People think that exercise is an undiluted good thing.
But there’s more to the story than just good ole exercise.
Being active is a good thing.
We, humans, are designed to be active, to move around, to socialize, and have various experiences on our 2 feet.
There is not much evidence that intense exercise is all that healthy or even healthy at all.
If you’re not a person that loves intense exercise, don’t worry.
You can still be healthy and live a long time.
In this study, they show that exercising rats causes their blood-brain barrier to leak.
Not a good thing.
Researchers had the rats swim intensively for short periods of time.
And the researchers monitored the rats’ brains.
They found that rats that exercised intensely experienced a leaky blood-brain barrier.
This means that bacteria, viruses, and bad chemicals can get into the brain.
Normally these would be stopped by the normally effective blood-brain barrier.
What also makes this interesting is that the researchers discovered that serotonin increases this blood-brain leak.
When they blocked the serotonin increase, the blood-brain barrier remained safe and sound.
They blocked the serotonin increase using simple, safe drugs with a proven safety record.
Today, most researchers and doctors think that serotonin is a good thing.
They’re guided by misleading information from Big Pharma because there’s money to be made.
But this misinformation is creating a bigger problem for people — which Big Pharma can charge to solve.
And the body has many elaborate ways of getting rid of serotonin.
But these don’t always work, so Big Pharma has medications for us to use.
In this case, researchers treated the rats with the antihistamine cyproheptadine.
Just a little bit of this safe and proven antihistamine, and the rats didn’t experience any blood-brain barrier leakage.
Nope, the barrier remained sound and protective.
Cyproheptadine is an old antihistamine that has many new uses.
Plus, it’s very inexpensive if you can find it because the patent has expired.
This new paper is from a group of researchers from several major universities.
And they’ve identified the blood-brain barrier as a major problem for people as they age.
It becomes humans.
Post-mortem tissue analysis indicates blood-brain barrier damage in Alzheimer’s disease.
And a leaky blood-brain barrier is not just common in Alzheimer’s.
It is common as part of aging, AND in people that exercise too often, or too intensely.
And according to the rat study and other studies, it’s not just intense exercise that causes problems.
Even gym exercises can cause an increase in the permeability of the blood-brain barrier.
Over time, if you continue to exercise intensely, you may experience:
Progressive neurodegeneration with loss of neurons mediated by either direct neuronal toxicity, oxidant stress and/or detachment of neurons from their supporting extracellular matrix.
These researchers found that a leaky blood-brain barrier started in the hippocampus part of the brain.
This is the part of the brain that is critical for learning and memory.
People who have a leaky blood-brain barrier first experience memory problems, forgetfulness, and slower learning.
Many men reading this newsletter right now are probably experiencing that already.
One question that I had in these studies is whether stress itself causes a leaky blood-brain barrier.
Is it just age, or is it age and intensive exercise?
Or does stress also break down the blood-brain barrier?
This excellent study in mice showed that even severe stresses did not cause the blood-brain barrier to leak.
It seems that stress alone will not cause a breakdown of the blood-brain barrier.
But activities like intense exercise does contribute to the breakdown of the blood-brain barrier.
And I am sure that chronic internal inflammation and oxidative stress in older people certainly causes a deterioration of the barrier.
It makes sense to keep serotonin levels low.
And it makes sense not do things like intense exercise that may be causing the blood-brain barrier to leak faster.
- Increased blood-brain barrier permeability following acute short-term swimming exercise in conscious normotensive young rats
- Blood-Brain Barrier Breakdown in the Aging Human Hippocampus
- Stress does not increase blood-brain barrier permeability in mice
- How to increase serotonin in the human brain without drugs - NCBI
- Serotonin syndrome - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic