20 Nutrient Deficiencies That Can Make You Depressed

Being depressed doesn’t mean you’re weak.

It’s not a defect in your personality. 

As I’m sure you know, it’s often caused by physiological changes in your body and brain.

So you need to think of it like any other illness. 

If you have a broken bone, you need to wear a cast to stabilize the bone while it heals. 

And if you have depression, you need to be kind to yourself, as you seek and address the underlying root causes. 

The good news is that you’re not powerless. 

I used to think that I’d be depressed forever.

That my depression was simply genetic, and I couldn’t do anything about it. 

In fact, I accepted that notion for a while.

I felt defeated and hopeless, and thought I'd feel that way for my entire life.

I told myself I’d simply have to rely on drugs to survive because that’s just “how I’m wired”. 

But then one day, I changed my mind and decided that I’d had enough. 

And I was actually going to get to the bottom of it instead of just accepting it.

I took action and searched far and wide for safer and healthier solutions to deal with my depression.

I came across research that wasn’t even considered by my psychiatrist.

Therapies that they said wouldn’t work.

But then they did.

And I overcome my depression for good. 

One of my most important discoveries was that nutrient deficiencies can make your depression worse. 

And they could even be the root cause of it. 

It made so much sense.

But why hadn’t my doctors ever brought it up?

I delved deeper into the scientific literature, and I found MANY nutrient deficiencies that can contribute to depression.

I started increasing my intake of them.

And I got better.

Much better.

This new post includes 20 nutrient deficiencies that could be making you feel depressed.

It boggles my mind that many conventional psychiatrists ignore this research.

But that doesn’t mean you need to. 

Read on to learn more. 

Depressed woman holds her forehead and wonders what nutrients she’s deficient in.

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3s fatty acids are the highest quality fats for the brain and increasing your intake of them is one of the most impactful actions you can take to fight depression.

Several studies have shown that depressive patients have lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids (1-3).

Researchers even conducted a meta-analysis of 14 studies, and they found that levels of omega-3 fatty acids were significantly lower in people with depression (4). 

They concluded that having a deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids is a “contributing factor to mood disorders” (5). 

It’s important to consume enough omega-3 fatty acids because they are essential fats that your body cannot produce itself.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found primarily in cold water fish, including:

Piece of cooked salmon on a plate. This salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids that can help fight depression.
  • Salmon

  • Black cod

  • Sablefish

  • Sardines

  • Herring

These foods are included in my Free Grocery Shopping Guide for Optimal Mental Health.

Unfortunately, most people don't consume enough omega-3 fatty acids through their diet.

That’s why I recommend supplementing with krill oil, a special kind of fish oil that contains the essential omega-3 fatty acids

I take this one.

I feel more depressed when I stop taking it. I actually notice the difference.

This isn’t surprising because plenty of research shows that omega-3 supplements are effective at treating clinical depression – just as effective as antidepressants drugs – because they lower inflammation in the brain (6-10). 

2. Vitamin B12

Lack of understanding of B12 is one of the greatest tragedies of modern medicine.
— Dr. James Greenblatt, Integrative Psychiatrist

Having sufficient levels of Vitamin B12 is necessary for optimal brain and mental health.  

Unfortunately, a deficiency is very common, especially in older individuals and vegetarians and vegans.

And even if you eat meat and you’re young, you may still have a deficiency. 

Poor gut health and even psychiatric medications can cause a deficiency.

In fact, it’s estimated that almost 40% of Americans are deficient today.

Numerous studies have shown that having a deficiency in Vitamin B12 leads to symptoms of depression (16-22). 

And B12 levels tend to be significantly lower in people who are depressed (13). 

In one study, subjects with Vitamin B12 deficiency were 2 times as likely to be severely depressed as non-deficient subjects (15). 

Even a mild decrease in B12 levels is associated with mood disturbances (14). 

Luckily, there are steps you can take to make sure you’re not deficient. 

Vitamin B12 is found primarily in animal foods, and beef liver is an excellent source. I take these beef liver capsules because I don’t like the taste of liver.

You may also want to supplement with Vitamin B12 because studies show that B12 supplementation significantly lowers homocysteine levels and reduces depressive symptoms (23-24). 

If you decide to supplement, avoid the semisynthetic version of B12 (cyanocobalamin) and instead take the methylated form (methylcobalamin or methyl-B12). 

Methyl-B12 is better absorbed and more biologically active.

3. Vitamin D (and Vitamin K2)

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that your skin synthesizes when exposed to the sun.

Every tissue in your body has Vitamin D receptors, including the brain, so a deficiency can lead to costly physiological and psychological consequences, including depression.

Researchers have found a very strong link between Vitamin D deficiency and depression (27-28). 

The lower your Vitamin D levels, the more symptoms of depression you are likely to have (35). 

Unfortunately, reports indicate that Vitamin D deficiency is widespread and a major health problem globally (25). 

Sunlight shining through trees in a forest. Sunlight gives us Vitamin D, one of the main nutrient deficiencies that can cause depression.

Researchers estimate that 50 percent of the general population is at risk of Vitamin D deficiency (26). 

It’s best to get your Vitamin D by going outside and getting sunlight.

It’s especially important to make sure you get some sunlight in the morning to set your circadian rhythm. 

But most people still don’t get enough Vitamin D from the sun, especially during the winter.

That’s why I recommend using a Vitamin D lamp. I use this one.

Or you can take a Vitamin D supplement

I now prefer sunlight and the lamp to get my Vitamin D, but research does show that taking a Vitamin D3 supplement is effective at reducing symptoms of depression and seasonal affective disorder (29-31). 

This is likely because Vitamin D increases the production of numerous neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine (32-34). 

Lastly, if you decide to supplement with Vitamin D3, you should consider taking it with Vitamin K2

A recent study found that Vitamin K2 reduces depression in animals (36). 

And Vitamin K2 is known to improve brain function in humans (37-38). 

4. Magnesium

Magnesium is a vital mineral that participates in more than 300 biochemical reactions in your body.

Unfortunately, a lot of people are deficient in magnesium today.  

This is a shame because magnesium is absolutely essential for the proper functioning of your nervous system and optimal neurotransmitter activity. 

Research shows that low magnesium levels contribute and worsen many neuropsychiatric problems, including depression (42). 

In fact, researchers have found that people with depression have lower magnesium levels than healthy people (49). 

They’ve also found a significant association between very low magnesium intake and depression (43). 

On top of this, animal research shows that removing magnesium from their diet results in depressive-like symptoms (50). 

So if you’re struggling with depression, it’s very important to make sure you’re getting enough magnesium so that you don’t have a deficiency.

Luckily, there are a number of ways to do this. 

First, make sure you’re eating magnesium-rich foods on a regular basis, including:

These foods are included in my Free Grocery Shopping Guide for Optimal Mental Health.

Epsom salt baths are another great way to increase your body’s intake of magnesium

I also highly recommend a high-quality supplement that includes magnesium.

A number of studies have concluded that magnesium supplementation can reduce depressive symptoms in humans – sometimes within 7 days (44-48). 

Since most people are deficient, magnesium is one of the three supplements that I think everyone should be taking.

5. Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral for mental health.

Like magnesium, it plays a key role in neurotransmission and nervous system functioning.

Mounting evidence suggests a link between zinc deficiency and the development and severity of depression (66-68, 76).  

Depressed patients tend to have lower levels of zinc. And as their zinc levels drop, their depressive symptoms get worse (81-84). 

An image of zinc-rich foods, including pumpkin seeds of cashews. Zinc is one mineral that can help fight depression. Many people with depression often have low levels of zinc.

Unfortunately, it’s estimated that 2 billion people in the world are deficient in zinc, and several studies show that even subclinical deficiency of zinc impairs brain function in children and adults (63-65). 

So, if you struggle with depression, it’s quite possible that you’re deficient, and you’ll definitely want to optimize your zinc levels. 

Some of the best food sources of zinc include:

These foods are included in my Free Grocery Shopping Guide for Optimal Brain and Mental Health.

However, if you’re deficient like I was, I recommend taking a high-quality zinc supplement, at least for a short period of time. 

A meta-analysis and several studies have concluded that zinc supplementation has antidepressant effects and significantly reduces symptoms of depression. One way it improves mood is by significantly increasing BDNF levels (69-75, 77-80).

I created and take the Optimal Zinc supplement to make sure my zinc levels are optimal. 

Check out my previous post all about zinc if you’re interested in discovering more steps you can take to increase your zinc levels.

Click here to subscribe

6. Folate

Folate (Vitamin B9) is an essential B vitamin that plays a key role in methylation, one of the most important processes in your body and brain for optimal energy and nervous system function.

Researchers have found that if you are depressed, you likely have lower levels of folate circulating in your blood, and people with low blood folate are at greater risk for developing depression (55-56). 

Good dietary sources of natural folate include: 

  • Leafy greens

  • Asparagus

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Strawberries

  • Avocado

  • Beef liver

  • Poultry

These foods are included in my Free Grocery Shopping Guide for Optimal Brain and Mental Health.

However, eating folate-rich foods sometimes isn’t enough. In fact, many people do not get enough folate from food because cooking and food processing destroy natural folates (54).

And supplementation is often needed. 

If you decide to supplement with folate, avoid synthetic folic acid, which is commonly found in standard multivitamins. Instead, you should take a biologically active form of folate (methylfolate or 5-MTHF). 

Methylfolate supplements are almost seven times more effective than synthetic folic acid at increasing folate levels. Regular synthetic folic acid has been shown to be quickly cleared from the central nervous system and poorly transported into the brain (51-53). 

On top of this, many people have genetic mutations in the enzyme that converts folic acid into methylfolate in the body. Therefore, folic acid is a waste and can actually cause harm if you have this genetic mutation.

