Unlocking Brain Potential: A Deep Dive into BDNF Supplements

BDNF Supplements Guide

October 23, 2023

BDNF supplements are increasingly relevant in a world where staying sharp could mean the difference between nailing a job interview or forgetting your best points. That's where BDNF supplements shine, giving your brain a boost when you need it most. They're part of a larger group of helpers known as nootropics, which are all about giving our gray cells a leg up. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let's take a closer look at what BDNF is and why it's caught the attention of those aiming to keep their thinking cap well-fitted.

Best BDNF Supplement - NooCube

 4.9 / 5 Stars

  • NooCube stands out not just for its unique blend of science-backed ingredients but also for its commitment to cognitive enhancement. It's our top recommendation for those seeking a reliable and effective brain-boosting supplement.
  • Diverse Ingredient Mix: NooCube boasts a stellar lineup, from LuteMax 2020 and Bacopa Monnieri to Pterostilbene, providing a holistic approach to cognitive enhancement.
  • Science-Backed Ingredients: Ingredients like Huperzine A and L-theanine are renowned for their cognitive boosting properties, ensuring NooCube's formulation is evidence-driven.
  • Brain-Health Vitamins: The inclusion of essential vitamins like B1, B7, and B12 ensures vital neural processes are adequately supported, aiding overall brain function.

  • Unique Blend Advantage: The rare combo of oat straw and cat’s claw in NooCube sets it apart, offering potential neuroprotective benefits and added cognitive support.

BDNF Supplement

What is BDNF?

BDNF stands for Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. It's a protein that acts like a fertilizer for our brain cells, helping them grow, survive, and stay active. In simpler terms, it's a big deal for keeping our brains working smoothly. Now, let's break down some of the key roles BDNF plays.

Role in Neurogenesis

Neurogenesis sounds fancy, but it's just a term for the creation of new neurons, or brain cells. BDNF is like a personal trainer for this process, encouraging the birth and development of new neurons. This is crucial because having a steady supply of new neurons is like hitting the refresh button for our brain, which in turn, keeps things running smoothly.

Impact on Memory and Learning

Remember the joy of acing a test or the thrill of quickly picking up a new skill? BDNF is one of the backstage crew making those moments possible. It enhances the structure of our brain cells, making it easier for them to communicate. When our brain cells talk to each other effectively, we learn and remember better. It's like BDNF helps keep the lines of communication open and buzzing, which is exactly what we need when we're tackling new challenges or soaking up new information.

BDNF and Mood Regulation

Ever notice how a good mood can make everything seem easier? There's science behind that, and BDNF is part of it. It has a hand in managing our mood by supporting the function of our brain's happiness center. When BDNF levels are up, it's easier to stay balanced and face life with a positive outlook. So, it's not just about keeping us sharp, but also about keeping our spirits high, which, let’s face it, is equally important in navigating the maze of modern life.

BDNF Molecule

BDNF Molecule

BDNF Supplements

The Science Behind BDNF Supplements

When we study brain health and functionality, one molecule that often emerges in our discussions is BDNF or Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. Picture this: our brain has this fantastic ability to form and reshape its connections throughout our life. It's a bit like a city constantly rerouting its traffic patterns. BDNF plays a major role in this process, known as neuroplasticity[1].

BDNF, in layman's terms, can be thought of as a kind of 'fertilizer' for the brain. It encourages the growth and survival of our brain cells, keeping them healthy and vibrant. But what if we could boost our natural BDNF levels? This is where BDNF supplements come into play[2].

Clinical Trials and Their Outcomes

Many of us, when hearing about a new supplement, immediately wonder, "But does it work? Is there evidence?" Great question! In the case of BDNF supplements, various clinical trials have taken place. Some studies suggest that these supplements can indeed raise BDNF levels in the brain[3]. However, results are not consistent across the board[4]. Some trials showed positive outcomes in memory and learning tasks, while others observed minimal or no noticeable benefits[5].

The Connection between BDNF Supplements and Cognitive Function

Here's the juicy bit! Our brain is a complex machine, and BDNF plays a role in cognitive functions like memory, learning, and mood regulation[6]. When BDNF levels are optimal, our cognitive abilities tend to function better. Think of it like oiling a squeaky wheel. BDNF supplements aim to boost these levels, potentially leading to enhanced cognitive functions. However, while the science is promising, it's essential to approach with a pinch of salt and understand that it's still a burgeoning field of research[7].

Safety and Efficacy

Alright, time for the biggie: "Are these supplements safe?" As of now, BDNF supplements appear to be safe for most people when taken in recommended doses[8]. However, like with any supplement, potential side effects or interactions can occur, especially if you're on other medications.

