The Miracle For Your Brain That You’ve Been Looking For

BDNF The Miracle For Your Brain

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, is a protein that plays a crucial role in the growth, survival, development, and proper functioning of neurons. There has been a lot of buzz in the health and wellness world around BDNF, and for good reason. One of the most important functions of BDNF is its role in promoting neuroplasticity. This is the brain’s ability to adapt and change in response to experience. The best part is; You can actually boost the production of this powerhouse protein. 

The Role of BDNF In The Body

Neurotrophic factors, like BDNF, are a family of growth factors that are secreted by tissues throughout the body. When released, they act as communicators, signaling cells to live, grow and differentiate into more specific cells. It actually has the power to protect cells from going through a biological process called apoptosis, or cell death. BDNF is not only instrumental in the survival of cells, it is also responsible for building and maintaining important brain and neural cells throughout the nervous system. In fact, all neural cells can be affected by BDNF.  


BDNF plays a key role in this process by promoting the growth and strengthening of synapses between neurons. This allows the brain to learn and remember new information, as well as to adapt to changes in the environment.

BDNF is produced by a variety of different cell types in the brain, including neurons, astrocytes, and microglia. It is also found in other tissues throughout the body, such as the heart, lungs, and skeletal muscles. BDNF is involved in many different processes in the brain, including the growth and survival of neurons, the formation of new synapses, and the modulation of synaptic plasticity.


BDNF is also involved in the regulation of mood and emotion. Studies have shown that low levels of BDNF are associated with an increased risk of depression and other mood disorders. Conversely, increasing BDNF levels through exercise or other means has been shown to have a positive effect on mood and cognitive function. 

In addition to its role in the brain, BDNF is also important for the health of other tissues throughout the body. For example, it has been shown to promote the growth and survival of cardiac muscle cells and to play a role in the regulation of glucose metabolism.

Boosting BDNF

If you are struggling with brain fog or other neurological issues, working to boost BDNF can be life-changing. Being stuck in the fog can significantly impact how we respond to our environment and those around us, making it difficult to be in control of our thoughts. This is why doing things daily to boost your BDNF can make such a tremendous difference. Supporting the adrenals and working toward blood sugar balance are two ways you can support BDNF production. Let’s also take a look at some of the other ways you can boost BDNF: 


In addition to supporting your body, some protocols can also stimulate the production of this growth factor. One of the most profound is HIIT exercise, which has been clinically proven to boost BDNF production. However, if you remember, supporting your adrenals is also vital. There is a delicate balance. 

Your body triggers the production of cortisol directly in proportion to the intensity of the workout. Too much cortisol in the bloodstream is not only counterproductive, it taxes the adrenal glands. Overstimulating and overtaxing the adrenal glands actually hinders BDNF, whereas healthy cortisol levels support production. Keeping the intensity of the workout in the more moderate range proves to be more beneficial and effective. This is especially true if you are in the process of healing. How does one do this? Keeping your heart rate in range is key. We recommend 180 minus your age as a ‘safe’ range during exercise. This builds stamina slowly and safely without taxing the adrenals and dumping large amounts of cortisol into the bloodstream. 

HIIT workouts are designed to be shorter in length. Even 10-20 minutes of moderate exercise can significantly increase BDNF production. Some of our beginners even start in the 7-9 minute range and work their way up. The goal is muscle contraction as this is the main way this protein is released into the body. This can significantly improve mental clarity, memory, and brain fog symptoms. 

Vitamin D 

The sunshine vitamin is not only important for immune function and modulation, but it is also important for BDNF production. Being out in the sun every day not only helps support the body’s natural circadian rhythms, it also helps naturally boost your vitamin D levels. Both support the production of BDNF. Remember, optimal vitamin D levels are 60-80. If you are below this range, supplementation with a quality D3/K2 supplement can be beneficial. However, if you are unsure of your current level, you can check it with a simple blood test. We do recommend monitoring during any type of supplementation. 

Intermittent Fasting & Ketosis 

At F8, we never recommend a specific diet. However, if you are monitoring your blood sugar, intermittent fasting, and ketosis can also yield some very positive results when it comes to BDNF production. However, this approach is not recommended for everyone. If your blood sugar is crashing, intermittent fasting can be detrimental. Make sure to monitor your blood sugar to ensure that you are remaining stable with any dietary change. Blood sugar should be in range (85-110) and remain in range during any type of fasting, or again…you are taxing the adrenals. 

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Overall, BDNF is a crucial protein for the growth, development, and maintenance of nerve cells in the brain, as well as for the regulation of mood and emotion. Understanding how you can stimulate BDNF while also preserving adrenal health and blood sugar balance is key. If you would like to take a deeper look at BDNF, you can check out Michelle’s book, Interval Train For A Healthy Brain:

In her book, Michelle extensively covers not only the benefits of BDNF and its impact on her own health journey. We now incorporate her program, MindCore, into every treatment plan here at F8. If you’d like to learn more about that process, schedule a call with our team today

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