Phenylethylamine, a possible link
to the antidepressant effects of exercise?

Szabo A, Billett E, Turner J.
Department of Life Sciences,
Nottingham Trent University,
Nottingham, UK.
Br J Sports Med 2001 Oct;35(5):342-3


OBJECTIVES:To determine in this pilot study whether aerobic exercise affects phenylacetic acid concentration in the urine. METHODS:Twenty healthy men provided 24 hour urine samples on two consecutive days for the determination of phenylacetic acid levels. Before and during day 1, subjects refrained from physical activity; on day 2 subjects ran on a treadmill at 70% of their maximal heart rate reserve (MHRR) for 30 minutes. RESULTS:The 24 hour mean urinary concentration of phenylacetic acid was increased by 77% after exercise. CONCLUSION:As phenylacetic acid concentration in urine reflects phenylethylamine level, which is known to have antidepressant effects, phenylethylamine may be linked to the therapeutic effects of physical exercise on depression.

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