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Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and What That Means For You?

Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and What That Means For You?

Imagine being in your 60s, 70s, 80s, or beyond and still having the

You can still remember the names of your teachers in high school and even the class you belonged to in elementary school.

Plus, you never forget the names of long-lost friends or classmates.

Well, that’s not a pie-in-the-sky dream. It can be your reality.

Our brain is a complex network of millions of neurons that constantly communicate with each other.(1)

These neurons act as messengers, sending and receiving information from the brain to other parts of the body.

This communication is crucial for identifying and responding to our surroundings, regulating internal organs, and supporting memory and cognitive function.

While thousands of neurons are being made every day, thousands of old neurons also die.

This process of the birth and development of neurons is called neurogenesis.(2)

Neurogenesis helps form neurons in the brain, which are important in the development of embryos throughout their lifespans.(3)

For example, in the adult brain, there are 27 different types of neurons located in the hippocampus, the brain region responsible for spatial navigation and memory, alone.

But how does neurogenesis take place?

Through the stimulation of the neurotrophin chemical.

Neurotrophins are a family of proteins that support the formation, survival, growth, and death of neurons in the central nervous system.(4)

One of these neurotrophins is the brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF.

BDFN infographic

What is BDNF?

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF is one of the proteins that supports healthy development and protection of nerve cells when we are still young and helps with healthy survival of the same cells when we are adults.

They are usually found active in the hippocampus, forebrain, and cortex, where memory, learning, and higher thinking are formed.

This protein works by attaching itself to a receptor called tyrosine kinase B or TrkB, which is found in hippocampal neurons, a type of brain cell.

Once it binds to this receptor, BDNF starts a series of signals that are important for making CREB and CBP.(5)

They then create and send signals to the hippocampus to control how neurons work and function.(6)

It’s no wonder why researchers consider BDNF such an important protein for brain health and long-term memory.

Moreover, BDNF also influences sleep patterns, behavior, mood, appetite, and eating habits.

Most of these effects happen in the central nervous system and brain, although they can also occur in different parts of the body, including the retinas, pancreas, kidneys, uterus, prostate, lungs, muscles, and heart.

Think of BDNF as fertilizer for your brain.

It helps our neurons perk up and grow healthy, along with the right care and nutrition.

As our brain fertilizer, BDNF helps the brain in three ways.

Supports the growth and development of brain cells

Think about when you were younger and learning to ride a bike – you probably started with training wheels.

BDNF supports your brain cells — think of them as students — to grow stronger and smarter, getting them ready for the no-training-wheels version of brain functions.

It does this in two ways.

First, it promotes neurogenesis, where new neurons are formed in the brain.

Second, it supports neuroplasticity, which helps the brain to organize and form new neural connections based on its existing learning and experience.

This has been shown in the Journal in Growth Factors, where BDNF has been proven to support the growth and survival of neurons in the brain region where memory and learning take place.(7)

It also helps support the growth of dendrites – branch-like extensions that receive and send signals from neurons. Dendrites are located in the cerebral cortex, where the majority of cognitive function happens.(8)

As a result, we develop a more intricate network that allows us to process and understand the world better.

In a nutshell, BDNF supports the growth, development, and plasticity of neurons, which is important for healthy brain function.

Supports brain cell survival

However, it's not just about making new connections.

BDNF also helps keep neurons alive and kicking.

Healthy, intact neurons are key to a well-functioning brain network, which is foundational to smarter thinking and quicker learning.

Like giving your brain cells their very own shield, BDNF protects them from factors that contribute to stress or brain cell damage, which allows your neural network to stay robust and resilient.

It also supports the survival of nerve cells, playing a role in the growth, maintenance, and maturation of neurons.

In a study published in The Journal of Neuroscience, BDNF was proven to help support healthy neurons from cell death caused by stress.(9)

Moreover, it also supports cell health by preventing the possible risk of neurotoxicity.(10)

Overall, BDNF supports the survival of brain cells, which is important in keeping the brain healthy and protected from possible age-related brain issues.

Supports learning and memory

Finally, one of the best things about BDNF is that it helps strengthen the foundations of learning and memory.

It's similar to working out muscles to keep them strong; BDNF keeps the brain's pathways fit and capable.

This way, it becomes easier for us to learn new things and remember them, such as facts for a test or even beautiful memories with loved ones.

This is because BDNF supports the formation and strengthening of synaptic connections between neurons, which is critical for memory and learning.

This has been backed by several studies, including one published in the Journal of Neuron, where researchers discovered that BDNF supports long-term memory formation in the hippocampus.

Similarly, a study published in the Journal of Nature Neuroscience showed that BDNF can help support memory in rats.

Therefore, if you want to support better learning, memory, and brain health, BDNF can help.

Remember, the health of the brain is important in everything we do — how we think, feel, learn, and interact with the world.

BDNF plays a vital role in keeping the brain in shape, much like a dedicated coach for the mind.

