Silk emitted by the silkworm (Bombyx mori), and other insects, consists mainly of two proteins:
Sericin is the protein that is like a gum and sticky and allows the fibroin (fibers) protein to stick together. Fibroin is the structural insoluble protein that creates the cacoon and webs.
The fibroin protein consists of layers of antiparallel beta sheets. Beta sheets consist of beta strands connected laterally by at least two or three backbone hydrogen bonds, forming a generally twisted, pleated sheet. The beta-sheet structure of fibroin consists of the recurrent amino acid sequence:
Brain Factor-7 (BF-7) is created by taking raw silk and exposing it to filtration and purification processes and proteolysis. This process turns the raw silk fibroin into a enzymatically hydrolyzed protein.
The rigid structure and tensile strength of silk (fibroin) is due to the high Glycine content in the amino acid sequence. The beta sheet amino acid sequence of fibroin enables them to interact with signaling receptors in cell and nuclear membranes. Because BF-7 can cross the blood-brain barrier, they can interact directly with beta-pleated sheet structures in brain cell membranes to support cognitive function.
The Table below list the known scientific studies on the neuroprotective benefits of BF-7:
Neuroprotective Benefits of Brain Factor-7 (BF-7)
# Function/Condition Effect Reference
1 Antioxidant Silk fibroin has the ability to protect brain function by removing oxidative stress and thereby protecting against oxidative damage 1
2 Enhancement of Memory and Cognitive Funtion Treatment with BF-7 significantly improved memory and cognitive function. Moreover, the memory index and memory preservation of clinical experiments using MMSE-K tests were significantly improved memory and cognitive function. This results strongly represent that the BF-7 play effectively positive role in the improvement of brain function including learning and memory. Taken together, our results suggested that the BF-7 should be useful for developing strategies protecting nervous system and improving brain function. 2
3 Blood circulation Silk fibroin can increase blood flow to critical areas of the brain involved in memory and learning 3
4 Alzheimer's disease Sericin can be used as a potential cognitive enhancer in general and Alzheimer’s disease 4
5 Cognitive function (in children) Brain factor-7 (BF-7) extracted from Bombyx mori improves cognitive functions in normal juveniles and adults as well as cognitively impaired patients.
Brain factor-7 extracted from Bombyx mori enhances cognition and attention in normal children. The results reveal that BF-7 improves brain function for attention and cognitive flexibility in children.
6 Cognitive function by release of acetylcholine Results indicate that SP preparations restore cognitive functions of facilitated
brain aging model rats by increasing the release of acetylcholine, in addition to neuroprotective activity.
7 Learning and memory Results of the study showed that the blood flow to parahippocampal gyrus and medial temporal area was increased by the use of BF-7 7
8 Ischemia-induced Learning and Memory Deficits Treatment of BF-7 greatly reduced the infarct size. Also the neuronal damages in the hippocampus were significantly diminished. Furthermore, The memory impairment by ischemia was recovered. The clinical test showed that BF-7 greatly enhanced the brain function recognizing and memorizing complex two dimensional figures 8
9 Memory-enhancing effects In this study, we identified three novel peptides that could improve memory, and that silk fibroin hydrolysate was a mixture of various active peptides that could enhance memory. 9
10 Amyloid beta Peptide BF-7 significantly attenuated A beta-induced apoptosis as measured by intracellular calcium levels,accumulation of reactive oxygen species,mitochondrial dysfunction,and caspase activity.These results strongly indicate that BF-7 plays an effective and positive role in the improvement of brain functions,including learning and memory,in our model system for Alzheimer's disease. 10
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