And the research backs up the use of methylfolate.

In one study, patients with depression took methylfolate for 6 months, and they witnessed a significant improvement in their depressive symptoms (57). 

Researchers have even suggested that folate supplementation should be a first-line treatment for depression (58). 

Methylfolate can be effective at treating depression because it helps lower homocysteine levels, helps produce serotonin and dopamine, and stimulates serotonin receptors in the brain (59-62). 

Methylfolate is included in this B vitamin complex that I take regularly. Or you can take it separately if you’d like. 

7. Vitamin B6

Having a deficiency in Vitamin B6 can also contribute to your depression.

It’s a key nutrient that supports your entire nervous system.

It can boost your mood because it plays a key role in the production of neurotransmitters in your brain, including serotonin and dopamine. It also lowers homocysteine

Research shows that people with depressive symptoms tend to have low levels of Vitamin B6 (85-87). 

A Vitamin B6 deficiency also contributes to chronic inflammation, which is one of the main underlying root causes of depression (88). 

A bunch of foods rich in Vitamin B6, including chicken, beef, bananas and potatoes. Vitamin B6 is one nutrient that can help you overcome depression.

Fortunately, consuming more Vitamin B6 can help. 

One study found that women that eat more foods containing Vitamin B6 have a lower risk of depression (89). 

Some of the best food sources of Vitamin B6 include potatoes, bananas and chicken. 

But supplementation is often necessary to see quick improvements. 

One study found that supplementing with Vitamin B6 can reduce depressive symptoms by lowering homocysteine levels (90). 

When I took antidepressants for depression, multiple functional and integrative doctors suggested I supplement with Vitamin B6.

This is because these medications can actually further deplete Vitamin B6, increasing depression in the long run. 

Vitamin B6 is included in the Optimal Zinc supplement.

8. Vitamin C

Having low levels of Vitamin C can also make you feel depressed.

Researchers have found that poor Vitamin C status is associated with increased symptoms of depression (105). 

Animal research also shows that a Vitamin C deficiency can lead to low levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, which causes mice to act depressed (106-107). 

As you probably know, Vitamin C can be found in foods such as peppers, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, tomatoes, and berries. These foods are included in my Free Grocery Shopping Guide for Optimal Mental Health.

In addition to getting Vitamin C from fruits and vegetables, I take at least 500 grams of this Vitamin C every day. 

I’ve experimented with taking up to 10 grams daily, and it definitely improved my mood and reduced my stress levels, especially when I was coming off antidepressants

Research backs this up, showing that supplementing with Vitamin C can actually improve mood in both unhealthy and healthy individuals (95, 102-103). 

Various other studies show that Vitamin C supplements reduce stress and anxiety and decrease the severity of depression (96-101, 104).

Studies even show that Vitamin C can increase the effectiveness of antidepressants (108-109). 

9. Thiamine

Thiamine, also known as Vitamin B1, is an essential water-soluble nutrient that cannot be made by the body. 

It’s used in nearly every cell in the body and especially important for supporting energy levels.

It’s also required by nerve cells and other supporting cells in the nervous system (167). 

Research shows that lower levels of Vitamin B1 are associated with a higher prevalence of depressive symptoms (168).

Vitamin B1 deficiency is also known to lead to irritability and symptoms of depression (170). 

Some doctors and researchers believe that postpartum depression is sometimes simply a Vitamin B1 deficiency (169). 

Luckily, consuming more Vitamin B1 can help.

An assorted mix of nuts. Nuts are a rich source of thiamine, or Vitamin B1. People with depression often have low levels of Vitamin B1.

A randomized, double-blind clinical trial found that Vitamin B1 supplementation reduces symptoms of depression within 6 weeks (171). 

And another concluded that Vitamin B1 supplementation improves mood, reduces brain fog, and speeds up reaction time (172).

In fact, researchers have even found that subjects’ mood improves if the amount of Vitamin B1 in their blood increases, and that the opposite occurs if the amount of Vitamin B1 in their blood decreases (173). 

Healthy food sources of Vitamin B1 include green peas, beef liver, asparagus, pecans, spinach, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, oranges, cantaloupe and eggs. 

These foods are included in my Free Grocery Shopping Guide for Optimal Mental Health.

10. Carnitine

Carnitine is an amino acid found in nearly every cell of the body. It plays a vital role in the production of energy.

Researchers have found significantly lower levels of carnitine in patients with depression. And their low carnitine levels are associated with the severity of their depression (11-12, 174-175). 

Carnitine is mainly found in meat, fish and poultry.

But you can also supplement with it. 

I recommend Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR), an acetylated form of carnitine. It’s best supplemental form of carnitine. 

It’s often used as a natural brain booster because it increases alertness and provides support to brain cells.

But it’s also been shown to be very effective at quickly improving mood and treating depression (179-182). 

Six randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that ALCAR is better at treating depression than placebo (177). 

And two other studies found that ALCAR improved depressive symptoms in patients with chronic depression, and it was just as effective as antidepressant medications, but with less side effects (176, 178). 

ALCAR is included in the Optimal Brain supplement

Click here to subscribe

11. Iron

Iron is a trace mineral found in every living cell in our bodies.

It carries oxygen to all parts of your body, and low levels can leave you feeling tired, pale, irritable and foggy

Sounds like depression doesn’t it?

Several studies show that iron deficiency increases the risk of developing depression and increases the severity of depression (184-186, 188-190). 

A spoonful of spirulina. Spirulina is rich in iron. Iron is one nutrient deficiency that can cause depression.

Researchers have also conducted a meta-analysis and found that high iron intake reduces the chance of developing depression (183). 

In one study, iron supplementation resulted in a 25% improvement in depressive symptoms (187). 

Despite this, I don’t actually recommend supplementing with iron though because some research suggests that too much iron can cause health problems.

It’s definitely preferable to get your iron from food. 

I make sure I get enough iron simply by taking these grass-fed beef liver capsules.

Beef liver is one of the best sources of iron, but I don’t like the taste, so I go with the capsules. You can get them here or here.

Other good sources of iron include:

These foods are included in my Free Grocery Shopping Guide for Optimal Mental Health.

12. Selenium

Selenium is an essential trace mineral that is important for many bodily processes that affect your brain and mental health.

Researchers have found that depression is associated with low levels of selenium (191). 

But supplementing with selenium has been shown to significantly increase selenium levels and improve symptoms of depression (192). 

Other research shows that selenium intake is associated with a general elevation of mood (193). 

Brazil nuts are the richest dietary source of selenium, but it can also be found in wild-caught seafood, pastured chicken and eggs, and grass-fed meat.

I also make sure I’m not deficiency in selenium by taking selenomethionine, which is a highly-absorbable form of selenium.

13. Riboflavin

Riboflavin, also known as Vitamin B2, plays a key role in energy metabolism throughout your entire body.  

A handful of almonds. Almonds are an excellent source of Vitamin B2, a nutrient that is commonly depleted in people with depression.

As a result, a Vitamin B2 deficiency can affect the entire body, leading to low energy, weight gain, and depression.

In fact, lower levels of Vitamin B2 have been found in people with depression (91). 

Researchers have also found that Vitamin B2 consumption decreases risk of postpartum depression (92). 

Healthy food sources of Vitamin B2 include pastured eggs, leafy vegetables, beef liver, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, and almonds

These foods are included in my Free Grocery Shopping Guide for Optimal Mental Health.

If you’d like, you can also supplement with Vitamin B2.

Studies show that supplementing with Vitamin B2 helps lower homocysteine and reduces depressive symptoms (93-94). 

Vitamin B2 is included in the Optimal Zinc supplement. 

14. Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a coenzyme and antioxidant located primarily in the mitochondria. It has numerous known health benefits and plays a critical role in producing energy for the body.

CoQ10 is produced within the body, but it’s also found within food and can be supplied to the body through food or supplementation. It resembles a fat-soluble vitamin.

Meat and fish are the richest sources of dietary CoQ10, including beef, pork, chicken heart, and chicken liver. Nuts and some oils also contain some CoQ10 (110). 

Research shows that CoQ10 levels are reduced in people with depression and chronic fatigue (111). 

One study also found that CoQ10 regulates serotonin levels and depressive symptoms in fibromyalgia patients (117). 

CoQ10 supplementation has also been shown to improve fatigue and reduce depression symptom severity (112-114). 

It also displays antidepressant-like activity in animals (115-116). 

15. Dihomo-Gamma-Linolenic Acid

Dihomo-Gamma-Linolenic Acid (DGLA) is an uncommon fatty acid.

Vials of Borage Oil, a fat that is rich in DGLA. DGLA has anti-inflammatory effects and can help beat depression.

It’s made in the body by the elongation of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA).

But small amounts can also be found in animal products (118). 

Last year, researchers found that people with depression are more likely to have low levels of DGLA levels (121). 

And increasing DGLA levels may lower the risk of developing depression (122). 

DGLA also has anti-inflammatory effects in the body (119). 

So it makes sense that levels would be low in depressed individuals because an increasing amount of evidence suggests that depression is a chronic inflammatory disease. 

DGLA can be increased by supplementing with dietary GLA (120). 

GLA can be found in Borage Oil, Evening Primrose Oil and Blackcurrant Seed Oil (123). 

Click here to subscribe

16. Inositol

Inositol is a naturally-occurring molecule found in nearly all plants and animals. It plays a key role in various biological processes.

The brain has the highest concentration of inositol, where it plays an important role making neurotransmitters (124). 

Inositol can be found in many foods, particularly fruit, especially cantaloupe and oranges (125). 

It used to be considered a B Vitamin, called Vitamin B8. But it currently is no longer considered an essential nutrient because your body can produce inositol from glucose (126). 

But I’m including it in this list anyway because individuals with depression have very low levels of inositol in their brains (127-129). 

