New research reveals antidepressant effects of lactic acid
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At the same time, sports The anti-depressant effect of the drug has been known for many years, but the scientific community has been trying to figure out the molecular mechanism behind it.
In previous research, Martin The laboratory led by the Ph.D. focuses on lactic acid, a molecule produced in physical exercise, to try to explain the benefits of exercise. Researchers have observed the antidepressant effect of lactic acid. The neurologist pointed out: “Lactic acid can especially reduce anhedonia, which is one of the main symptoms of depression. Anhedonia includes the loss of interest or pleasure in all activities that were considered pleasant before depression.”</ p>
Now, Martin and his team are eager to conduct in-depth research to figure out how lactic acid works in the brain to fight depression. They focused on neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus, an area of the brain related to memory and depression. Dr. Martin pointed out: “Adult neurogenesis refers to the production of new neurons by brain stem cells in adulthood. Its core purpose is to replace neurons. It is well known that neurons in patients with depression can be damaged because it causes some The size of the hippocampus is reduced.” With the help of other researchers, Dr. Martin proved that lactic acid can restore neurogenesis in mice and reduce depressive behavior. On the contrary, lactic acid will lose its antidepressant effect, which shows that the two are closely related.
However, this does not tell us anything about the mechanism by which lactate regulates neurogenesis. Therefore, researchers studied its metabolism: in other words, all the cytochemical reactions associated with it. Lactic acid is mainly derived from the decomposition of glucose in food, and then it is oxidized to pyruvate. Anthony Carrard, the lead researcher of the study, said: “We logically tested the effect of pyruvate on neurogenesis, but it was unsuccessful. So we told ourselves that the answer must be found in the process of converting lactic acid to pyruvate. ”
It is understood that in the process of converting lactic acid into pyruvate, cells produce a molecule with antioxidant potential, which is called NADH. Dr. Carrard went on to explain: “It is NADH and its antioxidant properties that protect neurogenesis during depression episodes-or at least during the animals showing these symptoms.” In short, the researcher added: “This The mechanism can explain the link between exercise and depression, but further experiments are needed to prove this. Importantly, it provides a potential goal for designing future treatments. In order to do this, we must first determine NADH Which proteins does the factor act on.”