BDNF, Your Brain’s Best Friend

BDNF = brain-derived neurotrophic factor

We have less BDNF as we get older.

 

Benefits of BDNF

  • better sleep
  • faster learning
  • improved memory
  • heightened alertness
  • less aging
  • decrease in depression
  • protection from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases
  • neuroplasticity (strengthening damaged neurons and protecting them from future harm)
  • growth of new brain cells and neural pathways

What increases BDNF levels?

  • exercise/increasing your heart rate
  • deep sleep
  • meditation
  • polyphenols (antioxidants from coffee, green tea, dark chocolate, blueberries, etc.)
  • hypoxia (depriving your brain of oxygen, achieved by doing exercises such as the Wim Hof method)
  • sunlight (10 – 20 minutes per day)
  • intermittent fasting (eating during a specific period of time)

What can lower BDNF levels?

  • stress
  • sugar (use alternatives like monk fruit, yacon syrup, or swerve)
  • social isolation (depression and lack of mental stimulation lowers BDNF)

Resource

Bulletproof blog: “8 Ways to Increase BDNF and Keep Your Brain From Aging”

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