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Motivation Can Be Improved by Adding a Certain Antioxidant to Your Diet

Recent research, published in eLife, found that levels of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH), which can be increased with the help of nutritional interventions and lifestyle changes, may have a significant impact on motivation levels.

In this study, a team of researchers examined how oxidative stress and antioxidant levels may impact motivation. Oxidative stress has to do with the harmful molecules (free radicals) that the body produces as a byproduct of metabolism. Antioxidants help to neutralize these free radicals.

Study author Prof. Carmen Sandi, director of the Laboratory of Behavioral Genetics, Brain Mind Institute at EPFL in Switzerland, says: “We found that the actual levels of the most important antioxidant in the nucleus accumbens—a part of the ventral striatum and a hub of the brain motivational system—determine the capacity to keep exerting effort over time to obtain rewards…our study suggests that the antioxidant system in the brain hub for motivation is critical to determine our capacity to keep going with tasks that require an effort but provide advantages for us/rewards.”

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