Singing or Running Elevate Endocannabinoids and Boosts Mood - Dr. David Hepburn

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Article Recommended by Dr. David Hepburn:

An Analysis of Endocannabinoid Concentrations and Mood Following Singing and Exercise in Healthy Volunteers

The euphoric feeling described after running is, at least in part, due to increased circulating endocannabinoids (eCBs). eCBs are lipid signaling molecules involved in reward, appetite, mood, memory and neuroprotection. 

The aim of this study was to investigate whether activities other than running can increase circulating eCBs. Nine healthy female volunteers (mean 61 years) were recruited from a local choir. Circulating eCBs, haemodynamics, mood and hunger ratings were measured before and immediately after 30 min of dance, reading, singing or cycling in a fasted state. 

Singing increased plasma levels of anandamide (AEA) by 42% (P < 0.05), palmitoylethanolamine (PEA) by 53% (P < 0.01) and oleoylethanolamine (OEA) by 34% (P < 0.05) and improved positive mood and emotions (P < 0.01), without affecting hunger scores. 

Dancing did not affect eCB levels or hunger ratings, but decreased negative mood and emotions (P < 0.01). 

Cycling increased OEA levels by 26% (P < 0.05) and tended to decrease how hungry volunteers felt, without affecting mood. 

"The “runners high” which was thought years ago to be courtesy of our endorphins is now known to be caused by our endogenous cannabinoid, anandamide (AEA). While dancing and cycling did not elevate AEA, singing actually did. No comments on if you sound like a hound being dragged through a keyhole. Anybody interested in starting a jogging choir to get high?  
Increases in AEA underlies the rewarding and pleasurable effects of singing and exercise and ultimately some of the long-term beneficial effects on mental health, cognition and memory."
-Dr. Dave Hepburn

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