Review Article

Effect of nutrients and exhaustive exercise on brain function


Sun Young Lim, Yi-Sub Kwak

한국운동재활학회 JER Vol.15 No.3 2019.06 pp.341-345
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Epidemiological evidence suggests that health-oriented eating habits are associated with maintaining optimal cognitive ability. Nutrients are functional bioactive molecules promoting human health and essential components as well. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3), one of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is synthesized through elongation pathway from linolenic acid (81:3n-3) which is recognized as important source of brain function. Endurance physical exercise and energy re-striction was also recognized of cardiovascular stress adjustment by enhancing brainstem cholinergic activity as well as brain function. However, we even do not know the exact neuronal mechanisms about the nutrients, β-hydroxybutyrate (β-HB) and myokine impacts on brain- derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) activation. Therefore, this review fo-cuses on recent evidence that explains how nutrients and prolonged exercise can affect nervous system pathways that are associated with improving brain function. The results revealed that frequent consump-tion of polyphenols and n-3 PUFAs could modify gastrointestinal envi-ronment with beneficial microorganisms. It may suggest a new hypoth-esis that gastrointestinal microbiome could influence cognitive function in addition to the traditional etiological pathway. And moreover, pro-longed physical exercise includes open skill sports which is induced by β-oxidation of free fatty acids stimulate BDNF. And also β-HB produc-tion which is induced by carbohydrate depletion, hypoglycemia, or fast-ing stimulate BDNF production that acts an significantly important roles in cognitive function and acting on brain function with brain metabo-lism.




  • Sun Young Lim Division of Marine Bioscience, Korea Maritime and Ocean University, Busan, Korea
  • Yi-Sub Kwak DEU Exe-Physio Lab, Department of Physical Education, College of Arts, Design and Sports Science, Dong-Eui University, Busan, Korea


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