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The cocoon of the domesticated silkworm Bombyx morii consists of a single strand, 3000-feet long, that is made of an extremely strong, almost unbreakable fiber called fibroin. Besides rendering the most fine, elegant yarns of fashion, starting with silk itself, an extract of fibrin, containing the amino acids alanine, glycine and serine, also yields a peptide rich protein hydrolysate called Brain Factor-7 (BF-7) that, when ingested, seems to enhance memory and ability to perform tasks. As it turns out, BF-7 works like Velcro® for the brain and optimizes glucose uptake.

Extensively studied in placebo-controlled, double blind human trials, the extract has been shown to lead to increases in memory, math performance, attention and “cognitive flexibility” in children and adults.

#1 SUGAR ADDICT

We hear a lot of bad talk about sugar these days. But for those who are involved with intensive executive level tasks, if we use our brains to fight the battles of life, then we are sugar addicts.

“The brain is dependent on sugar as its main fuel,” says Vera Novak, MD, PhD, HMS associate professor of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “It cannot be without it.”

The human brain is a sugar-dependent organ. Rich in neurons, it is the most energy-demanding organ and uses half of all the sugar calories one consumes.

If there isn’t enough glucose in the brain, neurotransmitters, the brain’s chemical messengers, are not produced and communication between neurons breaks down.

BOOSTS IQ

Imaging analysis found increases in circulation and uptake of glucose in the brain regions used for learning and memory with administration of BF-7. To investigate whether BF-7 improved learning and memory of ordinary people, the Korean version of the Wechsler adult intelligence scale test was performed in 4 healthy students.Treatment with 400 mg of BF-7 increased mean IQ from 103 to 114.

To know how BF-7 played such a positive role, these scientists measured the blood flow to the brain, especially for the area concerned with learning and memory, with Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography. Their results showed that the blood flow to the parahippocampal gyrus and medial temporal area was increased.

4 NEUROPROTECTIVE EFFECTS

BF-7:
• Protects brain function by removing oxidative stress, thereby protecting against free radical damage.
• Increases blood flow to critical areas of the brain involved in memory and learning.
• Restores cognitive functions in a brain aging model by increasing the release of acetylcholine and neuroprotective activity.
• Increases blood flow to the parahippocampal gyrus and medial temporal area.

CLINICAL STUDIES

The protein hydrolysate, which is a nontoxic, was studied for its effect on cognitive function in 46 healthy school skids. Results showed that BF-7 reduced the response time by an average of 23% for the Color Trails Making Test, a culture-fair analysis of visual attention, graphomotor sequencing and effortful executive processing abilities. Moreover, BF-7 improved the accuracy of task performance by 2x.

BF-7 was studied among 30 healthy university students for its effects on learning and memory, especially working memory and attention, and on mathematical ability.

“As a result, BF-7 milk improved the accuracy of the task more than 3-fold. Furthermore, BF-7 milk protected cultured neuronal cells from 3-hydroxykynurenine, a normal endogenous brain stress agent. These results indicate that BF-7 milk enhances memory, attention and mathematical ability in normal persons.”

BF-7 and a placebo control were administered to two different groups of children (7-12 years old, 9.78 on averages). Their memory enhancement was tested with Rey-Kim Memory Test for Children before and after the administration of BF-7 and a placebo. “The results showed that long- and short-term memories were significantly improved by the administration of BF-7. Interestingly, the degree of memory preservation, the ability of memory application and awareness of complex thing were also significantly improved. These results indicate that BF-7 is a promising substance from natural resource improving learning and memory of children as well as cognitive function of adults.”

DAILY DOSE

A daily dose as low as 100 mg appears to be effective.

REFERENCES

Chae HS, Kang YK, Shin YK, Lee HJ, Yu JI, Lee KG, Yeo JH, Kim YS, Sohn DS, Kim KY, Lee WB, Lee SH, Kim SS. The role of BF-7 on neuroprotection and enhancement of cognitive function. Kor J Physiol Pharmacol 2004 Aug;8:173-179.
Dongsun Park, Sun Hee Lee, Young Jin Choi, Dae-Kwon Bae, Yun-Hui Yang, Goeun Yang, Tae Kyun Kim, Sungho Yeon, Seock-Yeon Hwang, Seong Soo Joo and Yun-Bae Kim Improving Effect of Silk Peptides on the Cognitive Function of Rats with Aging Brain Facilitated by D-Galactose Biomol Ther 19(2), 224-230 (2011).
Kim DH, Lee HJ, Choi G, Kim OH, Lee KG, Yeo JH, Lee JY, Lee SH, Youn C, Lee JH, Paik HD, Lee WB, Kim SS, Jung HY. Milk containing BF-7 enhances the learning and memory, attention, and mathematical ability of normal persons. Korean J Food Sci Ani Resour. 2009a;29(2):278-282.
Kim K, Park S, Yoo HK, Lee JY, Jung HY, Kim DH, Lee HJ, Kim JY, Youn YC, Marshall MR, Kim SS, Jeong Y. Brain factor-7 extracted from Bombyx mori enhances cognition and attention in normal children. J Med Food. 2009 Jun;12(3):643-8. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2008.1236.
Lee SH, Kim YS, Kim SS, Kang YK, Lee MY, Lee KG, Yeo JH, Lee WB, Kim DY. Association between cerebral blood flow and cognitive improvement effect by B. mori extracted compound. Kor J Seric Sci 2004a; 46(2):77-79. Korean.
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