Mark Mattson on Calorie Restriction, Intermittent Fasting and the Brain

canstockphoto7111045“I’m a neuroscientist interested in what happens to the brain during aging both normal and unfortunate situations like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. About 15 – 20 years ago, we got interested in the effects of energy intake on the brain simply because the major risk factor for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases as well as stroke is age.”

 “We started looking at the molecular level taking the brain tissue from mice or rats and the different diet groups and measuring levels of thousands of genes and eventually looking at specific proteins. The take home message was that intermittent fasting increases the expression of genes in proteins that help neurons resist stress and genes that help them grow. So one of the genes that we focused on a lot is BDNF Brain derived neurotrophic factor, which was found increased in the brain with intermittent fasting much more than with CR.”

 “Previously, BDNF levels increase in response to various types of stress – something severe like a seizure or a mild metabolic stress. In fact, exercise in mice and rats will increase BDNF levels in the brain similar to what we found in limited fasting.”

 The above quotes are from the recent livingthecrway teleconference featuring Dr. Mark Mattson. It was full of basics: ideas you must understand to be able to improve and thrive with calorie restriction – especially if you want to protect your brain.

So we decided to make the recording of the teleconference public – available to everyone. You can access it by becoming a Healthy Start member, which is free to everyone.

Everyone who pays for a membership supports and the upcoming DNA HACR study.

So we can’t make all the teleconferences – a principal benefit of membership – free. But this one was so important that we made it an exception.

Listening to it will give those of you who aren’t full members an idea of how the teleconferences work and how much you can learn from them.

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