Summary of NGF
Nerve growth factor (NGF) is one of a group of small protein-like molecules called neurotrophins that are responsible for the development of new neurons, and for the health and maintenance of mature ones. NGF promotes growth, maintenance, and survival of neurons and axons. It also helps repair myelin sheath, the coating around the axons (R). Low NGF levels are found in a variety of common Western diseases, including atherosclerosis, obesity, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome (R). High NGF levels are found in a number of Autoimmune diseases (R).
The Function of NGF
Nerve growth factor is important for the development and maintenance of the sympathetic and sensory nervous systems. Extracellular ligand for the NTRK1 and NGFR receptors, activates cellular signaling cascades through those receptor tyrosine kinase to regulate neuronal proliferation, differentiation and survival. Inhibits metalloproteinase dependent proteolysis of platelet glycoprotein VI (PubMed:20164177).
Recommended name:Beta-nerve growth factor
Top Gene-Substance Interactions
NGF Interacts with These Diseases
Top Supplements to Increase NGF
Some of my favorite substances to increase NGF include:
Additional Ways to Increase Nerve Growth Factor (NGF)
Lifestyle to Increase NGF
- Social Enrichment early in life “ Mice reared in a more social environment had higher NGF in selected brain areas (hippocampus and hypothalamus) as adults (R).
- Yoga (even a single 20-minute session) (R, R2)
- Stress reduction“ Chronic mild stress decreased the concentration of NGF in the rat hypothalamus (R, R2).
- Exercise: Low-Intensity Resistance Training (R), Treadmill exercise (R, R2).
- Falling in love (R)
- Semen and Injaculation (for men)
- Intense Exercise: Allergic and neuro-immune disorders such as ALS tend to occur more frequently among athletes. NGF increases with stressors and allergies in humans and after physical exercise in animals. A study of blood levels of NGF in Olympic athletes showed significantly higher levels of NGF than controls (R).
Hormones That Increase NGF
Supplements to Increase NGF
- Nicotine “ Activates NGF in cultured spinal cord neurons (R).
- PQQ “ An antioxidant that also stimulates NGF. It strongly promotes peripheral nerve regeneration (R).
- ALCAR “ Increases levels of neurotrophins such as NGF (R, R2) and improves nerve regeneration in rats (R).
- Rosemary (Carnosic acid) - Induces NGF production (R).
- Quercetin “ Promotes nerve growth, and has shown the ability to regenerate peripheral nerves (R, R2).
- Ginkgo Biloba (Has Quercetin) (R)
- Lions Mane (Hericium Erinaceus) “ An edible mushroom that has been shown to boost NGF (R).
- Zinc “ Zinc may increase NGF; however, memory was improved only when Vitamin A was sufficient (R). Zinc may also bind to NGF, blocking its effect, but that was lessened under a more acidic pH (R).
- Lithium “ A 14-day Lithium trial increased NGF in specific parts of the brain: frontal cortex, amygdala, hippocampus, and limbic forebrain in adult rats (R).
- Vitamin D3 “ Treatment with the active form of vitamin D for 24 hours increased the NGF concentration in the brain 2- to 3-fold. Pretreatment with Forskolin doubled the results so that NGF was multiplied by 6 (R). However, this effect could be impaired if your blood sugar is high (R).
- Melatonin “ A 30-day injection of 1 mcg increased NGF in the submandibular gland of mice. These effects were not observed when the dose of melatonin was increased to 10 and 50 micrograms daily (R).
- DHEA “ Might induce overproduction of NGF cortical neurons (R).
- Astragalus “ The extract may act as a nerve-growth-promoting factor (R).
- Huperzine A “ An alkaloid from herbs that seems to boost NGF (R).
- Bupleurum (Chinese herb Radix Bupleuri) “ Raises blood levels of NGF (R).
- Ashitaba “ 10 ml (Two Teaspoons) Increases NGF production by 20%
- Yohimbine “ Increased blood levels of norepinephrine, which upregulates expression of NGF (in rats) (R).
- Chrysin - A flavonoid found in honey and some plants, it increases NGF (R).
- Royal jelly “Topically, royal jelly increases NGF (R, R2).
- Rehmannia “ Improves learning and memory in rats, possibly due increased NGF in the hippocampus (R).
- Polygala tenuifolia “ The root extract (used in Chinese Medicine) increased NGF secretion in the lab (R).
Drugs to Increase NGF
- Idebenone (R, R2) “ Stimulates NGF, antioxidant properties have been disputed (R).
- Selegiline (drug) “ A metabolite of Selegiline, desmethylselegiline, elevates NGF, BDNF, and GDNF (R).
- Noopept “ A smart drug that has been shown to stimulate the expression of NGF in rat hippocampus (R).
- 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) “ A compound known to produce ketones. 2-DG significantly increased expression of NGF in mice (R).
- NGF eye drops (rather expensive, but apparently effective) (R).
Supplements That Support NGF Activity
- Sauna/Heat Shock - Enhances NGF-induced nerve growth (R).