However, there’s a problem.

BDNF levels decrease significantly with age.

In a study in PloS One, researchers discovered that the circulating levels of BDNF decline as people age.(11)

They also have smaller hippocampal volumes and poorer memory performance.

This is why people over 40 become more forgetful and at higher risk of brain and memory problems.(12)

For instance, as you get older, you may start to forget names and places or where you parked your car, or you might fumble for a name to fit a face.

This is because certain parts of the brain also shrink, especially those parts that play huge roles in learning and other mental activities, as you age.

This makes communication between neurons less effective.(13)

The decline of BDNF levels also results in the loss of gray matter volume in the brain.

Gray matter is a tissue found in the brain and spinal cord.

It consists of high concentrations of axon terminals, neuronal bodies, and dendrites that help you function normally from day to day.(14)

The gray matter found in the central nervous system, on the other hand, is what helps you control movement, emotions, and memory.(15)

Aside from aging, prolonged exposure to stress and inflammation can also lower your BDNF levels.

This reduces neurons’ capacity to cope with challenging tasks, resulting in decreased function and neural death.(16)

To support healthy levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in your brain, here are three nutrients that you can use, along with maintaining a healthy diet and exercise.

Lithium Orotate

Lithium orotate is an over-the-counter mineral that can do wonders for the brain.

This mineral supplement contains lithium, which supports brain health, including its ability to support healthy levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor.(17)

One study in the Journal of Affective Disorders discovered that test subjects who had mental disorders also had low BDNF compared to the healthy test subjects.(18)

Those who were given lithium orotate maintained healthy amounts of BDNF levels, especially in the hippocampal neurons.

It’s like giving your brain the right kind of nutrition it needs to perform at its best — very similar to how eating vegetables can help your overall health.


Often nicknamed the body's "master antioxidant," glutathione has a knack for supporting overall brain health.

You see, oxidative stress and inflammation can affect BDNF levels.

Glutathione's antioxidant properties help support healthy levels of oxidative stress, which may also help support healthy BDNF levels in the brain.(19)

In a study from the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, researchers discovered that taking glutathione can support healthy BDNF levels in patients with low mood and unease.(20


Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that supports brain functions, such as memory, learning, arousal, and attention.(21

This neurotransmitter is like a maestro of an orchestra in your brain, guiding nerve cells to communicate properly.

However, a study in the Journal of Neurodegenerative Diseases showed that people who have brain issues also have low acetylcholine levels.

This can lead to the accumulation of amyloid plaque, which triggers the brain and exposes it to oxygen stress and inflammation.

Inflammation produces cytokines, which lower BDNF levels.

Low BDNF levels can worsen the situation for people with mental health problems.

On the other hand, maintaining healthy levels of acetylcholine supports healthy inflammation, which in turn supports healthy BDNF levels.

This ensures your brain is conducting its nerve signals in harmony.(22) 


In your day-to-day life, the effects of BDNF can be pretty profound.

It's like having a personal trainer for your brain, constantly working to improve your cognitive health and overall brain function.

Whether you're studying for a test, picking up a new skill, or just going about your daily routine, BDNF is quietly and powerfully keeping your brain in shape.

Remember, what's good for your heart is also good for your brain.

Regular exercise, eating omega-3-rich foods, and staying mentally engaged can all help increase BDNF levels.

Isn’t it amazing how taking care of your brain can be a part of your everyday habits?

Keep this in mind: you have some control over keeping your brain’s BDNF levels in a healthy range.

Think of it as investing in the future of your brain.

The more you do now, the more your brain can do for you later.

You see, brain health is an essential priority since it supports nearly every other aspect of your health.

Your brain function relies on nutrients that provide antioxidants and a healthy inflammatory support response.

This helps promote healthy cognitive performance and mental health.

Some of the nutrients that support brain health include omega-3 fatty acids like EPA, vitamin D, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphatidylserine, curcumin, and more.

Therefore, whether you’re an older adult looking to promote healthy cognitive function or a student who wants to support healthy brain power, dietary supplements and a healthy diet can help you reach your goals.

Fortunately, here at Seeking Health, we have pure, safe, and effective supplements for brain wellness, including Optimal Liposomal Glutathione and Liposomal Glutathione Plus, which help support your body’s antioxidant defenses.

Optimal Fish Oil supports healthy brain cells and brain development during pregnancy.

Active B12 with L-5-MTHF (active vitamin B12 and folate) promotes normal methylation, which translates to healthy cellular energy and cognition.

Moreover, our newest brain health support supplement is Serotonin Nutrients.

From production to synapse passage and beyond, the ingredients in Serotonin Nutrients support the serotonergic pathway to make sure levels of the “feel good” neurotransmitter are at their peak.

Now is your chance to keep your brain healthy as you age.

Shop Seeking Healthy Today to support healthy BDNF levels for healthy memory and brain.



These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.