And inositol supplementation has been shown to increase inositol levels and help treat depression (130, 132). 

It can also reduce symptoms of depression in women with premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (131, 133). 

It’s even been shown to help patients who have discontinued their antidepressant medication (134). 

I took high doses of this inositol powder when weening off psychiatric medication.

I now take a normal amount found in this B complex.

Check out my full post about inositol to learn more about the benefits. 

Fun fact: Inositol is also used as a stand-in for cocaine in television shows and movies. 

17. Manganese

Manganese is an important trace mineral for human health. It acts as a cofactor, helping many enzymes carry out their functions in the body.

A table of foods that have high levels of manganese. Manganese deficiency can cause depression and make depression worse.

Research shows that having low levels of manganese can contribute to the development of depression (135). 

One study found that depressed patients had significantly lower levels of “manganese superoxide dismutase”, which is a manganese-dependent enzyme (136). 

Researchers have also found that women with higher manganese intake had a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms (137). 

Hazelnuts and macadamia nuts contain high levels of manganese, while leafy green vegetables, tea, chocolate and some fruits contain moderate levels (139). 

However, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t consume too much manganese.

In excess, manganese is neurotoxic and can lead to manganism, a neurodegenerative disorder that causes dopaminergic neuronal death and symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease (138). 

So I definitely don’t recommend supplementing with large doses of manganese. 

The small amount of manganese in Optimal Antiox is fine though. It’s what I take. 

18. Glutamine

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body, suggesting that it’s very important.

It’s also one of the few amino acids that can directly cross the blood-brain barrier.

Glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid, meaning the body can usually produce sufficient amounts of it. But sometimes the body uses up so much glutamine that it becomes necessary to obtain it from the diet or supplements, particularly during periods of illness, stress, inflammation and injuries (156-157). 

Researchers have found that depressed adults have reduced levels of glutamine (158). 

And glutamine deficiency has been shown to increase depressive-like behaviour in animals (159). 

But glutamine supplementation has “clear anti-depressive properties” and has been shown to improve mood (160-161). 

High levels of glutamine can be found in protein-rich foods such as beef, chicken, fish and eggs. Beets, cabbage, spinach, carrots, parsley, brussel sprouts, celery, kale and fermented foods like miso also contain some glutamine.

These foods are included in my Free Grocery Shopping Guide for Optimal Mental Health.

Glutamine is also available in supplement form. 

Glutamine was one of the main supplements that helped me heal my leaky gut, but I no longer need to take it regularly. 

19. Tryptophan

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that cannot be produced by the body. It must be consumed through diet or by taking supplements. 

Some healthy foods that contain tryptophan include bananas, chicken, turkey and dark chocolate (140). 

A doctor is talking to a turkey and says “I think I know what is causing your narcolepsy. You’re full of tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that can make you sleepy, but it can also improve mood and help treat depression.

Tryptophan helps produce the neurotransmitter serotonin. It’s converted to 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) in the brain, which then produces serotonin (141-142). 

Researchers have found that depressed patients have significantly lower levels of tryptophan in their blood than healthy control subjects (143-144). 

Studies also show that depressed patients have a decreased ratio of tryptophan to neutral amino acids in their blood. This suggests that tryptophan availability to the brain is likely reduced in depressed patients (145-146). 

Personally, supplementing with tryptophan never helped me. In fact, it always seemed to make me worse. It gave me asthma and acne and increased my depression.  

This is because depressed patients sometimes have problems creating serotonin from tryptophan. Instead, they create other metabolites from tryptophan, such as quinolinic acid, which can be toxic. For depressed patients like me, tryptophan supplementation won’t help, and may actually make their depression worse (150-151). 

However, some people do see their mood improve when they increase their intake of tryptophan. So it shouldn’t be completely disregarded. 

There are studies that show that consuming a high tryptophan diet and consuming additional dietary tryptophan can increase mood and lead to significantly less depressive symptoms (152-154). 

So supplementing with tryptophan is worth a shot if you’re struggling with depression and haven’t tried it yet. Just be aware of possible side effects. 

If you want, you can also try supplementing with 5-HTP instead of tryptophan. 5-HTP is the direct precursor to serotonin. 

5-HTP is included in this supplement

20. Glutathione

Glutathione is a small peptide made up of 3 important amino acids – glutamic acid, cysteine and glycine – each of which have several important roles in the human body.

Glutathione is found in the food supply and within the human body, where it acts as an antioxidant. It is used by every cell in the body.

It’s technically not an “essential nutrient” because the body can create it.

However, it’s still very important, and a glutathione deficiency leads to increased susceptibility to oxidative stress, which is thought to be involved in a number of diseases, including depression.

Studies show that patients with depression have significantly lower levels of glutathione. And the lower a person’s glutathione levels, the more depressed they are likely to be (162-164). 

Some practitioners and researchers have found that increasing glutathione intake and levels can successfully treat depression (165). 

Glutathione is also able to prevent behavioural depression in animals (166). 

It’s important to note that standard glutathione supplements are not very effective at increasing glutathione levels because they are not well absorbed by the body.

But I have found that high-quality liposomal glutathione supplements are effective. 

N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) is another tried-and-true way of increasing glutathione levels because it’s the direct precursor to glutathione

Garlic, asparagus, and cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and kale, can also help boost glutathione levels, but liposomal glutathione and NAC supplements are more powerful. 

Other supplements that have been shown to help increase and maintain optimal glutathione levels include Selenium, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and S-adenosyl-methionine (Sam-E)

Enjoy This Article? You Might Also Like My FREE Food Guide for Optimal Brain and Mental Health!

Click here to subscribe

Live Optimally,

Jordan Fallis

Connect with me

About the Author

Jordan Fallis is a health and science journalist and researcher, and the founder of Optimal Living Dynamics, a website that has helped more than 1.5 million people improve their brain and mental health. His work has been featured in the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and the Canadian Pharmacists Journal. Jordan has also interviewed, consulted, and worked with more than one hundred medical doctors, health practitioners and leading researchers. He spends a lot of time scouring medical research, writing about what he finds, and putting the theories to the test on himself.

References:

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20452573

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16741195

(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4369545/

(4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20452573

(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16741195

(6) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24805797

(7) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20586692

(8) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20439549

(9) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3976923/

(10) https://examine.com/supplements/fish-oil/

(11) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24611884

(12) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5470074/

(13) https://examine.com/supplements/vitamin-b12/

(14) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2781043/

(15) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10784463

(16) https://examine.com/supplements/vitamin-b12/

(17) https://wellnessmama.com/36091/vitamin-b12-deficiency/

(18) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22276208

(19) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2781043/

(20) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10784463

(21) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3262813/

(22) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24339839

(23) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24339839

(24) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21771745

(25) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19543765

(26) https://goo.gl/mzJn79

(27) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27750060

(28) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23377209

(29) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10888476

(30) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22191178

(31) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4011048/

(32) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150225094109.htm

(33) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9011759

(34) https://examine.com/supplements/vitamin-d/

(35) https://examine.com/supplements/vitamin-d/

(36) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28068285

(37) https://goo.gl/EXPCRN

(38) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24108469

(39) http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00048670802534408

(40) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10746516

(41) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9861593

(42) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27807012

(43) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25748766

(44) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2067759

(45) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19271419

(46) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1672392

(47) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23950577

(48) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16542786

(49) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19780403

(50) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18825946

(51) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5314166

(52) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14769778

(53) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17522618

(54) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12493090

(55) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10967371?dopt=Abstract

(56) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15671130

(57) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1974941

(58) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1810582/

(59) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21771745

(60) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18950248

(61) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19796883

(62) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23212058

(63) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22664333

(64) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21939673

(65) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22673824

(66) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3868572/

(67) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20689416

(68) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18655800

(69) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15145706

(70) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18766297

(71) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24621065

(72) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/

(73) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21798601

(74) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24130605

(75) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16491668

(76) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20689416

(77) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21798601

(78) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18191237

(79) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3022308/

(80) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24621065

(81) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20013161

(82) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20493532

(83) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9276075

(84) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8071476

(85) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15479988

(86) http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-B6

(87) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15479988

(88) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23550784

(89) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26648330

(90) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21771745

(91) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22081620

(92) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16815556

(93) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21771745

(94) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1578091

(95) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20688474

(96) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26353411

(97) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24511708

(98) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3599706/

(99) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12208645

(100) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4376513/

(101) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4376513/

(102) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3599706/

(103) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12208645

(104) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4376513/

(105) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25835231

(106) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23106783

(107) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3325330/

(108) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4376513/

(109) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3599706/

(110) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20301015

(111) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20010493

(112) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22467846

(113) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4414830/

(114) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25603363

(115) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23313551

(116) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23928691

(117) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24525646

(118) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dihomo-%CE%B3-linolenic_acid

(119) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dihomo-%CE%B3-linolenic_acid

(120) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dihomo-%CE%B3-linolenic_acid

(121) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28235735

(122) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28235735

(123) https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/128/9/1411/4722487

(124) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inositol

(125) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7416064

(126) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inositol

(127) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mrm.21709/full

(128) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15953489

(129) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9247405

(130) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24424706

(131) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hup.1241/abstract

(132) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0062698/

(133) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22031267

(134) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7726322

(135) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25712638

(136) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25171019

(137) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28110159

(138) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manganese#Biological_role

(139) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4516557/

(140) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908021/

(141) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21071157

(142) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28118532

(143) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2521647

(144) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/016517819390102M

(145) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2521647

(146) https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/492559

(147) https://goo.gl/5rBaMM

(148) https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/492559

(149) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29109914

(150) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26654774

(151) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4955923/

(152) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4393508/

(153) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1600-0447.2011.01706.x

(154) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11869656

(155) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8775762

(156) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3425386/

(157) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2668703

(158) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17283286

(159) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3633711/

(160) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8289407

(161) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1020692

(162) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3964749/

(163) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21552194

(164) https://academic.oup.com/ijnp/article/14/1/123/657694

(165) https://goo.gl/hcyoey

(166) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7972287

(167) http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-2/134-142.htm

(168) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3521461/

(169) https://goo.gl/CKdRbW

(170) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26984349

(171) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26984349

(172) https://goo.gl/7xi241

(173) https://goo.gl/7xi241

(174) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28670223

(175) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23574341

(176) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16316746

(177) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24607292

(178) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24607292

(179) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18491985

(180) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23382250

(181) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28670223

(182) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15591014

(183) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28189077

(184) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3680022/

(185) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29603506

(186) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17063146

(187) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15671224/

(188) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29363366

(189) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29307706

(190) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22286844

(191) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18463429

(192) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18463429

(193) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1873372

(194) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16184071

(195) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16184071

Medically reviewed by Dr. Fred Hui, MD, CCFP, CAFC

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

Affiliate Disclosure

Disclaimer

16 Powerful Ways to Effectively Lower Homocysteine

Lowering and normalizing homocysteine levels is another key way to improve the health of your brain and manage your mental health. 

