The Open Nutraceuticals Journal


ISSN: 1876-3960 ― Volume 8, 2015

Effect of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor, In Relation to Diet and Lifestyle Factors, for Prevention of Neuropsychiatric and Vascular Diseases and Diabetes

The Open Nutraceuticals Journal, 2014, 7: 5-14

Ram B. Singh, Toru Takahashi, Miki Tokunaga, Agnieszka Wilczynska, Chee J. Kim, Fabien De Meester, Teodora Handjieva-Darlenska, Sukhinder K. Cheema, Douglas W. Wilson, Branislav Milovanovic, Jan Fedacko, Krasimira Hristova , Hilton Chaves

Halberg Hospital and Research Institute, Civil Lines, Moradabad (UP), India.

Electronic publication date 21/2/2014
[DOI: 10.2174/1876396001407010005]



Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a major neurotrophin which may have promise to be a nutraceutical of this decade. It has a documented role in neurogenesis, angiogenesis, and neuronal survival. BDNF can have beneficial effects on several cardio-metabolic and neuro-psychiatric disorders, indicating that it is important in brainbody interactions. Diet and lifestyle factors may also have an influence on BDNF levels. In this review, we examine the beneficial role of BDNF on risk factors of vascular diseases, type 2 diabetes mellitus and anxiety disorders.


Internet search and discussion with peer colleagues.


Majority of the BDNF (70-80%) is derived from dendrite of neurons but it is also present in other body tissues. BDNF controls the food intake and appetite as well as lipid and glucose metabolism. Sedentary behavior and tobacco intake may be associated with BDNF deficiency. Lower serum concentration of BDNF and higher vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) concentrations were associated with increased risk of incident stroke/TIA. BDNF may serve as an intermediate biomarker for subclinical vascular disease and may also have biological potential to serve as a therapeutic target for primary and secondary prevention of vascular diseases, as well as clinical and subclinical vascular brain disease. BDNF deficiency has been observed in association with anxiety, depression, insomnia, dementia, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and vascular diseases. The phenotypes associated with insulin resistance are at increased risk for developing cognitive decline and neuro-degeneration resulting in vascular dementia, and depression as well as diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome, which are risk factors for CVDs. BDNF may be administered as nutraceutical due to its protective influence on BDNF concentrations, insulin receptors and hypothalamic dysfunction leading to beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk and neuropsychological dysfunction. It is proposed that omega-3 fatty acids and moderate physical activity may enhance BDNF release.


It is possible that circulating BDNF deficiency is a risk factor for obesity, CVDs and diabetes as well as risk factor for neuropsychiatric diseases. BDNF administration may modify the risk of clinical and subclinical stroke, depression, and dementia as well as of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

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