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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.

Introduction to VEGF

VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) is a protein that initiates blood vessel formation.

The Good


VEGF Helps Oxygenate Tissue (by Creating New Blood Vessels)

Cells which are not getting oxygen (either problems with blood flow or problems with overworked cells) produce “hypoxia inducible factor” which stimulates the release of VEGF (R).

VEGF helps create new blood vessels (R, R2).

VEGF leads to creation of blood vessels in the unborn baby (R).

VEGF makes blood vessels bigger which means more blood flow (R).

Part of the mechanism by which it leads to new blood vessel formation is by increasing MMPs (R).

Histamine, a natural compound found in the body and in many foods, can also enhance VEGF production, and in turn promote the formation of more blood vessels (R).

VEGF Can Benefit Heart Disease (by Creating New Blood Vessels)


The VEGF gene can be injected into cells to make them produce more VEGF (R).

This will make new capillaries grow, and will help bypass blocks in blood vessels caused by plaque (R).

VEGF Helps Immune Function

VEGF outside the blood vessels attracts immune fighter cells (R).

VEGF builds lymph vessels, which are important for immune cells as they move through your body, looking for dangerous bacteria, viruses, and fungi (R).

The negative to this is that it can increase inflammation.

VEGF Protects the Brain

F1.large (4)

VEGF can help prevent brain impairments by improving neuron function and viability (R).

Exercise and high levels of VEGF in adolescents led to better spatial better memory (R).

It can also help prevent diabetes-related memory loss (R).

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 (R).

The Bad


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VEGF May Increase Inflammation by Activating Microglia

VEGF is capable of activating microglia, which can contribute to inflammation (R).

VEGF Leads To Holes In Blood Vessels To Make Them More Leaky

VEGF removes molecules that makes blood vessel cells stick to each other (like different sections of a pipe are held together with screws). This makes blood vessels leaky (R).

VEGF can increase permeability of the blood brain barrier (R).

VEGF 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 (R).

By making it easier for cancer cells to grow, it makes it harder to destroy cancer cells (R).

VEGF Worsens Some Autoimmune Diseases

VEGF causes fluid to leak out of blood vessels by making them leaky (R).

This pinches nerves and causes more inflammation which makes rheumatoid arthritis worse (R).

Blood levels of VEGF correlate with disease activity in a large number of autoimmune diseases and fall with the use of standard therapy.

There is considerable evidence in systemic lupus erythematosus and multiple sclerosis, and it’s believed that VEGF contributes to theses disorders (R).

VEGF 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 (R).

During age related macular degeneration, cells at the back of the eye release VEGF because they are damaged by oxidizing molecules (R). This causes new blood vessel formation (R).

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 (R).

VEGF Causes Kidney Damage


VEGF builds blood vessels in the kidneys (R).

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 (R).

This leads to everything going through the filter as it is now destroyed (R).

This kills kidney cells, and makes the urine have things it shouldn’t have like protein (R).

VEGF changes can indicate early-onset pre-eclampsia which can cause miscarriages (R).

VEGF Contributes to Depression


Higher levels of VEGF were found in people with depression (R).

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 (R).

VEGF Activates Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs)

MMPs increase inflammation in the body and contribute to variety of diseases.

Inhibiting VEGF

Increasing VEGF

VEGF on SelfDecode


Genes for VEGF

SelfDecode has a variety of SNPs for VEGF, including:

  1. RS10434 (VEGFA)
  2. RS1570360 (VEGFA)
  3. RS2146323 (VEGFA)
  4. RS25648 (VEGFA)
  5. RS3024994 (VEGFA)
  6. RS3025000 (VEGFA)
  7. RS3025010 (VEGFA)
  8. RS3025020 (VEGFA)
  9. RS3025035 (VEGFA)
  10. RS3025039 (VEGFA)
  11. RS833061 (VEGFA)
  12. RS833068 (VEGFA)
  13. RS833069 (VEGFA)

Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick

At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.

That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:

  • Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
  • SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
  • SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
  • SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
  • Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
  • Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
  • Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
  • BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
  • SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics

FDA Compliance

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.


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  • MARY T

    What does a Quest 247 vegf result indicate as a cause?

  • Afifa noman

    Can you please why we produce human recombinant VEGF , what are it’s application

  • Pat

    From what I have seen reading a bunch of studies on VEGF, the “normal” range for healthy controls seems to fall under 40 pg/ml, with the largest group in the 10-30 pg/ml range (this is plasma which seems to be the preferred method).

    IF you look at the ranges per lab Quest is the only one that has the range of 31-86 pg/ml…I would like to know why they don’t measure below 31 given that every single study with healthy controls, the bulk fall well below the 31 pg/ml. Is it that Quest is only interested in high results, since that seems to be where the current usefulness of this test lies? its just interesting that the Quest assay isn’t sensitive enough to detect below 31 pg/ml while every other lab, i.e., mayo, Arup, lab corp, etc. is.

  • Shari

    Do you know any reasons a VEGF level would be in 700 and 800 range?

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