In fact, keeping homocysteine levels within normal range is good for overall health in general. 

But what exactly is homocysteine?

Homocysteine is an amino acid that is produced in the body as a by-product of methylation.

In healthy people, it’s properly metabolized and normal levels are maintained. 

But when homocysteine isn’t properly metabolized, it can build up inside the body and levels can become too high.

And that’s when homocysteine becomes dangerous and unhealthy. 

At high levels, homocysteine is inflammatory and neurotoxic, and increases oxidative stress and free radical damage in the brain by reducing levels of cysteine and glutathione (89-95, 138-139). 

Homocysteine and it’s chemical symbol.

It’s also been shown to contribute to mitochondrial damage and reduce energy production in the brain (96-98). 

Researchers have found that high levels of homocysteine disrupt the integrity of the blood-brain barrier, which allows substances that are normally kept out of the brain to cross over and contribute to neurological problems (99-102). 

And studies have found that people with high levels of homocysteine have lower levels of serotonin and SAMe, a nutrient involved in the production of many neurotransmitters that improve mood (103-104). 

Considering all this, it’s not too surprising that high levels of homocysteine have been linked to many chronic neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases, including:

  • Depression (105-111)

  • Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive impairment/dysfunction/decline (119-133, 143)

  • Headaches and migraines (112-118, 148)

  • Hearing loss (136-137)

  • Brain atrophy (134, 144, 151)

  • Parkinson’s disease (145)

  • Stroke (154-155)

  • Postpartum depression (135)

  • Postmenopausal mental decline (146)

  • Schizophrenia and other affective disorders (147, 153, 156)

  • Alcoholism (149)

  • Brain damage and neurotoxicity (152)

  • Obsessive–compulsive disorder (157)

  • Multiple sclerosis (158-161)

People with nutritional deficiencies and MTHFR gene mutation are at an increased risk of high homocysteine levels. Homocysteine levels gradually increase as you age, and men are more likely than women to have high levels of homocysteine (140-142). 

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to lower homocysteine.

Here are 16 ways to keep your homocysteine levels in check. 

1. Trimethylglycine

Trimethylglycine (also known as betaine) is an amino acid derivative that can be found in plants such as beets and spinach. 

Trimethylglycine plays an important role in methylation, a process that is involved in the synthesis of melatonin, coenzyme Q10, and neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. 

An image of beets. Beets contain betaine, which has been shown to lower homocysteine levels.

Several studies show that supplementing with trimethylglycine can significantly lower homocysteine levels (1-5). 

One study found that the more trimethyglycine a person consumes, the lower their homocysteine levels (6).

According to the research, it appears that you need to supplement with at least three grams of trimethyglycine daily to significantly reduce homocysteine. Doing so will reduce homocysteine levels by 10% in persons with normal levels or by 20 to 40% in persons with elevated homocysteine levels (7-9).

However, even 500mg seems to lower homocysteine slightly (10). 

I took this trimethylglycine supplement after coming off psychiatric medication and noticed an improvement in mood and energy. 

2. Folate

The best way to lower homocysteine is by making sure you consume enough B vitamins on a regular basis.

Folate is one of the most important B vitamins because it helps metabolize homocysteine into methionine (51). 

When your body doesn’t have enough folate, elevated levels of homocysteine are the result (52). 

A pile of green, leafy vegetables. They contain folate, a key nutrient involved in lowering and normalizing homocysteine levels.

Good dietary sources of natural folate include leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, avocado, beef liver and poultry. These foods are included in my Free Grocery Shopping Guide for Optimal Brain Health.

However, folate-rich foods may not be enough to lower homocysteine. In fact, many people do not get enough folate from food because cooking and food processing destroy natural folates (57). 

That’s why I recommend supplementation. 

Supplementing with 800 mcg of folate has been shown to lower homocysteine by at least 28%. Even supplementing with just 113 mcg daily lowers homocysteine by about 15% (53-56, 58, 62). 

If you decide to supplement with folate, avoid synthetic folic acid, which is commonly found in standard multivitamins. Instead, you should take a biologically active form of folate (methylfolate, or 5-MTHF). 

5-MTHF is the most effective supplemental form of folate. Many people have genetic mutations in the enzyme that converts folic acid into methylfolate in the body. Therefore, folic acid is a waste and can actually cause harm if you have this genetic mutation.

Methylfolate supplements are almost seven times more effective than synthetic folic acid at increasing folate levels and lowering homocysteine levels. Regular synthetic folic acid has been shown to be quickly cleared from the central nervous system and poorly transported into the brain (59-61). 

5-MTHF is included in this B vitamin complex that I take regularly. 

3. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is another nutrient that plays a role in methylation. It's also a necessary cofactor in the metabolism of homocysteine (75-77). 

Research shows that Vitamin B12 deficiency can contribute to rising homocysteine levels (78-80, 83-84). 

But in those with elevated homocysteine, supplementing with 1,000 mg of B12 per day can significantly lower and normalize blood levels of homocysteine (81-82).

Ordinary B12 supplements don’t always cut it though.

If you decide to supplement, you should avoid the semisynthetic version of B12 (cyanocobalamin) and take the methylated form (methyl-B12) instead, which is better absorbed and more biologically active.

Methyl-B12 is included in this supplement. Or you can take it separately

Vitamin B12 is also found primarily in animal foods, and beef liver is a really good source. I take these beef liver capsules because I don’t like the taste of liver. 

Click here to subscribe

4. Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is another homocysteine-reducing nutrient that boosts mood, deepens sleep, and supports your entire nervous system. 

It accomplishes this by playing a key role in the production of many neurotransmitters in your brain, including serotonin, GABA and dopamine.

Vitamin B6 is also a necessary cofactor in the metabolism of homocysteine, and having a deficiency can cause homocysteine levels to increase (14).

In fact, low blood levels of B6 are common, especially in people with higher homocysteine levels (15). 

Thankfully, supplementation has been shown to help lower and normalize homocysteine levels (11-13). 

Fruits and vegetables in the shape of B6. Vitamin B6 has been shown to lower homocysteine levels.

However, it’s important to point out that it’s best to supplement B6 along with both folate and B12 if you want to dramatically lower homocysteine levels. 

Supplementing with B6, B12 and folate has been shown to significantly lower homocysteine levels and reduce symptoms of depression (87). 

One study found that within three weeks, homocysteine levels could be reduced by 17% using folate alone, 19% using B12 alone, 57% using folate and B12, and 60% using folate, B12 and B6 (86). 

Another study found that combining B6 and folate reduces homocysteine 32% within five weeks (85).

That’s why I highly recommend supplementing with a high-quality B complex that contains all three B vitamins. 

I take this B complex.

Symptoms of Vitamin B6 deficiency include weakness, mental confusion, depression, insomnia and severe PMS symptoms.

Some of the best food sources of Vitamin B6 include potatoes, bananas and chicken. 

5. Taurine

Taurine is an organic compound found in foods, particularly animal products. It has a wide variety of health benefits.

It can cross the blood-brain barrier and produces anti-anxiety effects, and acts as an antioxidant in the brain, protecting it from various substances including lead and cadmium (16-25). 

It’s also been shown to lower homocysteine. 

Research shows that taurine supplementation significantly reduces plasma homocysteine levels (26-28).

Taurine is included in the Optimal Zinc supplement

6. Creatine

Creatine is a molecule produced in the body and found in some foods, particularly meat, eggs, and fish.

Creatine is also available in supplement form. Athletes, bodybuilders, wrestlers, sprinters often take creatine supplement to gain more muscle mass. It’s an incredibly well-researched supplement and safe to take regularly. 

A scoop of creatine powder next to weights. Creatine lowers homocysteine levels.

Supplementing with creatine can also support the brain. It's been shown to have neuroprotective effects and it rapidly produces energy to support brain cell function (29). 

Research shows that creatine supplementation can also lower homocysteine in humans (32, 34). 

Animal studies show the same (30-31, 33).

I take this creatine powder every day on an empty stomach. I take more when I’m lifting weights regularly. 

7. Green Coffee Extract

Green coffee extract is a supplement that is derived from green coffee beans. 

Green coffee beans are similar to regular coffee beans. However, they contain much more chlorogenic acid in them.

Chlorogenic acid is a phytochemical with cognitive health benefits

One study found that 140 mg of chlorogenic acid, which is 28% of the content of green coffee extract, can significantly lower homocysteine (39). 

Here is a good green coffee extract

Click here to subscribe

8. Reduce Stress

I highly recommend you try to do something every day to manage your stress because psychological stress has been shown to significantly increase homocysteine levels (70-71). 