Types of BDNF Supplements

Synthetic vs Natural Supplements

There are two main supplement categories we typically look at: synthetic and natural.

Synthetic supplements are man-made, crafted in labs using, well, science magic[9]. They are tailored to mimic the effects of natural BDNF in our bodies. On the flip side, natural supplements are derived from plants, herbs, or other organic sources that inherently boost BDNF levels[10]. Imagine plucking the goodness straight from Mother Nature’s basket! Both have their pros and cons, so it's essential to consider what aligns best with your preferences and body's needs.

Common Ingredients in BDNF Supplements

Key ingredients in the BDNF boosting game include:

  1. Turmeric (Curcumin): Not just for your favorite curry! This golden spice has shown promise in increasing BDNF levels[11].
  2. Green Tea Extract: It's like having your tea and boosting your brain, too! Green tea contains a compound called EGCG, which can elevate BDNF[12].
  3. Fish Oil: Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil, especially DHA, are not only good for the heart but also play a role in brain health and BDNF production[13].
  4. Lion's Mane Mushroom: Beyond its cool name, this mushroom is believed to have neuroprotective properties that can aid in BDNF synthesis[14].

Formulations: Pills, Powders, and Liquids

Let's talk shop about how you might be swallowing, mixing, or maybe even sipping these supplements!

  • Pills: The classic and convenient route. Pop one with water, and you're good to go. Great for those of us on the move[15].
  • Powders: A bit more versatile. Blend it in your morning smoothie or sprinkle it on your cereal. The world (or at least your kitchen) is your oyster!
  • Liquids: Drops, tinctures, or even drinks. These can be quickly absorbed and might be a go-to for those who aren't big fans of swallowing pills[16].
BDNF Supplement


4.9 / 5

After months of diving deep into the world of nootropics and BDNF boosters, we personally tested NooCube and found it to be a game-changer. From the get-go, there was a noticeable uptick in our cognitive function. Tasks that once seemed to drain our mental energy suddenly became more manageable. Focus was sharper, and that dreaded afternoon mental fog? Considerably reduced. It wasn't just a placebo effect either; our team genuinely felt more mentally agile and ready to tackle tasks that would have otherwise been daunting.

But what's behind this heightened state of cognition? The answer lies in NooCube's meticulously crafted ingredient profile. Each component, from Bacopa Monnieri, known for its memory-enhancing properties, to L-theanine, which has been shown to promote relaxation without drowsiness, works synergistically to enhance brain function. The inclusion of vitamins like B12 provides the necessary support for the neural processes, while unique additions like oat straw and cat's claw might offer neuroprotective benefits.

In the context of our wider exploration into BDNF and its significance in brain health, NooCube exemplifies how a supplement can potentially influence and boost BDNF levels, promoting overall cognitive health. The ingredients present in NooCube not only align with the science we've delved into throughout our BDNF series but also resonate with our firsthand experiences. It's one thing to read about the science, but experiencing it brings a whole new level of conviction. In the crowded market of nootropics, NooCube stands as a testament to what a well-researched, quality supplement can achieve.

Top Recommended BDNF Supplements

Criteria for Selection

Before we roll out the red carpet and introduce you to the top recommended BDNF supplements, let's take a step back. When you're selecting the movie of the year (or in this case, the supplement of the year), you've got to have some robust criteria. Let's break down what we kept an eye out for:


First and foremost, we don't want any unexpected plot twists. A supplement's safety profile is paramount. We dove deep into scientific journals and studies to ensure that our recommendations have minimal side effects and interact safely with other medications[17].


The proof is in the pudding, or should we say, the pill? We wanted to ensure that the supplements actually deliver on their promise. This means boosting BDNF levels and improving cognitive functions[18].

Brand Reputation

In the world of supplements, not all brands are created equal. We've sifted through user reviews, industry accolades, and the history of brands to ensure that they have a track record of being trustworthy and reliable[19].


We get it, not all of us are swimming in gold coins like Scrooge McDuck. Cost matters. While we never want to compromise on quality, we aimed to find supplements that offer value for money[20].

BDNF Supplement




4.9 / 5 Stars

  • Boosts cognition and energy.
  • BDNF-linked mood and focus enhancement.
  • Comprehensive ingredient profile.
Best BDNF Supplement



4.6 / 5 Stars

  • Strengthens cognitive performance.
  • BDNF-aided sharpness.
  • Clinically proven ingredients
BDNF Brain Supplements




4.5 / 5 Stars

  • Improves performance under pressure.
  • Optimizes brain via BDNF.
  • Balanced ingredient profile

Benefits and Risks

Potential Benefits

Cognitive Enhancement

Ever had those days when your brain feels like it's stuck in molasses? BDNF supplements might be that little push to get the gears grinding smoothly. Numerous studies have indicated that increased BDNF levels can promote better memory, sharper focus, and even faster processing speeds[21]. It's kind of like giving your brain a mini-tune-up. Imagine revving up that intellectual engine and taking it for a spin!

