Why BDNF Decreases Your Risk of Dementia According to Science
What is BDNF you ask? Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor is a specific neurotrophin that scientists are calling fertilizer for our brains and because of this it can lower our risk of dementia. The amazing thing about BDNF is that we get to influence how much we possess, and thus reap all of the incredible health benefits in our daily lives.
Neurotrophins are directly responsible for regulating growth, repair, and development in our brains. Today we are going to be talking about one of the most highly researched neurotrophins in the brain world: BDNF or Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor.
The brain is a hot topic in the health world right now. We are seeing breakthroughs in science and technology concerning the human brain like never before. New research is pulling back the curtain about the tremendous potential that BDNF holds to impact our lives for the better.
BDNF is actually a growth hormone produced by our bodies. It is also a protein whose gene expression we can directly modify for the better. This is the magic behind the science of neuroplasticity. Perhaps that is why scientists are calling BDNF fertilizer for your brain.
Research has shown that people with higher levels of BDNF are at a lower risk of developing dementia. On the flip side of the coin, science links lower levels of BDNF to depression, a shorter lifespan, and of course, dementia.
BDNF Gene Defect
Unfortunately, 1 in 3 Americans may now have a gene defect that can lower their levels of BDNF. The good news is that genetics do not have to dictate your BDNF levels. You are in control, and there are lifestyle changes you can incorporate to save your brain as research affirms and proves.
In a new study, exercise in people over 50 is demonstrated to have significant effects on cognition. This report was a meta-analysis covering 39 other studies.
Dr. Datis Kharrazian, author of “Why Isn’t My Brain Working” and winner of the 2016 researcher of the year award, says in his book that the best way to raise BDNF is simply to get your heart rate up with high-intensity exercise even for 30-60 seconds a few times a day. Now that sounds like something all of us can incorporate into our daily lives without difficulty.
One of the biggest keys to improving your levels of BDNF is to reduce oxidative stress in the brain. Antioxidants play a big part in this and eliminating free radicals which are linked to inflammation.
Here are some other things you can do to increase your levels of BDNF:
- Getting some sunshine every day
- Doing mental challenges daily like puzzles
- Doing any task that is physically demanding
- Trying new things especially challenges
- Spending time with your loved ones
- Curcumin (found in tumeric)
- Resveratrol (found in red grapes and Japanese knotweed)
- Proanthocyanidins (found in blueberries)
- Intermittent fasting (This can be done in 12 hours or less.)
- Avoiding high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and all processed foods
- Including high amounts of omega-3’s in your diet
- Reducing the levels of stress in your daily life
- Getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night
It is incredibly empowering to know that we can reverse the alarming rate of cognitive decline that leads to dementia. Start incorporating some lifestyle changes in your own life today, and please share this article with your loved ones to let them know that they can save their brain from such a destructive fate.
Check out these other great articles from EMaxHealth: How Zinc May Lower Your Risk of Alzheimer's Disease, How Marriage Might Help You to Avoid Dementia, and This Popular Vegan Practice Can Help You Dodge Alzheimer's Disease.