5. It is also another step in fighting neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.