- Green Tea/EGCG “ Green tea polyphenols increase NGF-induced nerve growth. Among the polyphenols present in green tea, only EGCG significantly enhanced NGF-induced neuronal growth (R, R2).
- Milk Thistle “ Enhanced NGF-induced nerve growth and prolonged their survival in the lab (R).
- DHA “ Increases NGF-induced neuronal growth (R, R2).
- Vitamin A “ Increases NGF receptors and sensitizes cells to the effects of NGF (R).
- Alcohol “ Increases NGF-induced neuronal growth (R).
- PS (Phosphatidylserine) “ Protects receptors. PS helps older rats retain more quality neurons and a higher density of NGF receptors (R).
- Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) - Caused a marked increase in neurite outgrowth in the presence of NGF (R).
- Alpha-GPC (choline alfoscerate) “ May increase the expression of NGF receptors in the brain (R).
- Acetyl-L-carnitine arginate is a patented form of carnitine that stimulates the outgrowth of neurons in the brain. Studies show that ALCA stimulates the growth of neurites by 19.5%, which is almost four times better than acetyl-L-carnitine.
- Uridine + Choline + DHA “ Feeding omega-3s (DHA or EPA) to gerbils eating a choline-rich diet improved the nerve membranes, especially when also given with a dietary source of uridine (R). This combination significantly improved performance, implying better brain function (R, R2).
- Uridine converts to a form of choline called GDP-choline when it enters the brain. (R)
- Uridine Monophosphate is the compound used in brain research studies. It is a major component of RNA, which is rich in foods such as organ meats, brewer's yeast, tomatoes, and broccoli. When these foods are digested, uridine is released from RNA and is absorbed in the gut.
- Forskolin “ Further increases NGF (R).
- Genistein “ Enhanced the NGF-induced nerve growth in rat cells (R).
- Nardosinone (from Chinese spikenard) Greatly enhances NGF-induced nerve growth (R, R2).
- 4-O-methylhonokiol “ A compound from Magnolia officinalis, it promotes the release of NGF and increases nerve growth (R).
rs6330This SNP changes an amino acid in the NGF gene and therefore affects its function (G=Ala, A=Val). A-allele carriers are at increased susceptibility to anxiety by its association with low vagal activity (R).
- In females, GG had higher levels of anxiety than AG or AA (R).
- In males, GG had lower levels of anxiety than AG or AA (R).
- The G allele was significantly more common in people with ADHD (P=.05) (R).
- The "A" allele was associated with a 1.47X increased risk of Alzheimer's (R).
rs2072446The T allele is associated with schizophrenia, which is associated with decreased blood levels of these Nerve Growth Factor (R). Although C is the common allele, it increases the risk of Alzheimer's in people with a family history (R).
rs4332358This SNP is associated with affective disorders such as depression or bipolar in women (doesn't specify allele) (R).
rs734194G or the less common allele might be protective against developing schizophrenia (R).
Substances That Increase NGF
Substances That Decrease NGF
What is Nerve Growth Factor?
Nerve growth factor (NGF) is one of a group of small protein-like molecules called neurotrophins ( BDNF is another) that are responsible for the development of new neurons, and for the health and maintenance of mature ones.
The GoodNGF is good for many people, and based on your individual issues, you need to decide if it's better for you to increase or decrease it. I'd say that for most people, it's better to increase it.
NGF Improves DepressionBlood levels of NGF were significantly lower in those with Major Depressive Disorder compared to controls (R). Exercise increased NGF (and BDNF & synapsin I), which improved survival of neurons in the hippocampus and simultaneously improved depression by increasing the serotonin-producing cells in the brain stem (R). Chrysin is a flavonoid found in honey and some plants. The chrysin-induced increase of NGF is possibly behind its antidepressant effect (20mg/kg) in mice (R).
NGF May Help Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
In an animal model of human brain demyelinating diseases (e.g. Multiple Sclerosis), NGF delayed onset, lowered inflammation, and lessened tissue injury (R). NGF promotes growth and repair of myelin damage (R).
NGF also directly controls some the main structural proteins of the myelin sheath (R). NGF induces the production of BDNF , which is also important for the myelination of nerves (R). Because of NGFs abilities to protect the brain and balance the immune system, it is being studied for a number of brain disorders, including Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease (R).
NGF Helps Alzheimers Disease (AD)
Substances that raise acetylcholine have shown benefit for Alzheimer˜s disease. Recent animal studies show that NGF selectively protects acetylcholine-activated neurons, showing positive implications for treatment of Alzheimer's (R).
The ability of the brain to convert proNGF to mature NGF is faulty in both Alzheimer's disease and in Down Syndrome, resulting in neurons that are dysfunctional. Amyloid-² plaque formation and brain inflammation may be caused (R).
NGF May Contribute to SchizophreniaStudies have found certain genes of the NGF and NGFR are associated with decreased blood levels of these proteins and increase the risk for schizophrenia (R).