Mood Improvement

Life can sometimes throw curveballs, making it hard to stay in high spirits. That's where BDNF can play a role. By regulating neurotransmitters and enhancing neural plasticity, BDNF can potentially help in lifting the mood and combating feelings of stress or anxiety[22]. Think of it as adding a bit of sunshine on a cloudy day!

Neuroprotective Properties

Our brain, as remarkable as it is, can be vulnerable to various external factors, be it aging or environmental toxins. BDNF supplements are believed to arm our brain with a protective shield, preserving its structure and function[23]. It's kind of like giving our brain its very own knight in shining armor!

How to Optimize BDNF Levels Naturally

Lifestyle Modifications


First things first - moving and shaking that body! While you're flexing those muscles, you're also pampering your brain. Aerobic exercises, such as jogging, cycling, or even dancing, are a treat for BDNF levels1. Regular exercise increases blood flow, enriching the brain with essential nutrients, which in turn promotes BDNF production[24]. So, when you're thinking of skipping that morning jog, remember: it's not just about the waistline; it's about nurturing that beautiful brain of yours!


Now, on to the fun part – chowing down! Your dietary choices play a critical role in BDNF levels. Omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, anyone?) and flavonoids (hello, dark chocolate and blueberries) are your brain's BFFs[25]. But wait, there’s more! Curcumin, found in turmeric, and resveratrol, found in grapes, are also linked to BDNF boosts[26]. Pair these with the brain-loving properties of green tea's EGCG[27], and you're setting up a gourmet table for your neurons. Bon appétit!

Stress Management

Let's tackle the elephant in the room: stress. While short bursts of stress can be motivating, chronic stress? Not so much. It has a knack for dampening BDNF levels. Practices like yoga, meditation, and tai chi aren’t just fads – they're scientifically backed stress busters[28]. Plus, journaling or simply finding time for hobbies can also be a haven from daily stressors[29]. So, whether it’s painting, singing, or just gazing at the stars, find your zen and let your brain bask in that BDNF boost.

Other Natural Boosters


Sleep - it's that underrated power-up button we often neglect. Remember those times you woke up feeling like a superhero after a fantastic night's sleep? There's a science behind it. While our bodies rest, our brains are in overdrive, busily repairing and rejuvenating[30]. By maintaining a solid sleep routine, we don’t just wake up feeling refreshed; we’re actively boosting our BDNF levels, which is a vital factor for memory consolidation and cognitive functions[31]. Think of it as hitting the refresh button on your browser, but for your brain. So, folks, those eight hours aren’t just beneficial for your energy levels, but they're an investment in your cerebral future. Get that shut-eye!

Mindfulness and Meditation

Now, let's dive into the calming world of mindfulness and meditation. To some, it might feel like sitting on the floor and, well... doing nothing. But in that 'nothingness,' there’s an entire universe of benefits! Incorporating mindfulness practices into our routines can be an oasis of serenity in this hustle and bustle[32]. Meditative states have been shown to elevate BDNF levels, reduce the stress hormone cortisol, and even fortify our emotional resilience[33]. The best part? You don't need to be a monk in the Himalayas to reap the benefits. Just a few minutes daily can work wonders. Imagine the brain gains!

Herbal Remedies

Our world is lush with botanical wonders, many of which are stellar allies for brain health.

  • Ginkgo Biloba: This isn't just a herb with a cool name. Hailing from ancient Chinese medicine, Ginkgo is celebrated for its prowess in boosting blood circulation to the brain and, crucially, enhancing BDNF[34].

  • Bacopa Monnieri: This isn't your everyday garden herb. With roots deep in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, Bacopa has been recognized for its profound cognitive benefits, and recent research supports its potential to increase BDNF[35].

  • Ashwagandha: Another jewel from the Ayurvedic treasure trove, Ashwagandha has been in the spotlight for its adaptogenic traits and potential in bolstering BDNF levels[36]. But that’s not all; its stress-relieving properties make it a double whammy for brain health.

  • Turmeric: Here’s a golden spice that’s more than just a kitchen essential. Curcumin, the active component in turmeric, has shown promise in neuroprotection and possibly enhancing BDNF[37]. So, adding a pinch of it to your meals might just sprinkle some brain-loving magic too.

