Move yoself

Source: Association Between Physical Activity and Risk of Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis | annotated by Zakhar

Not Eminem, but still.

In an article by Matthew Pierce et al. in JAMA Psychiatry, 15 cohort studies with follow-up durations of 3-26 years (maybe more, but I'm a simple man I don't read) were reviewed to answer one question: how much exercise is needed to stave off depression?

TL:DR ⇒ less than you thought.

Real TL:DR

  • Total sample size: 190,000 participants

  • Exercise data was converted into METs. Spoiler: sitting at a PC is 1.5/hour, sex is 5.8 (you're probably underdoing it), saluting sun is 7.4

  • WHO recommends 30 min * 5 days/week of moderate activity, 8.8 METs (NOT the meth thing, however it may help...). 17 METs is being a fitness boss (or sitting at a PC, got ya).

  • However, 4.4 METs per week had already yielded 18% lower incidence of depression, yet 8.8 gave only 25% with high uncertainty. Going over that didn't give substantional additional benefits.

  • Can't deny exercise has another benefits, e.g. crying in beautiful places 🤗 2-in-1 bonus if it's dangerous



So how to move more if you're a floor potato? Let's indulge more.

Source: The "Spice" Melange: Exercise, Capsaicin, Cannabinoids, and the Microbiome | annotated by Zakhar

Another day, another study.


  • The scientists tested the exercise abilities and motivation to run on some (~200) genetically and metagenomically diverse mice

  • There was no "athlete gene", nor a combination of them, so the authors turned out to other venues...

  • And found it in microbiome, citing the post: "I’ve said before that, if you’re looking for a biological reason why two people are different along any axis, the microbiome is the logical place to start looking—even before you check the genome."

  • Microbiome was associated with the differences (some were potatos, some were Rambos - one ran 30 miles over 2 days) in exercise motivation, viz. Coprococcus eutactus or Eubacterium rectale

  • The differences were transferrable, and FMT between fit fuckers ↔ lazyasses did transfer the motivation and capabilities

  • Antibiotics did make things universally worse

  • Abundance of Ruminococcus was one of the strongest predictors of exercise performance, but mice monocolonized with Ruminococcus gnavus actually did worse on the treadmill than mice which had no bacteria at all

  • The influence was mediated by increased dopamine during exercise due to MAO-A inhibition

  • Citing: "microbiome-depleted mice could have their exercise performance restored by feeding them capsaicin, a molecule that activates the TRPV1 receptor. Capsaicin is the chemical found in chili peppers, responsible for the sensation of “heat” when you eat spicy foods, and this feeling is mediated by TRPV1*."*

  • "TRPV1-expressing neurons also tend to express CB1 cannabinoid receptor CB1*, which gets its name because it’s activated by cannabinoids and related compounds. **The chemicals that gut bacteria produce to increase the dopamine released by exercise are cannabinoid agonists**—chemically similar to the endocannabinoids like anandamide that your brain produces on its own."*

    Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, left) and Oleoylethanolamine (Right). OEA seems to only act on PPAR-⍺ though...

  • Both Capsaicin and fatty acid amides restore/increase the motivation to exercise, even after antibiotics

Action plan

A bit of, say, PEA sprinkled with nuts, fish and pepper... OK.

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