NGF Repairs Your Heart and May Prevent Heart DiseaseIn a mouse model of injury to the artery, NGF regenerated the nerve around the blood vessels and subsequently helped form new blood vessels, supporting their development and stabilization (R). NGF helps repair the heart after a heart attack (R).
NGF May Be Good For DiabetesNGF seems to be important for pancreatic health. If NGF is taken away, the pancreatic beta cells die (R). Low blood levels of NGF are associated with diabetic neuropathy (R).
NGF May Help Some CancersNGF prevents the spread of cancer cells in hypothalamic or pituitary tumors and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Simultaneous treatment with Vitamin A (retinoic acid) enhances the effect (R).
NGF Supports Fertility
The BadWhile NGF does a lot of good things, it may be problematic in some ways. The issue with some of these studies is that in certain states of disease, NGF can increase, which doesn't mean that NGF causes the disease. Rather, it may just be a correlation. But overall, it seems like NGF can contribute to certain issues.
NGF is High in Inflammation, Pain, and Injury
NGF is often high in patients with chronic pain (interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome, chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome, osteoarthritis, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, and psoriasis) but not in all cases (R). Increased NGF might be part of the inflammatory response to brain injury (R, R2).
NGF May Contribute to Histamine IntoleranceNGF activates mast cells, which causes the release of histamine . BDNF and other neurotrophins, however, do not activate mast cells (R). This may contribute to histamine intolerance.
NGF May Worsen Autoimmunity
NGF may play a role in regulating the interactions of the nervous system, hormonal system, and immune system, keeping it in balance. A number of autoimmune conditions have high NGF as well as more mast cells (R).
NGF is one mechanism by which stress increases inflammation and autoimmunity (neuroimmune interactions) (R). A drug that inhibits NGF is used for arthritic pain; side effects included the destruction of joints and bone in some patients (R).
NGF May Contribute to Spread of CancerAccording to research, NGF (as well as BDNF) stimulates the spread and survival of tumor cells and promotes new blood vessel production in tumors (R).
hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy type V At least one mutation in the NGF gene has been reported to cause hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy type V (HSAN5), a condition characterized by the inability to feel pain and sense hot and cold. This mutation changes a single protein building block (amino acid) in the NGFβ protein. The amino acid arginine is replaced with the amino acid tryptophan at position 100 (written as Arg100Trp or R100W). Studies show that the mutated NGFβ protein cannot bind to the p75NTR receptor and that it alters the signaling through the NTRK1 receptor. In addition, people with HSAN5 have a reduced number of sensory neurons. However, the mechanism by which mutation of the NGF gene leads to the inability to feel pain and temperature sensations is unclear. Although the NGFβ protein is important in many types of neurons, only sensory neurons appear to be affected in people with HSAN5.
The NGF gene provides instructions for making a protein called nerve growth factor beta (NGFβ). This protein is important in the development and survival of nerve cells (neurons), especially those that transmit pain, temperature, and touch sensations (sensory neurons). The NGFβ protein functions by attaching (binding) to its receptors, which initiates signaling pathways inside the cell. The NGFβ protein can bind to two different receptors, the NTRK1 receptor or the p75NTR receptor. Both receptors are found on the surface of sensory neurons and other types of neurons. The binding of the NGFβ protein to the NTRK1 receptor signals these neurons to grow and to mature and take on specialized functions (differentiate). This binding also blocks signals that initiate the process of self-destruction (apoptosis). Additionally, NGFβ signaling through NTRK1 plays a role in pain sensation. It is less clear what binding with the p75NTR receptor signals. Studies suggest that p75NTR signaling can help sensory neurons grow and differentiate but can also trigger apoptosis.
Conditions with Increased Gene Activity
|Condition||Change (log2fold)||Comparison||Species||Experimental variables||Experiment name|
Conditions with Decreased Gene Activity
|Condition||Change (log2fold)||Comparison||Species||Experimental variables||Experiment name|
The following transcription factors affect gene expression:
- Activation Of Cysteine-Type Endopeptidase Activity Involved In Apoptotic Process
- Activation Of Mapkk Activity
- Cell-Cell Signaling
- Extrinsic Apoptotic Signaling Pathway Via Death Domain Receptors
- Microtubule-Based Movement
- Negative Regulation Of Apoptotic Process
- Negative Regulation Of Cysteine-Type Endopeptidase Activity Involved In Apoptotic Process
- Negative Regulation Of Neuron Apoptotic Process
- Nerve Growth Factor Processing
- Neuron Projection Morphogenesis
- Neurotrophin Trk Receptor Signaling Pathway
- Phosphatidylinositol-Mediated Signaling
- Positive Regulation Of Apoptotic Process
- Positive Regulation Of Axonogenesis
- Positive Regulation Of Gene Expression
- Positive Regulation Of Ras Protein Signal Transduction
- Regulation Of Cysteine-Type Endopeptidase Activity Involved In Apoptotic Process
- Regulation Of Neuron Differentiation
- Transmembrane Receptor Protein Tyrosine Kinase Signaling Pathway