What Motivates You: Your drive to succeed may depend on your health, and this supplement can help

Lausanne, Switzerland — Motivation can often separate success or failure, achieving goals or wandering aimlessly, positive happiness or unhappiness. “What motivates you?” is a common question asked by life coaches to clients. Motivation may depend on the amount of oxidative stress your cells are experiencing, according to new research.

Swiss researchers say this unhealthy imbalance in cells can reduce motivation and reduce performance on certain tasks. Certain antioxidants may be key. Glutathione (GSH) shows an important link between motivation and performance enhancement on effort-related tasks.

Professor Carmen Sandi of EPFL’s Faculty of Life Sciences said in a media release: “We then turned to animals to understand the mechanisms and explore causal relationships between the discovered metabolites and performance, and also demonstrated that nutritional interventions modify behavior through this pathway.”

What is oxidative stress?

The study authors explain that when cells “eat” various molecules for fuel, they produce various toxic waste products in the form of highly reactive molecules called oxidizing species. Luckily, cells have ways to get rid of this waste product and restore balance within the cell. cause.

Brain cells often experience oxidative stress from their neurometabolic processes. Antioxidants are the “cleaning crew” that keep healthy cells in balance. With that in mind, researchers have noted that glutathione is the brain’s most important antioxidant.

To find a connection with motivation, the team used a method called proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy to quantify the biochemistry of this specific region of the brain. Non-invasive techniques measured her GSH levels in the nucleus accumbens of both humans and rats. We then compared those measures to each subject’s performance in a standardized effort-related task that measures motivation.

Results show that higher GSH levels in the nucleus accumbens were associated with better and more consistent performance during these tasks.

To prove that more GSH is directly related to more motivation, the team injected rats with a GSH blocker to reduce the production of this antioxidant. decreased, resulting in poorer performance during the reward incentive test.

Do Daily Supplements Motivate You More?

Conversely, giving rats a dietary supplement of N-acetylcysteine, a GSH precursor that increases GSH levels in the nucleus accumbens, improved their performance in a test measuring motivation. This paves the way for creating new supplements for patients who are unmotivated due to nutritional deficiencies.

“Our study provides new insight into how brain metabolism is linked to behavior and targets key oxidative processes as an ideal intervention to promote endurance in effort.” advocate for nutritional interventions,” the study authors conclude. A viable approach to increasing motivation. ”

“N-acetylcysteine, the dietary supplement we gave in our study, can also be synthesized in the body from its precursor cysteine.” ” is included. Other sources of low content are eggs, whole grain foods such as bread and cereals, and some vegetables such as broccoli, onions, and legumes.

“Of course, there are ways to increase GSH levels in the body other than N-acetylcysteine, but we know very little about how they relate to levels in the brain, especially in the nucleus accumbens. Our study represents proof-of-principle that dietary N-acetylcysteine ​​can increase brain GSH levels and promote strenuous behavior.”

Findings are published in the journal e-life.

Related Articles

Back to top button