How to increase Brain derived neurotrophic factor

If you want to remain sharp, have good memory and focus – you need to have optimal BDNF levels (Brain derived neurotrophic factor). This is why you want to learn how to increase BDNF.

The good news is you can do this easily. I will share with you what these ways are, some of which you are probably doing already.

What is BDNF and What Does it Do?

  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) is a gene-related protein that promotes the growth of synapses and neurons in the brain. It is a signalling protein found in the brain and produced by the BDNF gene. BDNF supports the survival, growth, and development of neurons.
  • BDNF also protects existing synapses and neurons.
  • During stress, such as fasting and exercise, BDNF levels increase; the body senses the stress and produces more BDNF.
  • It is part of the family of nootropic growth hormones, similar to nerve growth factors. These growth factors are secreted proteins that signal specific cells to divide and grow. Known as neurotrophic factors, they prevent neurons from undergoing cell death.
  • BDNF is found in various parts of the brain, including the hippocampus, cortex, cerebellum, and basal forebrain, These are associated with learning, memory, and higher cognitive abilities.
  • Functions of BDNF include nootropic benefits; patients with Alzheimer’s disease have lower levels of BDNF.
  • The rate at which one learns something can depend on BDNF levels.

Hippocampus and BDNF

  • The hippocampus is crucial for encoding and learning new information.
  • Weak synaptic signals in the hippocampus mean difficulties in learning new things and forming new memories.
  • Low BDNF impairs long-term potentiation (LTP), LTP is required to strengthen synaptic connections. Therefore low BDNF reduces the connections between neurons.

BDNF and Long-Term Memory

  • Long-term memories span days, weeks, and lifetimes, while short-term memories last hours.
  • Consolidation, the process of forming long-term memories, occurs mainly in the hippocampus and requires BDNF.
  • Motor skills and other types of memory are controlled by different brain parts:
    • Cerebral cortex for muscles
    • Basal ganglia for voluntary movements
    • Cerebellum for fine-tuning muscle movements
    • Motor cortex for voluntary muscle movement

BDNF and Synapses

The better your synapses function the faster you will be able to deal with life and learning new things.

  • BDNF improves synaptic plasticity and forms new synapses between neurons.
  • BDNF enhances signal strength between neurons and increases the number of connections between neurons.
  • Improved BDNF levels lead to clearer thoughts and better information connectivity, contributing to the plasticity observed in children.


  • Exercise. HIIT training is especially powerful.
  • Fasting
  • Lower body fat
  • DHA fatty acids
  • NIACIN (Vitamin B3)
  • Coffee
  • Sunlight
  • Novelty – do something different.

Herbs That Increase BDNF

  • Ashwaghanda
  • Bocopa Monnieri
  • Ginseng
  • Gotu Kola
  • L-Theanine
  • Magnesium Threonate
  • NAC
  • Noopept
  • Rhodiola Rosea
  • Pterosilbine
  • Resveratol
  • Tumeric

The Following Lower BDNF

  • Sugar
  • Stress
  • processed food