A woman meditating on the beach near the water. Reducing stress can help you to lower your homocysteine levels.

My favourite ways to reduce stress include neurofeedback, meditation (using the Muse headband), massage, acupuncture, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), emotional freedom techniques (EFT), heart-rate variability (HRV) training, and this acupressure mat

Some supplements that can help you reduce stress include zinc, magnesium, ashwagandha and phosphatidylserine.

This anti-anxiety supplement also includes a number of natural compounds that have personally helped me manage my stress over the years. You can use the coupon code FIVE$45496275 for a 5% discount.

And here is an article with 20 other ways to lower your stress hormone, cortisol.

9. Estrogen

Estrogen is the primary female sex hormone and responsible for the development and regulation of the female reproductive system.

Research shows that higher estrogen levels are associated with lower homocysteine levels, independent of nutritional status and muscle mass (72). 

And individuals on estrogen replacement therapy have significantly lower homocysteine levels (72-73). 

I recommend both men and women get their hormone levels checked regularly and optimize them because it can really improve your quality of life. 

10. Choline

Choline is an essential B vitamin that most people don’t consume enough of, because very few foods in the Western diet contain it.

Research shows that high homocysteine levels can be lowered with choline (40-42). 

Deviled eggs. Eggs contain choline, a nutrient that can lower homocysteine levels.

One study found that increased intake of choline led to lower levels of circulating homocysteine (43). 

And other studies have shown that choline deficiency in mice and humans is associated with increased homocysteine levels (44). 

Citicoline (also known as CDP-Choline) is my favourite source of choline for the brain. 

Citicoline also supports the blood-brain barrier and promotes the regeneration of myelin

Another good source of choline for brain health is Alpha GPC.

Both Citicoline and Alpha GPC are included in the Optimal Brain supplement

You can also find some choline in beef liver and egg yolks, but Citicoline and Alpha GPC have more noticeable effects on cognition. 

11. N-Acetyl-Cysteine

N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) is a modified form of the amino acid cysteine. It’s also the precursor to glutathione, your body’s master antioxidant.

I’ve previously discussed how NAC can help treat six different mental illnesses.

And it turns out that it can also help lower homocysteine levels. 

Research shows NAC supplementation can cause a “rapid and significant decrease” in homocysteine levels (49). 

Studies have found that NAC can decrease homocysteine anywhere from 25 to 45 per cent (47-48, 50).

Researchers believe NAC displaces homocysteine from its protein carrier in the blood, which lowers homocysteine and promotes the formation of glutathione (45-46). 

12. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Is there anything omega-3 fatty acids can’t do?

They can promote the regeneration of myelin, stimulate the vagus nerve, help reverse brain damage, and support the endocannabinoid system

And now it appears they can also lower homocysteine levels. 

A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial found that consuming three grams of omega-3 fatty acids daily for 2 months significantly decreases levels of homocysteine (63). 

Other researchers have reported that omega-3s can lower homocysteine by 36 to 48% (64-65). 

Salmon and walnuts. They contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to lower homocysteine levels.

And studies have also found that people using B vitamins to lower homocysteine should also have enough omega-3s to improve brain function. In fact, some clinical trials using B vitamins to improve brain function show benefits only in people with higher omega-3 levels (143-144). 

It’s important to eat enough omega-3s because they are essential fats that your body cannot produce itself.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found primarily in cold water fish such as salmon, black cod, sablefish, sardines and herring.

Unfortunately, most people don't consume enough omega-3 fatty acids through their diet.

That’s why I recommend people supplement with krill oil, a special kind of fish oil that contains omega-3s. 

I take this krill oil supplement. I feel slightly depressed when I stop taking it. I actually notice the difference.

You can also order very high-quality seafood and krill oil supplements here

And you can read more about the importance of omega-3 fatty acids here.

Click here to subscribe

13. Probiotics

Research suggests that probiotics may also be able to lower homocysteine.

Bacteria. Probiotic bacteria can lower homocysteine levels.

In one interesting study, researchers gave the probiotic VSL#3 to subjects with high homocysteine.

The researchers found that the probiotic increased the number of good bacteria in the gut, which then naturally increased Vitamin B12 and folate production in the gut. As a result, homocysteine levels dropped (66). 

You can get the VSL#3 probiotic used in the above study here.

I personally created and take the Optimal Biotics supplement to support my brain and mental health. 

Probiotics have also been shown to stimulate the vagus nerve and help with depression

And here are five other ways to increase the good bacteria in your gut. 

14. Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol is a neurotoxin that wreaks havoc on the brain by raising cortisol levels, disrupting the blood-brain barrier, and increasing inflammation and oxidative stress (67).

It also increases homocysteine. 

One study found that alcohol significantly reduces Vitamin B12 and folate levels and increased homocysteine levels (68). 

And another study found that alcohol consumption increased homocysteine levels regardless of Vitamin B levels (69). 

There are ways to protect your brain from alcohol, but you’re better off avoiding it completely or significantly reducing your consumption if you’re trying to heal. I personally don’t drink alcohol at all anymore.

If you do decide to drink it, this post explains that some types of alcohol are better than others

15. Eat “Head to Tail”

Whole plant foods tend to be much healthier when they’re left whole, as they tend to have various nutrients that work together synergistically. 

The same can be said about animal food.

Muscle meat (chicken breasts, lean beef) shouldn’t be your only source of animal protein. Our ancestors didn’t eat this way, so neither should we.

Your body prefers and expects to receive a balance of amino acids from different parts of whole animals.

That’s why I recommend “head-to-tail eating” – consuming a wide variety of proteins from the entire animal. 

Along with muscle meat, you should regularly cook and eat organ meats, such as liver, and bone broth.

One of the main reasons I recommend this is because lean muscle meat is high in methionine.

Methionine is an essential amino acid, but too much methionine increases homocysteine levels and increases your need for Vitamin B6, B12, folate and choline (74, 88, 162). 

But bone broth contains collagen, gelatin, and amino acids such as glycine and proline, which balance out the methionine in muscle meat, and helps your body better metabolize it. 

Bone broth can be inconvenient to make all the time, so I drink this pre-made, organic chicken bone broth

And if you’re actually interested in learning about how to cook and incorporate more whole animal proteins into your diet, I recommend checking out the book Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal by Jennifer McLagan.

16. Limit Medications and Compounds That Increase Homocysteine

A number of prescription drugs and natural compounds have been shown to increase homocysteine by interfering with folate absorption, or metabolism of homocysteine, including (35-38):

Various natural health supplements on table.
  • Cholestyramine

  • Colestipol

  • Fenofibrate

  • Levadopa

  • Metformin

  • Methotrexate

  • Niacin

  • Nitrous oxide

  • Pemetrexed

  • Phenytoin

  • Pyrimethamine

  • Sulfasalazine

Conclusion

High levels of homocysteine can be problematic and increase your risk of many brain and mental health disorders.

But fortunately, you can do something about it!

Implementing the above 16 strategies can provide powerful protection against homocysteine’s negative effects and improve your quality life. 

I’ve found great benefit in lowering my homocysteine levels, and I hope you experience the same. 

Enjoy This Article? You Might Also Like My FREE Food Guide for Optimal Brain Health!

Click here to subscribe

Live Optimally,

Jordan Fallis

Connect with me

References:

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16197300

(2) http://doi.org/10.1271/bbb.70791

(3) http://doi.org/10.1155/2014/904501

(4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12730412

(5) http://atvb.ahajournals.org/content/25/2/379

(6) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16600945

(7) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12399266

(8) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11849459

(9) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15720203

(10) https://examine.com/supplements/trimethylglycine/

(11) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10926922

(12) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19967264

(13) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10475885

(14) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10926922

(15) http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/97/5/437

(16) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4407108

(17) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8915375

(18) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00210-003-0776-6

(19) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1846756

(20) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11598776

(21) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18676123

(22) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18823590

(23) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16540157

(24) https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/107687

(25) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15240184

(26) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19398656

(27) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19239173

(28) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11535574

(29) https://examine.com/supplements/creatine/

(30) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11595668

(31) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15218538

(32) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15168891

(33) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19079843

(34) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25853877

(35) http://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00003495-200262040-00005

(36) https://goo.gl/DUKdcj

(37) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11893229

(38) http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/11/4/330.pdf

(39) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15785008

(40) http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1271/bbb.70791

(41) https://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/904501/

(42) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15699233

(43) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16600945

(44) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15699233

(45) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17991199

(46) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20538838

(47) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8929261

(48) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18214123

(49) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12113295

(50) http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2015/10/07/ajcn.114.101964

