Navigation Links
Diet, Exercise Can Improve Thinking
Date:3/8/2010

Study finds benefits for the mind, not just the body

MONDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- A good diet and regular exercise may help the mind function better, a new study suggests.

"It looks like exercise and diet improve the range of cognitive function," said Patrick Smith, an intern in clinical neuropsychology and a member of a Duke University team reporting the finding online in the March 8 issue of Hypertension. "It helps executive function, learning and psychomotor speed."

The researchers followed 124 men and women with high blood pressure who were 52 and a minimum of 15 pounds overweight, on average.

Led by James Blumenthal, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke, the study was designed primarily to determine the effect of diet and exercise on blood pressure and included people with mild to moderate high blood pressure.

The mental studies were included because "some previous data linked exercise and diet to better cognitive function," Smith said. The new results verified those findings, he noted.

A third of the participants went about eating and exercising as they usually did. Another third followed the DASH -- Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension -- diet, which emphasizes low-fat dairy products, fruits and vegetables, in combination with regular exercise. The final third were in a program that combined the DASH diet with a weight-management program and aerobic exercise.

Two strategies were used in the weight-management program: One centered on reducing portion size and changing habits, such as snacking. The other used an approach called appetite awareness training, which provides guidelines on how much to eat, not just what to eat.

Smith said the exercise part of the program wasn't drastic -- "workouts of 30 minutes three to four times a week, enough to put the heart up to 75 to 80 percent of its maximum rate."

To assess the effects on mental function, the participants were asked to do certain paper-and-pencil tests, such as crossing off specific digits on a page of numbers as quickly as possible.

The group that ate well and exercised regularly had an overall 30 percent improvement in mental function by the end of the four-month period, the researchers noted.

Physical activity does seem to have a direct effect on brain cells, Smith said. "There are neurochemical changes that happen with exercise, he said. There is increased production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which stimulates connection with other brain cells, he said, but also there is some evidence that it helps grow new brain cells."

And the combination of good eating and exercise also produced the expected physical advances. Diet-and-exercise participants lost an average of 19 pounds and lowered systolic blood pressure (the higher of the 120/80 reading) by 16 points and diastolic pressure by 10 points by the end of the four-month program.

Some experts believe the study has shortcomings, however. It's a well-done study, but one that has flaws, said Dr. Donald LaVan, a clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and a spokesman for the American Heart Association.

"Its entirely too small," LaVan said. "I would call it a keyhole study, suggestive but nothing definitive. Also, it did not have a control group to look at the effect of exercise alone. We need a bigger study with a longer duration and a control group for exercise alone."

Nothing in the study should deter anyone from exercising for the sake of the mind as well as the body, LaVan said.

"Exercise is great," he said. "But how much exercise itself contributes to mental function is not clear."

More information

Advice on physical activity is given by the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Patrick Smith, M.A., intern, clinical neurophysiology, Duke University, Durham, N.C.; Donald LaVan, M.D., clinical associate professor, medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; March 8, 2010, Hypertension, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. With Amino Acid Diet, Mice Improve After Brain Injury
2. Diet, Cognitive Ability May Play Role in Heart Disease
3. Diet, Exercise Thwart Diabetes: Study
4. Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
5. Healthy Diet, Exercise Keeps Mind Sharp As You Age
6. Diet, Purity of Food Source Could be Keys to Improving Health of Hong Kong Toddlers
7. Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
8. Best-selling authors and physicians from NYP/Weill Cornell discuss diet, surgery and bone health
9. Diet, Exercise Cuts Kids Risk for Metabolic Syndrome
10. Diet, Exercise May Modify Breast Cancer Risks
11. Phone World-famed Martin Schiff, M.D., at 310-454-6172 for Free Weight Loss No Diet, No Stuff Method. Hates Diets, Loves to Have People Help Themselves
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/5/2016)... High Falls, NY & Salt Lake City, UT (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Frank Davis, Founder of Activz Whole-Food Nutrition , announced that the much-anticipated feature ... 5th on the New Really Cool Humans Amateur TV Network. , Each week, on ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... The Muscular Dystrophy Association and ... launched the 14th annual “Appetite for a Cure” campaign on Feb. 1 to ... and related diseases that severely limit strength and mobility. , Now through ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Freed-Hardeman University President ... have signed a joint enrollment and degree completion agreement. The agreement, which ... baccalaureate degrees at FHU|Dickson. , The agreement allows students to be jointly ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... US Sports Camps , official operators ... to direct high-performance kids yoga training. ChildLight Yoga Studio is centrally situated in the ... Boston. , ChildLight Yoga Studio founder Lisa Flynn expresses her excitement, “We are thrilled ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Regular gym users know the routine: each January, ... to access the treadmills. It’s a predictable trend. After the excesses of November and ... in shape by joining gyms, starting new walking or running routines, or signing up ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... NEW YORK , Feb. 4, 2016   Bernstein ... has been filed in the United States District Court for ... of a class (the "Class") consisting of all persons or ... or the "Company") (NASDAQ: INSY ) from March 3, ... charges Insys and certain of its officers with violations of ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016 Wegener ... Global Markets Direct,s, ,Wegener Polyangiitis - Pipeline ... Wegener Polyangiitis,s therapeutic pipeline. This report provides ... Polyangiitis, complete with comparative analysis at various stages, ... (MoA), route of administration (RoA) and molecule type, ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016 Summary ... common cancer and the most common cancer in women ... the disease exceedingly prevalent. The number of women diagnosed ... decades, but the number of deaths has declined due ... cancer treatment has been revolutionized in the past four ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: