The Effects of Diet, Exercise, and Sleep on Brain Metabolism and Function

  • Akhlaq A. FarooquiEmail author


Diet, exercise, and sleep have a major impact human health. Western diet, which is high in saturated fats refined carbohydrates, salt, and low in fiber is capable of producing a risk of promoting age-related chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, and neurotraumatic, neurodegenerative, and neuropsychiatric diseases. In contrast, Mediterranean diet with low saturated fats but rich in olive oil, omega 3 fatty acids, and garlic and fresh fruit and vegetable produces neuroprotective effects. Saturated fats and n-6 fatty acids promote inflammation and oxidative stress whereas fruits, vegetables, n-3 fatty acids, and olive oil retard inflammation and oxidative stress. Exercise produces beneficial effects by improving cardiovascular function, enhancing cognitive function, and maintaining normal cellular homeostasis. These processes retard mortality by decreasing coronary heart disease, and retarding neurological disorders. Exercise produces beneficial effects on neurotraumatic, neurodegenerative, and neuropsychiatric disorders. Age is a major non-modifiable risk factor risk factor for neurotraumatic, neurodegenerative, and neuropsychiatric diseases, but a positive family history, unhealthy lifestyle, and endogenous factors may also contribute to the pathogenesis of neurotraumatic, neurodegenerative, and neuropsychiatric diseases. An active lifestyle (healthy diet and exercise) and 6–7 h of sleep in middle age and late life can be two possible intervention strategies to retard and postpone the onset of neurotraumatic, neurodegenerative, and neuropsychiatric disorders.


Lifestyle Oxidative stress Inflammation n-3 fatty acids n-6 Fatty acids Neurological disorders Neurotraumatic diseases Neurodegenerative diseases Reactive oxygen species (ROS) Proinflammatory cytokines Mitogen-activated protein kinase Western diet Ketogenic diet Mediterranean diet Caloric restriction Vitagenes Hormesis 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ColumbusUSA

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