(51) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3078648/

(52) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11553056

(53) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15983288

(54) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15883442

(55) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19967264

(56) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19766902

(57) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12493090

(58) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12600857

(59) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5314166

(60) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14769778

(61) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17522618

(62) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17654449

(63) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0939475309000970

(64) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8269183

(65) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9187021

(66) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25453395

(67) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17241155

(68) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2572692/

(69) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16584970

(70) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10374899

(71) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14751454

(72) http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/152/2/140

(73) http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/9622279

(74) http://www.pnas.org/content/100/25/15089.full

(75) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10926922

(76) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25456744

(77) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10475885

(78) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11553056

(79) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10926922

(80) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20198596

(81) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19967264

(82) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18206175

(83) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3340005

(84) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2407253

(85) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10353328

(86) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11981084

(87) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21771745

(88) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19204075

(89) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3078648/

(90) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26318987

(91) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4326479/

(92) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23237596

(93) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25804098

(94) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24867323/

(95) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24867323/

(96) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9804859

(97) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10995836

(98) https://goo.gl/LscmdT

(99) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16189268

(100) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18080868

(101) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23237596

(102) https://goo.gl/vqa9P5

(103) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24309856

(104) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10896698

(105) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3078648/

(106) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15585771

(107) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24309856

(108) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12601225

(109) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15545331

(110) http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1952251-overview

(111) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27035272

(112) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17986270

(113) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18545927

(114) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19054516

(115) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19619240

(116) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24613517

(117) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24613517

(118) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25657748

(119) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3078648/

(120) http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa011613

(121) http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0012244

(122) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19224340

(123) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26318987

(124) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10746355

(125) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11589919

(126) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11844848

(127) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23224755

(128) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16155278

(129) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15250847

(130) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15694902

(131) http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa011613

(132) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11844848

(133) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27732886

(134) http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0012244

(135) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24309856

(136) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17200216

(137) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15041049

(138) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3872065

(139) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9372907

(140) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22421956

(141) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10448523

(142) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17093148

(143) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26757190

(144) http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/102/1/215.full

(145) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27840145

(146) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25822709

(147) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4186289/

(148) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19384265

(149) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11205139

(150) http://fxmed.co.nz/homocysteine-and-brain-health/

(151) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3192851/

(152) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S001457930600545X

(153) https://goo.gl/AqKptM

(154) https://goo.gl/n65tzT

(155) https://goo.gl/n65tzT

(156) http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2326409817701471

(157) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4164291/

(158) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2077571/

(159) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16421120

(160) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22421956

(161) https://goo.gl/2ARLyh

(162) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16155267

Medically reviewed by Dr. Fred Hui, MD, CCFP, CAFC

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

Affiliate Disclosure

Disclaimer

27 Powerful Ways to Increase Your IGF-1 Levels

Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a hormone in your body that’s absolutely critical for optimal physical and mental performance.  

It’s produced by the liver.

And once it’s released into the bloodstream, it stimulates growth, regenerates cells, and helps your body recover and repair itself.  

It’s known to play an important role in childhood growth and development, and helps you build and maintain muscle throughout your entire adult life.  

But it doesn’t just affect your muscles… 

It also powerfully supports your brain. 

Unfortunately, your IGF-1 levels drastically decrease as you get older, contributing to cognitive decline

Your levels can even drop when you’re young, especially if you’ve had a brain injury or developed a chronic health issue. 

Luckily, there are many different ways to optimize and increase IGF-1 levels. 

Researchers have found that IGF-1 levels can be manipulated to improve quality of life and delay the deteriorating effects of brain aging

It doesn’t matter if you’re old, run down, or chronically ill... 

The 25 strategies in this article can naturally boost IGF-1 production and amplify your cognitive performance.  

I’ve divided this article into four main sections:

  • The benefits of IGF-1

  • Food and nutrients that increase IGF-1

  • Supplements and herbs that increase IGF-1

  • Lifestyle habits and therapies that increase IGF-1

Continue reading to learn more and discover how to increase IGF-1.  

Image of brain cell connections.

The Benefits of Increasing Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF-1) and How It Affects Your Brain 

IGF-1 is a very important blood marker to monitor. 

Yet many doctors don’t check it. 

This is a shame because it plays a crucial role in healing and brain health.  

Research suggests that IGF-1 levels tend to be low in people struggling with chronic illness and systemic inflammation (87-88, 103).  

Studies also show that IGF-1 crosses the blood–brain barrier and affects the brain and cognitive function (113, 116, 129-131).  

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are associated with lower IGF-1 levels, and increasing IGF-1 can help prevent the accumulation of amyloid plaque in the brain (104-108).  

Other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson’s disease, are also associated with lower IGF-1 levels, and increasing IGF-1 can help lower your risk of developing these diseases (109-112).  

Researchers have also found that IGF-1 and higher levels of IGF-1 can lead to the following cognitive and neurological health benefits: 

But it doesn’t stop there... 

Many people who have had brain injuries also end up having low levels of IGF-1. 

This is because your brain signals to your liver to produce IGF-1. And when your brain gets injured, it can stop doing this efficiently (122-126).  

Research clearly shows that IGF-1 levels often drop after traumatic brain injuries (TBI), which worsens cognitive dysfunction. This even happens in people who have had mild TBIs. But strategies to increase IGF-1 can increase brain cell survival, repair the brain, and improve cognition after TBIs (117-121).  

I personally had low IGF-1 levels after multiple head injuries.  

But I had no idea for the longest time.  

I eventually found a doctor who actually listened to me, we checked my levels, and I found out they were low.  

I then implemented many of the strategies below to increase and normalize my IGF-1 levels, and I felt better.

It’s important to test and monitor your IGF-1 levels like I did because you don’t want your IGF-1 levels getting too high either. 

 

Best Foods and Nutrients to Increase Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) Naturally

 

1. Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral for brain health. 

Unfortunately, it’s estimated that 2 billion people in the world are deficient in zinc, and several studies show that even subclinical zinc deficiency impairs brain function (5-7).  

That’s a problem because a zinc deficiency decreases IGF-1 levels in humans (8).  

In one animal study, feeding a zinc-depleted diet to rats for 14 days resulted in a 28% decrease in IGF-1 compared with rats fed a zinc-adequate diet (9).  

Luckily, zinc supplementation can help.  

Researchers have found that supplementing with zinc significantly increases circulating IGF-1 levels, and increases the synthesis and action of IGF-1 in the body (10-13).  

I created and take the Optimal Zinc supplement to make sure my zinc and IGF-1 levels are optimal. I created it because I want to give my clients and readers the very best zinc supplement so that they can experience superior results. I have found that many zinc supplements on the market fall short.  Optimal Zinc includes several other nutrients (co-factors) that increase the absorption of zinc. 

Besides supplementing, you should also eat plenty of healthy, whole foods that contain zinc.  

Some of the best foods to optimize your zinc levels include:  

These foods are included in my Free Grocery Shopping Guide for Optimal Brain and Mental Health.  

Check out my previous post all about zinc for more steps you can take to increase your zinc levels. 


2. Protein

Protein-rich foods, including eggs, salmon, red meat and nuts. Eating enough protein will ensure you increase your IGF-1 levels.

Eating enough high-quality protein is critical if you want to increase your IGF-1 levels.  

Research shows that low protein intake is associated with a major reduction in IGF-1 (69).  

Meanwhile, high-protein diets can increase IGF-1 levels (66-67, 71-72).  

Animal protein and red meat in particular has been shown to increase IGF-1 concentrations (68, 70).  

It's important to keep in mind that muscle meat (chicken breasts, lean beef) shouldn’t be your only source of animal protein.

Our ancestors didn’t eat this way, so neither should we.  

Your body prefers and expects to receive a balance of amino acids from different parts of whole animals. 

That’s why I recommend “head-to-tail eating” – consuming a wide variety of proteins from the entire animal.  

Along with muscle meat, you should regularly cook and eat organ meats such as liver and bone broth

I personally don’t like the taste of liver and bone broth can be inconvenient to make all the time, so I often supplement with these grass-fed beef liver capsules and drink this high-quality pre-made bone broth. 

But if you’re actually interested in learning about how to cook and incorporate more whole animal proteins into your diet, I recommend checking out the book Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal by Jennifer McLagan. 

3. Vitamin C

Taking extra Vitamin C is another way to increase IGF-1.  

As you probably know, Vitamin C is found in fruits and vegetables such as green peppers, citrus fruits, tomatoes, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage.  

Researchers have found that higher dietary intake of citrus fruits and Vitamin C is associated with higher concentrations of IGF-1 (1).  

In addition to getting Vitamin C from fruits and vegetables, I take at least 500 mg of supplemental Vitamin C every day, just so I know I’m getting enough. 

I’ve taken up to 10 grams of Vitamin C daily, and it definitely improves my mood and reduces stress and anxiety.

Click here to subscribe

4. Blueberries

Eating lots of fruits and vegetables is a great idea if you want to improve your brain health and cognitive function.  

And blueberries are particularly potent because of the flavonoids within them. 

Researchers have found that blueberries improve memory by increasing IGF-1 (2).  

Besides that, blueberries also improve brain health by increasing BDNF and improving brain blood flow

I buy wild blueberries every time I go grocery shopping.  

They are included in my Free Grocery Shopping Guide for Optimal Brain Health.  

Alternatively, you can take a blueberry extract.  

I used to take this one. It’s actually cheaper in the long run that eating blueberries every day, but I just prefer eating actual blueberries.  

In fact, most researchers often use concentrated blueberry extracts instead of actual blueberries when they study the beneficial health effects of blueberries. 

5. Magnesium

Magnesium. Magnesium increases IGF-1 levels. Most people are deficient nowadays.

Magnesium is a vital mineral that participates in more than 300 biochemical reactions in your body.  

Unfortunately, a lot of people are deficient in magnesium.  

This is a shame because magnesium is absolutely essential for optimal brain function. 

Research shows that magnesium levels are strongly and independently associated with total IGF-1 levels (14).  

And researchers believe that magnesium deficiency worsens the age-related decline in IGF-1 levels (15).  

Since most people are deficient, magnesium is one of the three supplements that I think everyone should be taking every day.  

I personally take this magnesium threonate supplement before bed. It’s the best form of magnesium for the brain because it’s very effective at passing the blood-brain barrier

Epsom salt baths are another great way to increase your body’s intake of magnesium.  

You should also make sure you’re eating enough magnesium-rich foods on a regular basis, including:  

These foods are included in my Free Grocery Shopping Guide for Optimal Mental Health

Magnesium also supports the blood-brain barrier, increases BDNF, and helps with the formation of new brain synapses

6. Selenium

Selenium is an essential trace mineral that is important for many bodily processes that affect your brain and mental health. 

Studies show that there is a significant association between selenium and IGF-1 levels (16).  

Animal research has found that a selenium deficiency is linked to lower IGF-1 levels (17).  

And supplementing with selenium has been shown to significantly increase IGF-1 in elderly individuals (18-19).  

