People who exercise regularly usually have better mental health. A new study conducted at UC Davis Health System in the US has provided one explanation. Intense exercise increases levels of two neurotransmitters: glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

"Major depressive disorder is often characterized by depleted glutamate and GABA, which return to normal when mental health is restored. Our study shows that exercise activates the metabolic pathway that replenishes these neurotransmitters." This is a quote from study lead author Richard Maddock, professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Professor Maddock also made the following interesting statement: "From a metabolic standpoint, vigorous exercise is the most demanding activity the brain encounters, much more intense than calculus or chess, but nobody knows what happens with all that energy. Apparently, one of the things it's doing is making more neurotransmitters."

Depression is a huge problem around the world. It affects people of all ages and significantly reduces quality of life. Although many treatments are available for depression, they can have side effects and are not always effective enough. Exercise really is medicine for improving mental health. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps to make a person feel calmer and relaxed and it facilitates a deep, restful sleep. Apart from exercise, magnesium and glutamine both help to raise your body’s production of GABA. Glutamine can be found in our Ultimate Gut Health powder.

For more information on natural treatments for depression see the book Help for Anxiety and Depression