Brain Performance: 8 Blood Biomarkers
By Dan Garner
There are many blood markers that have been associated with brain performance and cognitive function. Here's what you need to know about some of the most well-researched options:
1. Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)
BDNF is a protein that helps to support the growth and survival of neurons in the brain. Studies have shown that higher levels of BDNF in the blood are associated with better cognitive function, memory, and learning.
2. C-Reactive Protein (CRP)
CRP is a marker of inflammation in the body, and high levels have been associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
Homocysteine is an amino acid that is naturally produced by the body. However, high levels of homocysteine have been linked to an increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
Glucose is the primary source of energy for the brain, and maintaining stable blood glucose levels is important for optimal cognitive function. Both low and high readings are not ideal.
5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that are important for brain health. Studies have shown that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood are associated with better cognitive function and a reduced risk of cognitive decline.
6. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is important for the proper functioning of the nervous system, and low levels of vitamin B12 have been associated with cognitive decline and dementia.
7. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1)
IGF-1 is a hormone that is important for the growth and development of the brain. Studies have shown that higher levels of IGF-1 in the blood are associated with better cognitive function.
Cortisol is a hormone that is released in response to stress. Studies have shown that high levels of cortisol in the blood are associated with poorer cognitive function and an increased risk of cognitive decline.
The above list alone will provide you tremendous insight from many different angles toward both the current state of your brain and what actions you can take to improve it.