VEGF plays a role in heart disease, cancer, chronic inflammation, depression, tissue oxygenation, cognitive function, kidney disease, and macular degeneration. VEGF can be harmful at high or low levels.
What is VEGF?
VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) is a protein that initiates blood vessel formation.
Helps Oxygenate Tissue (by Creating New Blood Vessels)
Cells which are not getting oxygen (from either problems with blood flow or problems with overworked cells) produce “hypoxia-inducible factor” which stimulates the release of VEGF .
VEGF leads to the creation of blood vessels in the unborn baby .
VEGF makes blood vessels bigger which means more blood flow .
Part of the mechanism by which it leads to new blood vessel formation is by increasing MMPs .
Can Benefit Heart Disease (by Creating New Blood Vessels)
The VEGF gene can be injected into cells to make them produce more VEGF .
This will make new capillaries grow and will help bypass blocks in blood vessels caused by plaque .
Helps Immune Function
VEGF outside the blood vessels attracts immune fighter cells .
VEGF builds lymph vessels, which are important for immune cells as they move through your body, looking for dangerous bacteria, viruses, and fungi .
The negative to this is that it can increase inflammation.
Protects the Brain
VEGF can help prevent brain impairments by improving neuron function and viability .
It can also help prevent diabetes-related memory loss .
By increasing blood flow, VEGF can help prevent neurodegeneration and ALS in animal models. People with genes that cause low VEGF are at higher risk for ALS .
May Increase Inflammation by Activating Microglia
VEGF is capable of activating microglia, which can contribute to inflammation .
Leads To Holes In Blood Vessels Making Them Leakier
VEGF removes molecules that make blood vessel cells stick to each other (like different sections of a pipe are held together with screws). This makes blood vessels leaky .
VEGF can increase the permeability of the blood-brain barrier .
Contributes to the Spread of Cancer
VEGF builds blood vessels, which increases blood supply to cancer cells to allow them to grow at a high rate .
By making it easier for cancer cells to grow, it makes it harder to destroy cancer cells .
Worsens Some Autoimmune Diseases
VEGF causes fluid to leak out of blood vessels by making them leaky .
This pinches nerves and causes more inflammation which makes rheumatoid arthritis worse .
Blood levels of VEGF correlate with disease activity in a large number of autoimmune diseases and fall with the use of standard therapy.
Makes Diabetic Retinopathy and Macular Degeneration Worse
During diabetes, the cells of the retina don’t get enough oxygen, which leads to VEGF release and more capillary formation .
These new blood vessels are fragile and can burst, leading to blood leaking out and damaging the back of the eye where light is transformed into a picture .
Causes Kidney Damage
VEGF builds blood vessels in the kidneys .
Kidney cells, which are filters through which fluid from blood is sieved through eventually cannot take that much fluid coming through them and are destroyed .
This leads to everything going through the filter as it is now destroyed .
This kills kidney cells and makes the urine have things it shouldn’t have like protein .
VEGF changes can indicate early-onset pre-eclampsia which can cause miscarriages .
Contributes to Depression
This is due to the fact that VEGF influences the level of neurotrophins in the brain. VEGF can also mimic the actions of antidepressants, causing them to not work (25).
Activates Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs)
- Andrographis (in-vitro) 
- Curcumin 
- Tea/EGCG (found in green tea) 
- Anthocyanins (found in berries, grapes, eggplants, sweet potato, mango, etc.)
- Fish oil/DHA
- Polyphenols (found in tea, olive oil)
- Luteolin (found in broccoli, pepper, thyme, etc.) 
- Lycopene (found in tomatoes, beans, asparagus, etc.) 
- Ubiquinol 
- Naringenin (found in grapefruit) 
- Myricetin (found in sweet potato, currants, cranberries, etc. ) 
VEGF on SelfDecode
- Information about VEGF on SelfDecode
- VEGF search
Genes for VEGF
- RS10434 (VEGFA)
- RS1570360 (VEGFA)
- RS2146323 (VEGFA)
- RS25648 (VEGFA)
- RS3024994 (VEGFA)
- RS3025000 (VEGFA)
- RS3025010 (VEGFA)
- RS3025020 (VEGFA)
- RS3025035 (VEGFA)
- RS3025039 (VEGFA)
- RS833061 (VEGFA)
- RS833068 (VEGFA)
- RS833069 (VEGFA)
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