BDNF: The Brain Protein That Protects From Depression

Four ways to increase BDNF — and change the way you feel

BDNF — brain-derived neurotrophic factor — is not a drug, but its effect is very similar. You can’t buy it, but you can make it yourself. The manufacturing hub is your central nervous system and like any well-run production line, it needs regular and reliable input of the best raw materials. The finished product is a substance that operates in and on your brain, to your advantage.

This protein is involved in the process of creating new neurons and is crucial for their protection and survival. It also strengthens synapses (a synapse is the structure between nerves, through which messages are transmitted), and helps form new synapses. It is involved in brain plasticity and regulates inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters.

BDNF is very much involved in maintaining mood.

Without sufficient BDNF, you are at risk of, among others, major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder. The lower the BDNF level, the more severe the symptoms.

“BDNF is known to be lower in MDD, and has been negatively correlated with the severity of depressive symptoms”.

Here are four, evidence-based ways to increase productivity of this brain-enhancing substance.

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