Who was Rita Levi-Montalcini?

Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) is a protein that plays a crucial role in the survival and maintenance of neurons in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. It was first identified in the 1950s by Nobel Prize-winning scientist, Rita Levi-Montalcini.

Levi-Montalcini’s work on NGF was groundbreaking and showed the importance of this protein in the growth and survival of neurons. Her research provided the foundation for the development of numerous therapies aimed at treating neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, by increasing NGF levels in the brain.

Levi-Montalcini’s discoveries continue to inspire new research and advancements in the field of neuroscience. Today, scientists are exploring various ways to enhance NGF levels in the brain, including the use of Lion’s Mane mushrooms. These mushrooms have been shown to increase NGF production in the body and may have potential benefits for brain health and function.

While more research is needed to fully understand the effects of NGF and Lion’s Mane, the legacy of Rita Levi-Montalcini and her work on NGF highlights the importance of continued exploration and investigation into the role of this protein in the brain.

Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a key player in keeping our neurons healthy and strong.
Did you know that the amazing Lion’s Mane mushroom may help boost NGF levels in our bodies?
NGF works in the brain by interacting with our glial cells, which are the supportive cells of our nervous system.

Have you ever heard of glia cells?

These tiny but mighty cells make up a large part of our brain and spinal cord, and play a crucial role in keeping our nervous system healthy and functioning properly. They make up about half of the total volume of the brain and spinal cord.

So, what exactly are glia cells?

They are cells that work in tandem with neurons to support and protect them. Some of them look like spiders. There are several different types of glia cells, including astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia.

Astrocytes, the most abundant type of glia cells, help to create a healthy environment for neurons, provide them with the nutrients they need, and even assist in forming the blood-brain barrier.
Oligodendrocytes, on the other hand, are responsible for producing myelin, a substance that acts like insulation for neurons.
Finally, microglia serve as the immune system of the central nervous system, helping to keep it healthy and responding to any potential problems.

Nerve Growth Factor and glia cells

When NGF is present, it triggers a chain of events that leads to the activation of certain signals within our cells. These signals then boost the production of other growth factors, like brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which help keep our neurons healthy and thriving.

But, NGF doesn’t just support our neurons, it also helps regulate inflammation in the brain. By working with our glial cells, NGF helps control the immune response and prevent excessive inflammation, which can contribute to the development of neurodegenerative disorders.

Which other foods contain NGF?

Lion’s Mane stands out from other foods as it’s rich in compounds like hericenones and erinacines, which have been shown to increase NGF production in the body. While there are other foods that contain trace amounts of NGF, like eggs, milk, fish, and poultry, there is limited evidence to support their impact on NGF levels.

It’s worth noting that while other foods may contain NGF, Lion’s Mane is a food that has been more extensively studied for its impact on NGF levels and its potential to promote brain health than others.
Check out our blog on Reishi and Nerve Growth Factor.
As with any supplement or functional food, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional before incorporating it into your diet.

Lion’s Mane mushroom 

Ta for reading,

Bee Ebene

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