Known Risks and Side Effects

Interaction with Other Medications

Mixing things can sometimes be fun - like peanut butter and jelly or movies and popcorn. But when it comes to meds, the story can change. Some BDNF supplements might interact with other medications, potentially reducing their efficacy or causing unforeseen side effects[38]. Always, and we mean ALWAYS, give your doc a heads up before mixing and matching.

Long-term Effects

While BDNF supplements show promise, there's still a lot we're trying to understand, especially regarding long-term usage. Some studies hint at potential downsides if taken for extended periods[39]. It's kind of like staying at a party too long; sometimes, it's best to leave while you're still having fun. Keep an eye on research updates and check in with a healthcare professional.


Just because something is beneficial for many doesn't mean it's a universal fit. There are specific scenarios or conditions where BDNF supplements might not be the best choice[40]. For instance, if you've got certain health conditions or are pregnant, it might be a good idea to steer clear until more research is in. Always best to err on the side of caution!

Neuroprotective Properties

Our brain, as remarkable as it is, can be vulnerable to various external factors, be it aging or environmental toxins. BDNF supplements are believed to arm our brain with a protective shield, preserving its structure and function[41]. It's kind of like giving our brain its very own knight in shining armor!

Conclusion: Summing Up the BDNF Supplement Landscape

Throughout our in-depth exploration, we've covered the multifaceted world of BDNF, from understanding its natural boosters to assessing its potential risks. But now, as we reach the endpoint of our journey, it's time to synthesize our findings and give you, our reader, a clear recommendation.

The science behind BDNF has shown its potential in cognitive enhancement, mood regulation, and offering neuroprotective properties. Naturally optimizing BDNF levels can be achieved through several avenues like exercise, diet, stress management, quality sleep, mindfulness, and even certain herbal remedies. Each path has its unique benefits, and together they weave a holistic approach to brain health.

However, for those seeking an effective supplement to bolster their BDNF levels and reap its cognitive rewards, the marketplace is crowded, and the choices can be overwhelming. Amidst this backdrop, one supplement consistently garnered our attention for its comprehensive formula and evidence-backed efficacy: NooCube.

Here's a quick rundown on why NooCube stood out:

  1. Comprehensive Ingredient List: With ingredients like LuteMax 2020, Bacopa Monnieri, Huperzine A, Pterostilbene, and Resveratrol, it encompasses a broad spectrum of nootropic ingredients that are known to be beneficial for brain health.
  2. Safety and Efficacy: The inclusion of L-theanine, L-tyrosine, Alpha GPC, and essential vitamins like B1, B7, and B12 ensures that it's not just potent but also safe for consumption.
  3. Unique Additions: The presence of oat straw and cat's claw adds a distinctive touch, further setting NooCube apart from its competitors.

While there are various ways to enhance and protect our brain's capabilities, a comprehensive approach that includes lifestyle adjustments coupled with a quality supplement like NooCube is a recipe for success. 

BDNF Supplement




4.9 / 5 Stars

  • Boosts cognition and energy.
  • BDNF-linked mood and focus enhancement.
  • Comprehensive ingredient profile.
Best BDNF Supplement



4.6 / 5 Stars

  • Strengthens cognitive performance.
  • BDNF-aided sharpness.
  • Clinically proven ingredients
BDNF Brain Supplements




4.5 / 5 Stars

  • Improves performance under pressure.
  • Optimizes brain via BDNF.
  • Balanced ingredient profile


Do nootropics work?

Many nootropic ingredients and formulations have been shown to improve attention, memory, and learning, while others may promote relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety. For example, caffeine is a commonly used nootropic that can increase alertness and reduce fatigue, while L-Theanine, an amino acid found in tea leaves, has been shown to promote relaxation and reduce stress.

Are nootropics safe?

Nootropics that contain natural ingredients and have undergone clinical testing are generally considered safe when used properly. It is important to follow recommended dosages and to avoid taking more than the recommended amount. It's also worth being aware of any potential side effects and if necessary consult with your doctor if you have any underlying medical conditions.

What should I expect from a nootropic?

When taking a nootropic supplement, you should expect to experience some improvement in cognitive function, such as enhanced memory, concentration, and mental clarity. The effects of a nootropic will vary depending on the specific ingredients and dosage of the supplement, as well as individual factors such as age, overall health, and your lifestyle.

Which nootropic should I buy?

Popular nootropic supplements include NooCube, Mind Lab Pro, and Vyvamind. NooCube contains a blend of ingredients that may improve memory, focus, and overall cognitive function. Mind Lab Pro is designed to support brain health and cognitive performance through a variety of ingredients, including vitamins, minerals, and plant-based compounds. Vyvamind is a premium nootropic supplement that focuses almost exlcusively on cognitive function and mental performance. Read DBEM's guide to nootropics to see how the leading nootropic brands compare.


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