Brazil nuts are the richest dietary source of selenium, but it can also be found in wild-caught seafood, pastured chicken and eggs, and grass-fed meat.  

I also make sure I’m not deficiency in selenium by taking selenomethionine, which is a highly-absorbable form of selenium

Click here to subscribe

7. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a tasty spice that has a number of health benefits.  

It has anti-inflammatory effects, it’s loaded with antioxidants, and it's even been shown to have beneficial effects on neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson’s disease (46-49).  

Researchers have also found that cinnamon extract significantly activates IGF-1 signaling (50-51).  

Not all cinnamon is created equal though. 

You’ll have to find and consume Ceylon, which is considered “true cinnamon”. It has the most health benefits.  

Most cinnamon in grocery stores is cheap and not actually Ceylon

You can usually find Ceylon in health food stores.  

It’s also available through Amazon

8. Vitamin D

Vitamin D capsules in a clear bowl. Vitamin D supplements can increase IGF-1 levels, especially if you’re deficient.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that your skin synthesizes when exposed to the sun.  

Unfortunately, researchers estimate that 50% of people are at risk of Vitamin D deficiency.  

This is a huge problem because every tissue in your body has Vitamin D receptors, including the brain, so a deficiency can lead to costly physiological and psychological consequences. 

Research shows that Vitamin D significantly increases circulating IGF-1 levels in adults (25).  

Ideally, you should get your Vitamin D by going outside and getting sun.  

I try to get sunlight every day during the spring and summer months.  

But most people still don’t get enough Vitamin D from the sun, especially during the winter.  

During the winter months, when there isn't enough sun, I use this Vitamin D sunlamp.

I also take this Vitamin D supplement as needed, depending on my blood test levels.  

Vitamin D is so critical for optimal brain health, so make sure to check your levels regularly.  

9. Thiamine

Thiamine, also known as Vitamin B1, is an essential water-soluble nutrient that cannot be made by the body.  

It’s used in nearly every cell in the body and especially important for supporting energy levels. 

Researchers have found that Vitamin B1 plays a key role in the IGF-1 system, and a deficiency leads to a significant drop in IGF-1 levels (27).  

Benfotiamine is the best supplemental form of Vitamin B1. It’s included in this B complex that I take. 

Healthy food sources of Vitamin B1 include green peas, beef liver, asparagus, pecans, spinach, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, oranges, cantaloupe and eggs.  

These foods are included in my Free Grocery Shopping Guide for Optimal Brain Health

 

Best Supplements and Herbs to Increase Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) Naturally 

 

10. Probiotics

The beneficial bacteria in your gut are known to convert the food you eat into short-chain fatty acids.  

These probiotic bacteria - and the short-chain fatty acids that they produce - play a critical role in the synthesis of IGF-1 in your body and brain.  

Research clearly shows that the following probiotics stimulate the IGF-1 system and increase IGF-1 concentrations (33-40).  

All four of these probiotics are included in the Optimal Biotics supplement

Meanwhile, antibiotics have been shown to decrease IGF-1 (41).  

Check out this older article for several other ways to increase your good gut bacteria.  

And if you struggle with anxiety, here are 9 probiotic strains that can help. 

11. Dehydroepiandrosterone

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is one of the most abundant circulating steroid hormones in humans. It’s produced in the adrenal glands, the gonads, and the brain, and it’s a precursor to other hormones, including estrogen and testosterone.  

It's also available as a supplement

DHEA has been shown to have neuroprotective effects, and it’s also known to improve memory and cognition. 

In one study, a 100 mg daily dose of DHEA for six months elevated IGF-1 levels in both men and women (3).  

You can get DHEA here.  

It's also one of the best supplements for reducing depression

12. Taurine

Taurine is an organic compound found in food, particularly meat and seafood.  

Taken as a supplement, it can improve your mood and reduce your anxiety because it can cross the blood-brain barrier and increase oxytocin, dopamine and BDNF in the brain. 

It turns out that it can also increase IGF-1 levels and increase the synthesis of IGF-1 (42-43).  

Taurine is included in the Optimal Zinc supplement

13. Resveratrol

Resveratrol is a beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound found in grapes, red wine, raspberries and dark chocolate.  

It’s known to help prevent the development of neurodegenerative diseases.  

And researchers are starting to understand why. 

In one study, resveratrol was shown to improve cognitive function by increasing the production of IGF-1 in the brain (4).  

It’s also been shown to increase BDNF, synaptogenesis, autophagy and blood flow in the brain. 

To consume enough resveratrol to increase IGF-1, you’ll need to supplement with it.  

I take this resveratrol supplement to support the long-term health of my brain.  

I don't take it every day, just every so often.  

You can get it here or here

Click here to subscribe

14. Leucine

Leucine is one of three branched chain amino acids (BCAA).  

It's an essential amino acid, meaning you’ll need to get it from food or supplements.  

Athletes and bodybuilders often take it as a supplement because it helps increase energy, improve strength and build muscle.  

Researchers have found that leucine significantly increases IGF-1 and IGF binding protein (52).  

You can get leucine from protein-rich foods, such as fish, chicken and turkey.  

But you may want to supplement with it if your goal is to increase IGF-1.  

I take this BCAA supplement when I lift weights regularly. 

15. Astragalus

Illustration of the astragalus plant. Astragalus can increase IGF-1 levels.

Astragalus is an adaptogenic herb that has been used for centuries by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners to support the immune system and reduce inflammation.  

There are more than 2,000 species of Astragalus, but usually Astragalus supplements simply contain Astragalus membranaceus.  

Astragalus membranaceus extract has been shown to significantly increase IGF-1 levels in humans and animals (53-57).  

It's available in many forms, including liquid extracts, capsules, powders and teas

 

16. Colostrum

Colostrum is a special kind of milk, also known as “first milk”. 

It’s naturally produced by the mammary glands of mammals immediately following the delivery of a newborn. 

It contains a number of different nutrients and growth factors, including IGF-1, that support the health and development of a newborn baby (58). 

Colostrum from cows (bovine colostrum) can be taken as a supplement by humans for its health benefits.  

Research shows that colostrum supplementation significantly increases circulating levels of IGF-1 (59-60).  

I take this bovine colostrum powder regularly. I would say it's probably the most important supplement I've taken to optimize my IGF-1 levels. 

17. Acetyl-L-Carnitine

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) is an acetylated form of the amino acid carnitine.  

It’s been shown to have neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancing effects. It’s often used as a natural brain booster because it increases alertness and provides support to brain cells.  

ALCAR has also been shown to be very effective at alleviating chronic fatigue and improving mood. It helps reverse neurological decline and supports mitochondria function as well. 

It does so much, so not surprisingly, researchers have also found that ALCAR increases IGF-1 levels in humans (20).  

Animal studies also show that it increases IGF-1 levels in rats (21-22).  

I find that ALCAR personally gives me a big boost in mental energy and cognitive function.  

That’s why it’s included in the Optimal Brain supplement

18. Creatine

Creatine is a molecule produced in the body and found in some foods, particularly meat, eggs, and fish.  

Creatine is also available as a supplement. Athletes, bodybuilders, wrestlers, sprinters often take extra creatine to gain more muscle mass. It’s an incredibly well-researched supplement and safe to take regularly. 

Supplementing with creatine can also support the brain. It's been shown to have neuroprotective effects and it rapidly produces energy to support brain cell function (23).  

In one study, healthy individuals took creatine every day for 5 days, and researchers witnessed a 30 per cent increase in IGF expression (24).  

When I’m lifting weights regularly, I take this creatine powder every day on an empty stomach. 

19. Ursolic Acid

An apple partially peeled. Apple peels contain ursolic acid, a natural compound that can increase IGF-1 levels.

Ursolic Acid is a natural compound found in a variety of plants and herbs, such as apple peels, rosemary, thyme and holy basil. Apple peels contain the largest amount. 

In one study, supplementing with 100 mg of Ursolic Acid, three times daily, increased IGF-1 levels in humans by 22.8 per cent (62).  

Animal research also shows that it increases IGF-1 signaling and enhances IGF-1 receptors (61, 63).  

You can get pure Ursolic Acid through Amazon.

Or you can supplement with the herb Holy Basil, which contains some Ursolic Acid. But it may not be as effective as taking pure Ursolic Acid.  

20. Hydroxy Methyl Butyrate

Hydroxy Methyl Butyrate (HMB) is a metabolite of leucine. 

It's also a dietary supplement used by athletes and bodybuilders to increase muscle strength and development. 

Studies show that HMB supplementation increases the expression and levels of IGF-1 (64-65).  

You can get HMB through Amazon.  

21. Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a coenzyme and antioxidant located primarily in the mitochondria. It has numerous known health benefits and plays a critical role in producing energy for the body.  

CoQ10 is produced within the body, but it’s also found within food and can be supplied to the body through food or supplementation. It resembles a fat-soluble vitamin. 

Meat and fish are the richest sources of dietary CoQ10, including beef, pork, chicken heart, and chicken liver. Nuts and some oils also contain some CoQ10.  

Research shows that supplementing with CoQ10 significantly increases IGF-1 levels (26).  

Ubiquinol is the best supplemental form of CoQ10 that is absorbed by the body. I took this one when I was on antidepressants and for a short while after coming off them. 

 

Best Lifestyle Habits, Therapies and Practices to Increase Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) Naturally

 

22. Low-Level Laser Therapy

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT), or photobiomodulation, is a treatment that uses low-level (low-power) lasers or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to stimulate brain cells, helping them function better.  

Dr. Norman Doidge, a psychiatrist and researcher who teaches at the University of Toronto, discusses the amazing effects of LLLT in his book The Brain’s Way of Healing

Several studies show that LLLT increases the expression, production and release of IGF-1 (28-32).  

