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Link found between exercise and new neurons

The link between exercise and the generation of new neurons in mice turns out to be higher levels of the mineral selenium.

Exercise has long been known to boost the production of new neurons in the hippocampus, a brain region that plays a key role in learning and memory. But just how it does so was unclear.

Now, a team led by researchers from Queensland University in Australia has found the missing link — selenium, a mineral found in many foods, including grains, meat and nuts.

When the team compared protein levels in the blood of mice placed in cages with and without a running wheel, they found mice that exercised had elevated levels of a protein that aids the transport of selenium in the blood.

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