Updated: Jun 4, 2020
The brain metabolite N-acetyl aspartic acid - a biomarker of energy production and neuronal health - was positively correlated with cardiorespiratory fitness and negatively associated with body fat thus providing more evidence for how exercise benefits the brain.
This study characterized physical fitness using measurements of VO2max and whole-body total percent fat obtained with a DEXA scan. Measurements of brain metabolites using MRSI demonstrate that white matter N-acetyl aspartic acid positively correlated with
both VO2max and whole-body total percent fat. The effect was found to be mostly driven by whole-body total percent fat, demonstrating that body fat may have a negative effect on white matter integrity.