Increasing the amount of CREB protein (also known as the cAMP response element binding protein) in your body can greatly improve your memory and learning abilities. A lack of CREB protein is tied to memory loss, anxiety, and different forms of dementia. Maintaining healthy eating, exercise, and sleeping patterns is key to the production and activation of CREB protein. Supplements like cinnamon, blueberry extract, and butyrate can also boost your CREB protein levels.
EditMaintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
- Consult your doctor. Maintaining your health is important, particularly if you suspect that you might have a CREB protein deficiency. Cognitive or psychological issues (e.g. anxiety) may be due in part to a lag in CREB protein activation, and can be treated with medications or targeted therapies. Visit a doctor if you experience memory, learning, or concentration issues, or if you want more information about boosting your CREB protein levels.
- CREB protein levels are typically measured by way of a Western blot test, which is performed in a laboratory using a cell or tissue sample. This test can be ordered by your physician, or requested at a private laboratory.
- Contact private clinics or laboratories in your area for price quotes for a Western blot test.
- Eat healthy food at regular times. The body’s production of CREB protein depends on the healthy functioning of the metabolic energy cycle. To keep this cycle running at peak capacity, eat a balanced and low-fat diet that is high in nutrients. It is equally important to eat at regular times of the day to keep your metabolic activity in check, which you can facilitate by keeping a food diary.
- Keep your metabolism on track by eating meals and snacks at the same time every day.
- Opt for snacks and meals that contain fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein (e.g. a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, with an apple and carrot sticks on the side).
- Stay away from high fat, processed foods (e.g. fast food fare like hamburgers and fries).
- Exercise regularly. Exercise creates a molecular response in the body that can increase the activation of CREB protein. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week, or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity. Moderate exercise may include things like walking or swimming, while more vigorous exercise could include running, jumping rope, or taking a spin class.
- For instance, go for 30 minute walks five days a week to get moderate exercise.
- For an example of a more vigorous exercise routine, do 25 minute sessions of jump rope three times a week.
- Balance your Circadian Rhythm. Your Circadian Rhythm is an internal process that regulates when you feel sleepy and alert during the day, and at what times you sleep. Maintaining a healthy rhythm is key to regulating your eating habits and giving your body enough energy for exercise. Keep your Circadian Rhythm in check by:
- Keeping a consistent sleep schedule (i.e. going to bed and waking up at the same time every day)
- Steering clear of electronic devices close to your bedtime, which simulate daylight and adversely affect your body’s sleep instincts
- Exposing yourself to bright light in the morning to wake up (e.g. opening the blinds, going outside for walk)
- Avoiding all-nighters
EditTaking Nutritional Supplements
- Take butyrate supplements. Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid that has a wealth of health benefits, including the increased production of CREB protein in the body. Ask your doctor if butyrate supplements (available over the counter at pharmacies and health stores) are right for you. Alternatively, try to infuse butyrate into your diet naturally by increasing your consumption of high fiber vegetables and dairy fats (e.g. butter, heavy cream).
- Eat cinnamon. Consuming cinnamon may increase the body’s production of CREB protein, making it a subject of research surrounding diseases like Alzheimer’s. Cinnamon can be metabolized into a non-toxic form of sodium-benzoate, a chemical approved by the FDA to treat brain damage. Purchase cinnamon supplements from a pharmacy or health store, or introduce cinnamon into your everyday diet by:
- Ingest blueberry extract. Blueberry extract has been shown to improve cognitive function and increase CREB protein activation on the body. The compound can be consumed in food form, or more easily in supplement form (i.e. pure blueberry extract powder or isolated anthocyanins derived from the extract). For the best results, aim to consume between 5.5 and 11g of blueberry extract per day, 500 to 1,000mg of isolated anthocyanins, or 60-120g of fresh berries.
- Don’t just take pure cinnamon powder. It can cause you to choke.
- Alcohol can temporarily boost CREB protein levels in the body, but the effects are short-term and may be harmful in the long run.
- Do not take medical supplements without consulting a doctor first.