I previously wrote about my experience with low-level laser therapy here.  

I use this device and shine the red and infrared light directly on my forehead.  

I also use the Vielight 810, which is an intranasal device with 810 nm of near infrared light (If you decide to try one of the Vielight devices, you can use the coupon code JORDANFALLIS for a 10% discount). 

Before trying LLLT, I highly recommend reading my full article about it first.

23. Exercise

A cartoon woman lifting weights over her head. Exercise powerfully increases IGF-1 levels.

Exercise is probably the best way to boost IGF-1 levels, as it also appears to “push” IGF-1 to the brain to improve its function.  

There are two main forms of exercise that you need to engage in if you want to increase your IGF-1 levels – high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and resistance training.  

Research shows that resistance training (also known as strength training or weight training) significantly increases IGF-1 and increases the bioavailability of IGF-1 (73).  

Intense and strenuous HIIT workouts cause a significant increase in circulating levels of IGF-1 (74).  

Besides increasing IGF-1, exercise can also induce autophagy in the brain, increase dopamine and BDNF, and increase blood flow to the brain

That’s why many doctors and researchers recommend exercise as their number one piece of advice for optimal brain health.  

24. Deep Sleep

Getting enough high-quality, deep sleep is very important if you want to increase your IGF-1 levels and improve your brain and mental health. 

I used to have very poor sleep and it was one of the main factors that contributed to my low IGF-1 levels and poor cognitive function. 

Sleep deprivation is known to suppress IGF-1 in humans and animals (75, 78-79).  

Meanwhile, sleep extension significantly increases IGF-I concentrations (76).  

In one study, researchers found that increased deep sleep is associated with higher levels of IGF-1 in healthy older men (77).  

And in another study, improving the sleep quality of military personnel led to a significant increase in their IGF-1 levels, and a significant reduction in their symptoms of depression and PTSD (80).  

So, it’s not just the length of your sleep that matters. 

It’s also the depth and quality of your sleep.  

If you’re having trouble with sleep, try this sleep supplement. It contains magnesium and other natural compounds that I’ve used over the years to promote deeper and more restful sleep.  

Click here to subscribe

25. Reduce Inflammation

Reducing inflammation throughout your entire body is a key step towards increasing your IGF-1 levels naturally. 

Research clearly shows that proinflammatory cytokines inhibit and impair IGF-1 bioactivity, and induce a state of IGF resistance (81-85).  

There are many causes of chronic inflammation, including infections, mold, brain injuries, and leaky brain.  

But one of the most common causes – and the one you have the most control over – is your diet.  

That’s why I recommend following an anti-inflammatory diet and avoiding foods such as gluten and dairy that can trigger inflammation in the gut and brain.  

You should also remove processed food from your diet, and increase your intake of vegetables, fruits, wild fish, grass-fed beef and organic chicken.  

Check out my Free Grocery Shopping Guide for Optimal Brain and Mental Health for a full list of anti-inflammatory foods.  

Other steps you can take to reduce inflammation include reducing stress, exercising, improving gut health, treating infections and getting enough sleep. 

26. Avoid or Limit Alcohol

A glass of alcohol. Alcohol should be avoided if you want to increase your IGF-1 levels.

Alcohol is a neurotoxin that wreaks havoc on the brain by raising cortisol levels, disrupting the blood-brain barrier, and increasing inflammation and oxidative stress. 

It also lowers your IGF-1 levels. 

Researchers have found that high alcohol intake inhibits IGF-1 (86).  

There are ways to protect your brain from alcohol, but you’re better off avoiding it completely or significantly reducing your consumption if you’re trying to heal. I personally don’t drink alcohol at all anymore.  

If you do decide to drink it, this post explains that some types of alcohol are better than others. 

27. Sauna Sessions

When it comes to improving your health, some of the simplest strategies can have a huge impact.  

Using a sauna regularly is one of them. 

Research suggests that daily sauna sessions can significantly increase the production of growth hormone and IGF-1 (44-45).  

This sauna is the best low-EMF, infrared sauna on the market.  

Once you start using a sauna, you should listen to your body to determine how much time you should spend in it. Start out slowly and increase the length of your sessions over time.  

Also, make sure to drink lots of water before and after each session, and never consume alcohol in combination.  

Check out this post to learn more about saunas and the 13 ways they can improve your brain and mental health.  

Enjoy This Article? You Might Also Like My FREE Food Guide for Optimal Brain and Mental Health!

Click here to subscribe

Live Optimally,

Jordan Fallis

Connect with me

References:

(1) http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/84/6/1518.full 

(2) https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10284150400020482 

(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9876338 

(4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21295960  

(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22664333  

(6) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21939673  

(7) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22673824 

(8) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820068/ 

(9) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820068/ 

(10) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820068/ 

(11) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11712076 

(12) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8532589 

(13) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7845370 

(14) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820068  

(15) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820068 

(16) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820068  

(17) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820068 

(180 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5469470/  

(19) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20416996 

(20) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10413658  

(21) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3631133/ 

(22) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23497226  

(23) https://examine.com/supplements/creatine/ 

(24) https://ast-ss.com/boost-igf-1-levels-by-30-new-research-shows-you-how/  

(25) https://eje.bioscientifica.com/view/journals/eje/169/6/767.xml  

(26) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5469470/  

(27) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0955286396000113  

(28) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22714676  

(29) http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S0365-05962011000500013&script=sci_arttext&tlng=en  

(30) https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/effects-and-action-mechanism-of-low-level-laser-therapy-lllt-applications-in-periodontology-2161-1122-1000514-104623.html  

(31) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/jcb.26265  

(32) https://www.intechopen.com/books/photomedicine-advances-in-clinical-practice/biological-function-of-low-reactive-level-laser-therapy-lllt-  

(33) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5127374/  

(34) https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/lactobacillus-acidophilus-modulates-inflammatory-activity-by-regulating-the-tlr4-and-nfb-expression-in-porcine-peripheral-blood-mononuclear-cells-after-lipopolysaccharide-challenge/E12E96E37FEDC02336B7A10ED302628C/core-reader 

(35) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6131626/ 

(36) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6120984/ 

(37) https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0045572 

(38) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27596801  

(39) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/307885332_Supplementation_with_Lactobacillus_rhamnosus_SP1_normalises_skin_expression_of_genes_implicated_in_insulin_signalling_and_improves_adult_acne  

(40) http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/pdf/10.4141/A00-037  

(41) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5127374/  

(42) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25963419 

(43) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4071367/ 

(44) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/999213 

(45) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3788622 

(46) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19433898 

(47) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23531502 

(48) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24349472 

(49) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24946862  

(50) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22233457 

(51) https://thescipub.com/PDF/ajbbsp.2010.204.212.pdf  

(52) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25909895  

(53) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267390251_Astragalus_Membranaceus_Supplement_Increased_the_Concentration_of_IGF-1_for_Damaging_Muscle_in_Human 

(54) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29130588  

(55) https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2017/6935802/  

(56) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28164139  

(57) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22388791  

(58) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1148968/  

(59) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18443138 

(60) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12133885 

(61) https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0039332  

(62) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25352765  

(63) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3379974/  

(64) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21237681  

(65) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5537867/  

(66) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16900085?dopt=Abstract  

(67) https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/4148/f158df7d4264f91de7266cd3c0b9696358ed.pdf  

(68) https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/4148/f158df7d4264f91de7266cd3c0b9696358ed.pdf  

(69) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24606898  

(70) http://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/jco.1999.17.10.3291  

(71) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21590739  

(72) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12223429  

(73) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10708256  

(74) https://www.ijmrhs.com/medical-research/effects-of-high-intensity-interval-training-on-plasma-levels-of-gh-and-igfi.pdf 

(75) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27560704  

(76) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27560704  

(77) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7614245  

(78) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14871886  

(79) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25373853  

(80) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4442222/  

(81) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18325486/  

(82) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10422792 

(83) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20009360 

(84) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8218594/ 

(85) https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/5/10/4184 

(86) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3448087/  

(87) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1909610/ 

(88) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3978663/ 

(89) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11720784/ 

(90) https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article-lookup/doi/10.1210/jcem.84.2.5455 

(91) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14568359 

(92) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3677055/  

(93) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3348499/ 

(94) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14598295/ 

(95) https://www.nature.com/mp/journal/v12/n12/full/4002076a.html 

(96) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10022403  

(97) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10751445  

(98) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8418780 

(99) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10757380 

(100) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26362717 

(101) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7533956 

(102) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18223378 

(103) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2492581/ 

(104) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4013812/ 

(105) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3314463/ 

(106) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12415260 

(107) https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nm793 

(108) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00221-016-4572-1 

(109) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12067233 

(110) https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3211070 

(111) https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nm793 

(112) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00221-016-4572-1 

(113) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK299190/  

(114) https://academic.oup.com/endo/article/149/12/5958/2455262 

(115) https://academic.oup.com/endo/article/149/12/5958/2455262 

(116) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5291552/ 

(117) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25497343 

(118) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4568328/ 

(119) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK299190/  

(120) https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/736104/ 

(121) https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/18/11/2441/htm 

(122) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25497343 

(123) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4568328/ 

(124) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK299190/ 

(125) https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/736104/ 

(126) https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/18/11/2441/htm 

(127) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5285390/  

(128) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27038749 

(129) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4568328/ 

(130) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5285390/ 

(131) https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/7ead/c0efe7ff3f325ef81e63d992d09d51d5bfee.pdf 

Medically reviewed by Dr. Fred Hui, MD, CCFP, CAFC

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

Affiliate Disclosure

Disclaimer

How to Reverse Dementia Naturally with The Bredesen Protocol

You may be doubtful that reversing cognitive decline and dementia is even possible.

I used to be too. 

But I want to point you to an amazing study published in the Aging Journal

Read More