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:5/26/2016)... ... , ... Despite last week’s media reports hinting at a June rate hike ... March 2017 for an interest rate increase, according to Rajeev Dhawan of the Economic ... Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) dot charts are of interest to the press for ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Hampshire (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... care products, has been honored with a 2016 When Work Works Award for its ... award, part of the national When Work Works project administered by the Families and ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... clinical outcomes, hosted members and suppliers for its inaugural Member Conference at the ... their mission of elevating the operational health of America’s healthcare providers. , The ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Connor Sports, through its Connor Cares initiative, will ... Tamika Catchings Legacy Tour that will commemorate the Indiana Fever legend’s hall-of-fame career ... all forms and levels of the game, Connor Sports has committed to a significantly ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... , ... The Woodlands at John Knox Village , Florida’s first Life ... living and healing, celebrated its grand opening, today. The Woodlands at John Knox Village ... Empowered Staff. , “This is an incredibly fulfilling time for John Knox Village as ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... , May 25, 2016  Granger Diagnostics today ... test for wounds and infections. This test ensures ... and select viruses. The test requires only a ... David G. Bostwick , MD, ... to facilitate wound healing: "We are excited to ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , May 25, 2016 ... the precision of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) analysis ... the appointment of Professor Clive Morris ... leadership across the clinical development programme, scientific collaborations, ... help deliver significant improvements in clinical outcomes for ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... -- Cirujanos holandeses han puesto en marcha ... a compartir sus mejores prácticas por el mundo y ... de Europa, África, Asia y ... que combina la transmisión en vivo con mensajería instantánea ... Educación   "Imagine un médico de Medicines sans ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: