AuthorFranklin Lowe

A Listing of Natural Nootropic Supplements

There are several groups of nootropics, including natural nootropic supplements.  Natural nootropic supplements have been around for a long time, but only recently have they started being treated as nootropics in the sense of providing a boost to cognitive abilities.  The purpose of this list is to call out the natural nootropics in the market.

1. Adaptogen List

Adaptogens are herbs that may help with the body’s resistance to stress, often by helping to reduce cortisol. They may also offer neurotransmitter support and promote enhancements in cognitive functioning and energy levels. Adaptogens are herbs and though many have had research via NIH, most have not been evaluated by the FDA for treating disease. As such some research evidence may be inconclusive.

  • Rhodiola Rosea
  • Bacopa Monnieri
  • Panax Ginsing
  • Siberian Ginsing
  • Ashwagandha
  • Holy Basil

2. Dopaminergics

Dopaminergic nootropics are any substance related to dopamine in order to increase cognitive function. Some dopaminergic drugs are excluded from this list because they are prescription stimulants or dangerous illicit drugs. Even though these stimulant substances can enhance alertness and focus, they are not considered nootropic due to their safety issues.

MAO-B Inhibitors

  • Phenylethylamine (PEA)
  • Hordenine
  • Catechin
  • Epicatechin (Reversible)

Dopamine Precursors

  • L-Theanine
  • Mucuna Pruriens (L-DOPA)
  • Phenylalanine
  • L-Tyrosine

3. Cholinergics

Cholinergics are any type of nootropic involving acetylcholine creation, transmition or the modulation of its receptors.

Choline/Acetylcholine Affecting Supplements

  • Choline Bitatrate
  • Choline Citrate
  • Phosphatidylcholine
  • Alpha GPC (GPC Choline)
  • Citicoline (CDP Choline)
  • Acetyl L-Carnitine
  • Centrophenoxine

AChe Inihibtors

  • Huperzine A
  • Galantamine (Snowdrop)

4. Other Semi-Natural Nootropic Supplements

This list of nootropic encompasses all nootropics which are derived from some natural compound or substance. These also include analouges or substances created from a natural structure. The brackets represent what natural compound the nootropic was derivered from.

  • Centrophenoxine (DMAE)
  • Idebenone (CoQ10)
  • Sulbutiamine (B1)
  • Pyritinol (B6)
  • Agmatine Sulfate (l-arginine)

5. Other Natural Nootropic Supplements

This list of natural nootropic supplements includes a large scope of natural compounds which includes herbal products as well as compounds that are derived from herbal or natural substances. Some of the natural products are also listed in the categories above.

Herbal Nootropics

  • Bacopa Monnieri
  • Rhodiola Rosea
  • Huperzine A
  • Hordenine
  • Vinpocetine
  • Gotu Kola
  • L-Theanine
  • Ginseng
  • Ashwagandha
  • Lion’s Mane Mushroom
  • Ginko Biloba
  • Lemon Balm Extract

Brain Nutrients

  • Omega 3-6-9
  • B-Vitamins
  • Choline
  • DMAE
  • Inositol
  • Creatine
  • Uridine
  • Co Enzyme 10
  • SAM-e
  • L-Carnitine

4 Ways ALCAR May Help Memory and Assist Head Trauma

Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is an amino acid that occurs naturally within the human body and is normally present in sufficient quantities, but there can be many advantages associated with increasing the levels of this substance via a supplement.  ALCAR is broken down in the blood by plasma esterases to carnitine which is used by the body to transport fatty acids into the mitochondria for breakdown.  As a nootropic, Acetyl L-Carnitine is sometimes referred to as ALCAR, and it is typically taken to improve the user’s mental performance. However, the medical field has been interested in ALCAR for a long time due to other attractive potential benefits, ranging from improved glucose distribution for diabetics to the reversal of head trauma damage and depression.

If you are considering adding ALCAR to your regular nootropic routine, it is a good idea to learn extra about the scientific research that supports the many claims manufacturers and retailers make about this particular supplement. Therefore, we have compiled a list of just a few of the many studies and clinical trials that have focused on the health perks of taking Acetyl L-Carnitine.

Acetyl L-CarnitineStudies about the Effectiveness of Using ALCAR for Multiple Medical Issues

1. Assistance with Traumatic Brain Injuries

In 2011, a group of scientists utilized test subjects that had suffered a traumatic brain injury in order to determine if the administration of ALCAR after the fact would have any positive benefits. The results proved that treating this injury within the first 24 hours with Acetyl L-Carnitine reduced the cortical lesion volume and provided neurological improvements. Each of the test subjects received 100 mg of ALCAR four times during the 24-hour time period.

2. Reversing Memory Loss

A research study help in 1999 looked carefully at the possibility of reversing partial or full memory loss in elderly rats by utilizing ALCAR. The test subjects in this study had damage to the nucleic acid, protein, and mitochondria in their brain, and this is similar to what happens to Alzheimer’s patients. Each rat had doses of ALCAR ranging from 0.15 to 0.5 percent, and this helped restore the amount of carnitine in their brain and plasma to the levels that are found in healthy, young rats. Additionally, the test rats exhibited a partial reversal in mitochondrial damage and memory loss. In other words, ALCAR may help prevent your brain from becoming damaged in this way in the first place, and this may help boost your cognitive performance.

3. Periphal Neuropathy

Meta-analyses from 2015 and 2017 both conclude that the current evidence suggests ALCAR reduces pain from peripheral neuropathy with few adverse effects.  The 2017 review also suggested ALCAR improved electromyographic parameters in diabetes patients.  Both studies called for more randomized controlled trials to study the potential for reduction of nerve pain.

4. Hope for Diabetics

A study conducted in 2000 into the role between ALCAR and glucose disposal indicated that this supplement is able to assist patients who have Type 2 Diabetes. In a nutshell, the patients who participated in the study group experienced positive benefits from taking any amount of ALCAR, but 5 mg per pound for each person’s individual body weight was the standard dosage. This guided to a significant improvement in the glucose metabolism for every participant, and the scientists involved theorized that this could eventually be used to reverse the glycogen synthase inhibition of people with diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes

5. Minimizing Alcohol Induced Brain Damage

Drinking on a routine basis can cause a long list of health problems, including a significant reduction in cognitive functionality due to oxidative damage.  In 2010, research was published that conclusively links ALCAR to a reduction in neuronal degeneration, neuro-inflammation and impaired neurotransmission. During the testing period, scientists once again proved that ALCAR was beneficial for preventing or reversing mitochondrial damage, particularly in the brain. The test subjects that took Acetyl L-Carnitine also had restored synaptic neurotransmission and significantly reduced amounts of neuronal loss and oxidative damage when compared to the control subjects. This means that ALCAR acts as a neuroprotective agent that can help prevent not only the brain damage that is caused by alcohol but also the development of a long list of neurological disorders.

6. Depression Treatment

One 2014 review assessed the use of ALCAR in fourteen clinical trials for various conditions with depressive symptoms; the trials were small (ranging from 20 to 193 subjects) and their design was so different that results could not be generalized; most studies showed positive results and a lack of adverse effects due to the neuroplasticity of ALCAR. The mechanism of action by which ALCAR could treat depression is not known, but the same study showed some promise for treatment of fibromyalgia.  A meta-analysis from 2014 concluded that ALCAR could only be recommended for the treatment of persistent depressive disorder if publication bias was deemed improbable.

Using ALCAR as a Nootropic Supplement

With all of these medical and cognitive benefits, it is no wonder that so many people choose to take an Acetyl L-Carnitine supplement one or two times daily. Although each user’s exact dosage needs may vary, the typical person takes between 500 and 1,500 mg of ALCAR per day. A good starting point for nootropic benefits is 1,000 mg, but be sure to adjust this as needed based on the supplements in your stack.  It is also advisable to keep track of any new side effects that may develop after usage starts.

Though ALCAR is generally well tolerated and considered safe for usage, individuals with low or borderline-low thyroid levels should avoid Carnitine because it might impair the action of thyroid hormone.  Those with any physical condition involving reduced liver or kidney function should only consider the usage of ALCAR or other supplements under the direct supervision of a physician.

Generally as a nootropic, ALCAR is not used alone. Most people stack it with a choline supplement and sometimes include racetam supplements in a stack. ALCAR has significant health benefits and should be considered for  use in everyone’s stack. The main advantages are its aid in helping to reduce oxidative stresses within the brain. It is also believed to help with acetylcholine synthesis and is considered of great value to a cholinergic stack.

Why You Should Have Adaptogens in Your Stack

Everyone is looking to get the best out of their nootropic stacks. Unfortunately, there is a huge pitfall within every person’s journey to attain high mental acuity. This pitfall is known as stress and it is unavoidable. Fortunately there are supplemental aids known as adaptogens which we can enforce to help combat internal stress.

An advanced nootropic stack should have adaptogens involved to help combat stress. Even through stress may be from external factors, it affects us internally by raising a hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol is an enemy most people should combat, especially those whom are looking to increase cognitive function. The hormone may even directly influence the effectiveness of our beloved nootropic racetams.

Before enforcing an adaptogen supplement in our stack we should look at two things first. The things to evaluate are if you are getting adequate sleep and exercise. Unfortunately, it works as a “Catch 22” because often higher cortisol leads to insomnia and lower energy levels. This is where the term “overtired” may come in because you may feel the need to sleep but no physical capability to do so. In this case, it is hard to get more rest and exercise.

effects of stress on the body

So what can a nootropics user do to combat the negative influence of stress and cortisol levels? Adaptogens are the answer and they may influence your cognitive ability even further. Nootropic users almost always have more stress than people not using nootropics. This is simply because, a person looks for nootropics generally to help fight cognitive difficulties involved in jobs and studies.

Three Adaptogens to Add to Your Nootropic Stack

Here at Peak we recommend three adaptogens. There are more, but these are the ones that have proven their weight and the best “bang for your buck”. Do not let yourself be fooled by the fact that they are herbal. Many pharmaceuticals are created from herbal constituents and the chemicals in these adaptogens are no different. They are extremely powerful and may perhaps change your life and boost the whole effectiveness of your nootropic stack.

There are a few worthy things to note before using adaptogen nootropics. First off, don’t expect them to work overnight. Sure, you may experience some benefit from the first dosage but, adaptogens like most nootropics have cumulative effects which means they should be used for a week to two weeks to see full results. Like nootropics, they may also be very subtle at first and become more effective with time. Another thing to take note of is that these adaptogens are not without side effects so be careful and don’t overdo them.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an adoptogen and powerful nootropic. It contains powerful alkaloids that have been used for centuries in herbal medicine. Ashwagandha has mood boosting benefits and may combat anxiety and depression. Some people also claim that Ashwaganha can help with sleep. This fact likely pertains to cortisol levels as the plant is thought to influence it.

Many nootropics users who have tried Ashwaganha have claimed it has a significant impact on their memory and focus. Not all mechanisms are understood and the nootropic effects may pertain to cortisol levels or other mechanisms. Ashwaganha can be stacked with other adaptogens and is primarily known as an adaptogen for mood-increase and sleep promoting benefits. It should be used in a dosage of 2-6 grams a day for minimum of 2 weeks to see full effects.

Red Korean Ginseng (Panax)

Red Korean Ginseng is a type of Panax Ginseng that is carefully cultivated. If you were to choose a type of Panax Ginseng, Red Korean is best. It is also thought that Red Korean Ginseng affects cortisol levels but this adaptogen is known mostly for its energy promoting benefits. It is known to give a non-jittery type of energy. Combination of Red Korean Ginseng with Ashwaganda is also a highly synergistic combination.

Red Korean Ginseng has a number of health benefits but is known mostly for its effects on energy levels. The increase in energy levels is thought to come from the mind and does not interact with the central nervous system in the same was as stimulants like caffeine. Red Korean Ginseng is usually well tolerated however generally less so than Aswagandha. Most nootropics users recommend a dosage of 500-1500mg.

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiolia Rosea is a powerful adaptogen that has been largely marketed and misunderstood. It makes the list of the top three nootropic adaptogens because it is great for focus and motivation. It may also interact with mood and could possibly be dopaminergic/serotonergic. Rhodiolia may also affect cortisol levels and improve sleep quality if used properly. It is also highly synergistic when combined with either of the other two adaptogens.

Most people who take Rhodiolia Rosea experience some benefit. As stated with the other adaptogens, use this one for a minimum of two weeks. One thing to note with Rhodiolia, is that it should be stacked. Because of the possible dopaminergic mechanisms, it could cause tolerance. Most people recommend a dosage of 250-750mg used for two weeks on/one week off.

Choline Capsules as the Ultimate Nootropic Supplement

For those who wish to try the latest wonders from the nootropic world, Choline capsules would be the right choice, which brings a solid foundation to neuroscience and medicine. In general, choline supplements are necessary for your brain to synthesize Acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter to various brain functions, including conscious thought and memory. Choline supplements could be found in regular diet, especially with eggs and meat, yet some people, due to certain medical conditions and drug intake, need an additional quantity of Choline through supplements in order to make their brain, function properly. In this case, Choline pills can bring the additional Choline quantities and enhance the cognitive activity of the brain, ensuring a better maintenance and health of the neurons. When it comes to Choline supplements, there are numerous members of this supplement family, with all the formulations produced equally. Prices may vary with each Choline supplement, but those that are considered the cheapest have usually a less significant impact on the brain functions, probably due to poor absorption. So, what kind of Choline pills should you purchase? Discover more in this article, and start the safest way to a nootropic therapy.

Choline pills

Choline supplements – a general overview

The safetiness of this supplement is well determined by the fact that Choline supplements belong to the B4 group of vitamins, as fully recognized by the FDA in the U.S.A. This essential nutrient appears in abundant forms from Sphingomyelin and Phosphatidylcholine. As a significant precursor for the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine, Choline is also involved with brain functions such as memory, focus, attention control, muscle control, and learning. The beneficial effects of Choline can be seen in the prevention of Steatosis, or the fatty liver disease. That is when Choline removes fats from the liver and prevents the toxic effects of fat from affecting your liver.

The recommended daily dosage for Choline is somewhere between 425 and 550 mg in the diet. However, less than 10% of the population in the world can actually follow this. The supplement is water-soluble like any other presented member of the vitamin B group, so it is important to take it on a daily basis, replenishing the body in order to achieve the brain’s full potential. According to sources, it could be found in sunflower lecithin, soy lecithin, chicken, fish, eggs, and beef liver. Choline could also be found in various chemical forms, such as Choline citrate, Choline bitartarate, Phosphatidylcholine, Choline chloride, Lecithin in combination with Choline, and nowadays, the more popular Alpha GPC and Citicoline choline.

Different Choline supplements have different potencies, levels of cerebroactivity, prices, conversion rates to Acetylcholine, and bioavailabilities. If you compare these supplements by its costs, Lecithin wins, yet less than 10% of Choline is delivered when this supplement is administered, which means that you need to take a much higher dose for best effect. For a higher potency degree and also a higher price, one can have Phosphatidylcholine, and other forms of Choline salts like Citrate, Tartarate and Chloride. On the other hand, the bioavailability of such a group is low and does not improve your brain functions significantly. Probably the best and the most popular Choline supplements are Citicoline and Alpha GPC. Both are more expensive, but are more efficient, showing an increase levels with the brain functions and bringing the ultimate nootropic effect on cognitive functioning. Both are quickly absorbed and converted in the brain, which means that much a lesser dose is needed in order to enjoy the full benefits of these Choline precursors.

Why are Choline pills the best choice for you?

As mentioned in the beginning, Choline can convert into Sphingomyelin and Phosphatidylcholine, alongside Acetylcholine, which are essential for the brain’s functions and maintenance. These substances, which are normally present in low concentrations in the brain cells, act as insulators for the neuron’s electrical circuitry, which leads to a much quicker and efficient neurological communication process. Many brain conditions can lead to the disintegration of this lipid tunica, which can also lead to a poor brain communication between neurons that leads further to cognitive denial. Therefore, the absence of electrical transmission between neurons is unimaginable, so it is important to maintain the levels of these substances.

Choline supplements are also Acetylcholine precursors, potentiating the formation and effect of this powerful neurotransmitter. Acetylcholine maintains mental concentration and thinking, including memory development and consciousness. It helps in the transmission of the nerve signals from the brain, spinal cord, to the muscles, heart, lungs, glands, and the whole gastrointestinal system. As we age, the formation of Acetylcholine becomes lesser, potentially leading to Alzheimer’s disease and other mental conditions linked to memory deficiency. By taking Choline supplements, we could prevent these conditions, ensuring the complete formation of Acetylcholine without the neuronal damage linked to aging.

Recommended dosages for Choline pills

The FDA recommends a certain range of dosage for Choline supplements, and that is between 425 and 550 mg per day. In order to prevent brain deficiency, one must meet the daily dietary needs of an average person. A higher dose can improve the desired cognitive function, where some experts recommend the dosage at 3,000 mg daily from supplements such as Choline chloride and Bitartrate. A higher dose is recommended for these forms because Choline salts are degraded in the gastrointestinal tract by bacteria.

For highly potent Choline supplements, like Alpha GPC and Citicoline, it is important to take a lower dose because these supplements have a good absorption rate. Concerning Alpha GPC, a daily dosage of 500 mg is enough to enjoy its beneficial effects. Please pay attention to your diet, because you may as well take additional Choline through food like meat, fish, and eggs, so calculating your daily intake of Choline through food along with the supplements is essential. Vegetarians who certainly avoid meat should take a higher dose of these supplements in order to replenish the poor choline intake from their diet.

Since these supplements are considered to be the members of the vitamin B group, Choline supplements in such forms are safe and are even naturally found in the body and in our common diet. The risk for any side effect is low when the administration is practiced through the recommended dosage. The supplements are safe and can be tolerated by everyone, especially by young healthy adults. In some rare cases, some side effects are possible and are mostly sweating, appetite loss, and an increase in body temperature. Please, consider a consultation with a medical professional in order to start a much safer nootropic treatment with Choline supplements such are given in this review. It is also extremely important to maintain a healthy way of living while offering your brain an opportunity for better cognitive functions and preventing cognitive denial brought by many medical conditions, such as the Alzheimer’s disease.

Acetylcholine deficiency – Fight it with Nootropics

Acetylcholine, chemically, is an organic molecule (molecule containing a carbon-carbon or carbon-hydrogen bond). Its function is to behave like a neurotransmitter among humans and other living organisms. Neurotransmitters are chemicals produced inside the body that aid in transmitting electric signals from a neuron or a nerve ending to another target cell across a junction, known as synapse. The structure of the acetylcholine molecule includes an ester linkage between choline and acetic acid and is chemically represented as CH3COO (CH2)2N (CH3)3.

We hear much about vitamins and minerals, but very little about these important phospholipids, including acetylcholine.

Acetylcholine molecules are packaged inside synaptic membrane enclosed vesicles at a nerve ending, from where the molecules are ejected into the synaptic cleft. Acetylcholine molecules then diffuse across the cleft and bind to receptors in the membrane of the target post synaptic cell or neuron. This way signals and triggers are transmitted to render different bodily functions.

Acetylcholine has a crucial role in the central and peripheral nervous systems. It is also the primary transmitter to connect muscles to motor nerves via the neuromuscular junction. Acetylcholine is responsible for cognitive functioning, like memory formation, and muscle movement, coordination and communication by triggering muscle contraction as ordered by the brain. Hyperactivity or hypo-activity of the neurotransmitter can lead to problems and deter proper functioning of the body. To regulate the levels of acetylcholine, our body produces an enzyme called acetlycholinesterase.

This enzyme breaks down acetylcholine to recycle it and stop the electric signals. To further make sure that the levels of acetylcholine do not deplete, inhibitors are present that inhibit the action of acetlycholinesterase temporarily. The entire system is complex and concentration levels of all chemicals need to balanced and regulated carefully. In case there is an irregularity, it can lead to low levels of acetylcholine in the brain. Also, with age, levels of acetylcholine tend to decrease.

Unfortunately, according to a published report titled the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) covering the period of 2003 and 2004, only about 10% of the population has a diet with sufficient amount of choline.  In other words, at least 90% of the population has a diet deficient in choline.  This deficiency is highest among older children, men, women, and particularly pregnant women.  The same survey also found that health care professionals are unlikely to recommend choline to patients or to recognize a deficiency.  Indeed only 6% of OB/GYNs surveyed were likely to recommend increased choline intake to pregnant women or women intending to become pregnant.

Acetylcholine deficiency can have devastating effects on the body. Patients face trouble with forming and retrieving memories. They forget faces, names, and other crucial information. They have a poor span of focus and cannot concentrate even for short period of times.  Their thoughts tend to jumble up and patients remain confused most of the times. Patients show uncontrolled muscle movements and often tremors pass through their bodies. In severe cases, acetylcholine deficiency can lead to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and myasthenia gravis, a muscular disease.  In addition, liver function shows decline in people with a deficiency in acetylcholine and insufficient choline intake in their diets.

CholineInfo.org

courtesy of cholineinfo.org

Thus, it is imperative that proper levels of acetylcholine are maintained. Dietary sources are one way to do that. Egg yolks are a major source of precursors needed for the formation of acetylcholine molecule.  A web site by the name of cholineinfo.org has very good information on the choline properties of foods, including the graphic shown.

While it is preferred to get adequate choline intake from dietary sources, this is not always possible. Nootropic supplements are another way to boost up acetylcholine. They rapidly increase the neurotransmitter’s levels and lead to improved memory and better concentration.

One of the most bio-available forms of nootropic choline is Alpha GPC. L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine or choline alfoscerate, as it is also known is a naturally occuring nootropic that possesses stand alone nootropic benefits as well as being a powerful synergizing compound. It is also found endogenously in our body in small amounts and is manufactured as an extract, a highly purified form of soy lecithin. Lecithin is the brain building nutrient found in eggs, dairy, meat and wheat germ).  Alpha GPC is an intermediate form of acetylcholine, a vital neurotransmitter that is responsible for learning, memory and movement related tasks.

Choline bitartrate is pure choline in a salt form that can be absorbed in the intestines with limited problems. Alpha GPC is also a precursor to choline that goes through several changes in the intestines and while crossing the blood-brain-barrier.  It is not as good at converting to acetylcholine, which should be the goal for any nootropic supplement used as a cholinergic.

Citicoline is also a choline source that, unlike choline bitartate or other choline supplements lower on the food chain, has stand alone nootropic benefits.  In addition to providing the choline support your brain craves, it also has some dopaminergic activity to help with mood and memory. Citicoline is a precursor to both choline and dopamine so increased energy, productivity, motivation and focus may accompany increased levels of dopamine which is the pleasure, wakefulness and reward-feedback neurotransmitter. Dopamine spills out when you feel accomplished or do something you enjoy or love.

Reversible acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, obtained from plants, are extracted and purified as yet another method to obtain the nootropic supplements. Huperzine A is one of them. It is obtained from Chinese moss and is part of many nootropic stacks, including Alpha Brain. Another nootropic supplement extracted from different species of flowering plants is galantamine. It is a powerful nootropic used to treat Alzheimer’s disease but has to be used cautiously and in small amounts.

The usage and dosage of nootropic supplements to treat acetylcholine deficiency are only to be assigned by a medical professional. Great care has to taken when consuming the supplements. If they are taken without consulting a doctor, acetlycholinesterase can be inhibited for long periods of time, leading to a whole set of new problems. Some negative side effects have shown in numerous patients. They include nausea, restlessness, and vomiting and decreased heart rate in some. So it is advisable that people with heart conditions and epilepsy avoid using Huperzine A and galantamine.

Rhodiola rosea – a natural adaptogen and nootropic

Rhodiola rosea, commonly known as rose root, golden root, or Aaron’s rod, is a natural adaptogen and nootropic substance mainly used to boost the mental concentration, improve the mood, alleviate stress, and reduce fatigue. This plant could usually be found in high mountain areas where regions are cold, including the mountains of Central Asia, the Arctic, eastern part of North America, from Baffin Island in Canada all the way to the mountains of North Carolina in the USA. The supplements made from this herb are mostly known for its healing properties, that is the reason why many people choose Rhodiola rosea for their daily intake.

By being an adaptogen herb, Rhodiola rosea preserves the body and its function by healing the cells especially the neurons, by eliminating depression and stress, which improves mood. Local people from Scandinavia and Siberia have been using this herb in order to cope with the cold and ruthless weather conditions. The traditional Chinese medicine recognizes this plant as a part of their common diet, especially in their salads. Scientific studies have shown that Rhodiola rosea consists of more than 140 chemical substances, including Rosavin, organic acids, Phenolic compounds, Alkaloids and Flavonoids. Along with other adaptogens and nootropic herbs, Rhodiola rosea is a part of a herbal nootropic combination or stack, having the same potential or as an alternative to the much widely used Adderall.

Rhodiola rosea

Effects of Rhodiola rosea

Probably the most notable and important mechanism of action for this herb is the stimulation of the enzyme class called AMPK. Higher concentrations for this enzyme class builds up a number of Mitochondria within the cells. As it is known, Mitochondria represents as the energy factories of our cells, delivering the energy needed for metabolic reactions and processes in our body. The more Mitochondria we have, the more energy in our cells, enabling full efficiency under any given circumstances. As the number of Mitochondria grows in our cells, the fat burns much quicker, including the Glucose uptake in the muscle cells and in the brain. Various metabolic reactions need energy from Glucose, therefore delivering such substances to all parts of our body is vital.

One of the numerous compounds of Rhodiola rosea is Salidroside, responsible for inducing muscle cells for Glucose uptake. By imitating the effects of Insulin, Salidroside additionally boosts Insulin and increases the enzyme class AMPK, creating more energy for the cell functions. Along with the mentioned mechanisms of action, this natural nootropic adaptogen has several mechanisms of the usual nootropic benefits. It increases Dopamine and Serotonin levels in the brain tissues, additionally preventing the tissues’ breakdown. The extract of this herb is an MAO inhibitor, slowing down the metabolism of the neurotransmitters Dopamine and Serotonin. On the other hand, it influences one of the Opiod peptides, called Beta-endorphin, which leads to the feeling of well-being and pleasure.

Benefits of Rhodiola rosea

One of the nootropic effects which puts Rhodiola rosea as a highly adaptogen herb is its anti-fatigue effect, which increases overall mental performance. It boosts focus and concentration, in both the healthy and those who have a certain type of cognitive decline. As mentioned, this plant helps in the treatment of mild to slightly moderate depression states, without the bad side effects. Numerous studies have demonstrated the extract form’s positive effect on the general skin condition, especially on fading and sensitive skin.

Some animal studies have suggested that the mechanism of action linked to Norepinephrine release is essential for Rhodiola rosea’s mental benefits. This neurotransmitter, responsible for alertness and attention, intensifies the body’s energy, focus, and motivation, benefiting the complete nootropic effect. Higher levels combat the aging effects as well, preventing senile Dementia.

Because it restores the human body’s balance, this herb is considered to be an adaptogen plant. It is completely safe for consumption, which is shown in traditional Chinese medicine. It normalizes the body with numerous physiological benefits and effects which rejuvenate the individual’s health. Adaptogenic efficiency minimizes harmful effects of fatigue and stress, and restores the functions of the immune system, including the overall cellular health. It fights stress in the manner of lowering the cell oxidative processes, which could lead to a significant number of conditions and illnesses, including cancer. In addition, this adaptogen is frequently used in depression and anxiety treatments. By affecting the levels of neurotransmitters such as Dopamine and Serotonin, Rhodiola rosea boosts the positive mood of an individual.

Recommended dosage for Rhodiola rosea

This adaptogen is considered to be safe, as one of the accepted supplements in both traditional and modern medicine. Yet, certain recommended doses should be respected in order to avoid the side effects and to achieve the maximal cognitive effects needed by individuals on nootropic therapy. The typical recommended daily dosage is somewhere between 100 and 600 mg. Special caution is needed when using this supplement, because it is considered to be a mild stimulant. The consumer should start with a lesser dose and then advance gradually. This will adapt the body to a new supplement and avoid the negative tolerance effect. If we take into consideration that each body is unique, then it is advisable to start with the minimal recommended dosage and increase slowly the dosage, which primarily benefits the body the most.

Rhodiola rosea side effects

This adaptogen nootropic is considered to be mainly safe, yet some side effects are possible, so each user should be cautious when using this supplement. The side effects are mild and could be manifested as agitation, nausea, anxiety, restlessness, hypersalivation, and insomnia. All of these side effects are common from plants and substances that produce stimulatory effects. Most of these side effects were only experienced in cases where a higher dosage was taken. Therefore, a consultation with a medical professional is a must before an individual decides to start a nootropic treatment with this natural adaptogen.

Top 5 Best Choline Supplements

Choline is essential for healthy function in every-day life. Most people with healthy diets get enough natural choline to keep the brain and body running at required levels. Regardless, some people look into supplementing choline for other various reasons.

Choline supplementation is an area of interest to racetam nootropic users. This is because certain choline supplements may offer potentiating benefits to certain racetam nootropics. It has been suggested that choline supplementation can help to increase the benefits of these racetams as well as to reduce certain side effects (this has not been proven).

There are many types of choline supplements that all work in different ways. In the end, you get what you pay for. It is important for a nootropic user to understand the biology of each supplement. This may help to determine which supplement is the right one based on the below factors as well as cost.

See bellow to see the top 5 best choline supplements:

Alpha GPC

Alpha GPC has been suggested to be the best choline supplement. It is purified in a complex process from lecithin. The process is expensive when compared to other supplements. This explains why alpha GPC is one of the most expensive choline supplements and also one of the most effective.

This choline supplement is different from other types. It helps to synthesize acetylcholine, not by acting as a precursor but instead the opposite by metabolizing into acetylcholine. The unique metabolism of alpha GPC explains its unique and powerful nootropic benefits.

Citicoline

Citicoline is listed as the number two choline supplement. Like alpha GPC, it is also considered a nootropic choline supplement. It is utilized in several nootropic blends as a superior form of choline.

Citicoline has a different metabolism than both choline and alpha GPC. It is an intermediate in the synthesis of acetylcholine rather than acting as a direct precursor or metabolising directly into the neurotransmitter. This allows for more choline in the brain to become free while also replenishing levels of phospholipids in certain parts of the brain. This allows for citicolines’ unique benefits and nootropic qualities.

Choline Bitartratecholine bitartrate

Choline bitartrate is a very common form of choline supplement that is used often with racetams. This is because it is a cheap and a great source for raw choline. It is not in the same caliber as alpha GPC or citicoline and is not considered nootropic on its own.

This type of choline acts as a direct precursor to acetylcholine. It does not have the same method of action as alpha GPC or citicoline and therefore the extra health benefits do not exists. Overall, choline bitartrate is a great choline source for those looking to improve overall levels of choline.

Phosphatidylcholine

Phosphatidylcholine is our most natural source of choline. It is the most common source of choline within our foods and also the most natural. It can be extracted as pure supplement from a variety of choline rich foods. These food are converted into lecithin and further purified into phosphatidylcholine.

Phosphatidylcholine is less effective of a choline supplement than choline bitartrate. It contains choline and is metabolized within the body to release the nutrient. By weight, phosphatidylcholine only contains about 13% choline.

Lecithin

Lecithin refers to any animal or plant derivative fatty substance that contains related nutrients including choline and phospholipids such as phosphatidylcholine. There are several sources to recover lecithin with the most popular being soy and egg yolks. This type of choline supplement is perhaps the most widely available and cheapest in cost of all the choline supplements.

Lecithin contains choline and phosphatidylcholine but is still less effective than pure phosphatidylcholine at raising choline levels. By weight it is only 2.5-9.5% choline. Lecithin can be obtained at a cheap cost however more of the supplement is needed. Alpha GPC is a purified version of lecithin however neither of these choline supplements works in the exact same way.

 

Bacopa – A Herbal Gem of Ayurvedic Medicine

Nature has given its best when it comes to natural medicine and dietary products. As a natural nootropic remedy, Bacopa represents a herbal nootropic gem of Ayurvedic medicine, an Indian alternative medicine. Bacopa monnieri, or Bacopa, is recommended traditionally for epilepsy, asthma and memory enhancement. The medical classification of this herb puts it in the group of adaptogens, which means that it helps the body to overcome the feeling of stress, protecting the body from illnesses. Bacosides, a group of chemical compounds, are responsible for Bacopa’s activity and probably the most studied substance within this plant is bacoside A.

In a nootropic world, Bacopa is mostly recommended as a reducer of anxiety and memory enhancer. Various studies, both on animal and human models, have shown that this herb prevents amnesia induced by drugs, normalizes neurotransmitter levels in a body, increases concentrations of antioxidants (especially catalase, SOD, glutathione), enhances memory, reduces anxiety and increases working capacity.

Bacopa recommended dosage

It is recommended to take this plant with a meal, because it is fat soluble and this combination benefits absorption. A recommended dosage is 150 mg of bacosides which should be taken two times per day. For other dosage options, it is advisable to consult a medical professional before starting a nootropic treatment with this herb.

Mechanism of action

1. Antioxidant activity

Several studies have stated that Bacopa supports brain antioxidant activity and rises the concentrations of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase and glutathione, among others. Research performed on rodents has shown that Bacopa protects rodent brains from neurotoxicity induced by both mercury and aluminium, reducing the chances of oxidative stress. This adaptogen plant is able to mitigate negative effects made by oxidative stress and protect neurons from damaging. This means that Bacopa prevents induced neurodegeneration produced by free radicals which promote oxidative stress.

2. Serotonin levels

Studies have also shown that Bacopa benefits serotonin levels by increasing both serotonin transporter and tryptophan hydroxylase levels, without significant acetylcholine level change. The effect on serotonin levels is probably a cause for anxiety reduction which this nootropic plant promotes. A study performed on rodents which included morphine and Bacopa has shown that this herb prevents an increased serotonin and dopamine turnover associated with present morphine.

3. Dopamine levels

As shown above, Bacopa benefits dopamine levels when taken with morphine. Another study which included rats with Parkinson’s disease, has shown that bacopa offsets dopaminergic neurodegeneration. This indicates that Bacopa could be a potential remedy for Parkinson’s disease in human patients.bacopa chemical structure

Bacopa benefits

1. Memory enhancement

This herbal remedy is a cognitive enhancer in Ayurvedic medicine and contemporary research completely supports traditional view. The studies have shown that Bacopa alleviates amnesia induced by scopolamine, protecting an individual against memory impairment. It substantially benefits those who are over 55, improving recall and fighting against depression with an improvement in memory retention.

The most interesting study linked to Bacopa has shown that it improves learning verbal rate, memory consolidation and speed of information processing. Another study on children has show that Bacopa is able to decrease reaction and performance time, lowering error rate in performance tasks. The same study stated that Bacopa increases memorized digit span and improves test scores in tests such a the bender-gestalt. This test is designed as a visual motor test where individuals draw pictures on paper after seeing a certain series of images.

 

2. Reduction of anxiety

Bacopa is able to reduce the feeling of anxiety, significantly improving the behavior such as different social interactions, reducing mental fatigue and improving memory span. When taken, Bacopa doesn’t need to be administered in higher dosage to achieve the effect, yet the maximal benefits could be seen after 4 weeks of treatment. In the study which involved elderly people, daily Bacopa dosages of 300 mg reduced anxiety, following the supplementation of 12 weeks. A similar study has shown similar effects, where anxiety was successfully reduced after a 12 week supplementation.

Side effects and safety measures for Bacopa

Bacopa has few side effects which, when taken in recommended dosages, are minimalized and rarely occasional. Therefore, it is recommended to consult with a medical professional before the utilization, informing a physician or a pharmacist when these side effects occur so that certain measures could be taken. The most frequent side effect is a gastrointestinal distress, manifested as cramping, increased stool frequency or nausea. The gastrointestinal symptoms could easily be avoided if the recommended dosage is divided into 2-3 times per day, including combination with food.

An animal study has shown a potential elevation in thyroid hormones with no present studies on humans which could confirm this. Another study which is only confirmed among animals talks about effect on fertility, where Bacopa reduced spermatogenesis without a certain impact on libido or hormone levels.

Sulbutiamine – The Smart Vitamin B1

Sulbutiamine is a synthetic molecule that consists of two Thiamine molecules that are tightly held by a sulfur group. Developed in Japan, sulbutiamine serves as a more effective version of vitamin B1.  Sulbutiamine is in a class of supplements known as nootropics.

Compared with vitamin B1, this powerful supplement is highly effective in crossing the blood brain barrier.  Once it crosses the blood brain barrier the body metabolizes it as thiamine (vitamin B1).  This may explain why, it has stronger effects than vitamin B1. Sulbutiamine is known to alleviate fatigue; particularly that linked with infectious diseases. Although this substance has its own unique properties, you can use it alone or stack it with other nootropics.

How it Works

In terms of the method of action, sulbutiamine shares several similarities with thiamine. But, sulbutiamine has much more powerful effects. Thiamine is considered an essential element in the body, particularly for cognitive function as it plays an important role in the acetylcholine’s biosynthesis. It is believed that sulbutiamine positively affects the dopamine, cholinergic and glutamatergic systems, thereby resulting in nootropic benefits.

Thiamine’s absorption rate is quite slower than sulbutiamine. Since it’s poorly absorbed through the intestines, thiamine absorption is usually decreased by problems like folic deficiency. On the contrary, sulbutiamine is more lipophilic and tends to easily dissolve in fats. As a result, this substance has a faster absorption rate, which eventually enhances blood brain barrier efficiency. In addition, it helps facilitate glutamatergic transmissions. Glutamate is the most common neurotransmitter in the central nervous system for excitement. Because of this, it plays a critical role in learning and memory function.

Benefits

No doubt, sulbutiamine is a popular over-the-counter nootropic. Some studies have linked this substance with memory enhancing effects. Its positive effects on memory could be related to sulbutiamine’s effects on glutamate and acetylcholine activity. Its effects on D1 dopamine receptors may also contribute toward cognitive benefits.

In some cases, this substance may have mild stimulant effects. Many athletes have used it as a performance enhancer. Sulbutiamine doesn’t seem to influence other catecholamines, which is why; it doesn’t tend to trigger side effects related to amphetamine-stimulant.  But it does provide an increase in focus and energy levels that many find to be of assistance.

According to many studies, this supplement also has certain anti-depressant effects. This is usually associated with sulbutiamine’s effects on the D1 receptors as well as Dopamine. In fact, this substance can serve as an extremely powerful anti-depressant for a certain amount of time. These effects tend to recede after repeated use; therefore, you shouldn’t use sulbutiamine as your primary anti-depressant.

It is the only compound used to treat asthenia that is known to selectively target the areas that are involved in the condition, and is also used in the treatment of chronic fatigue.  Asthenia is a condition of chronic fatigue that is cerebral rather than neuromuscular in origin.

According to one study, sulbutiamine is linked with positive effects on the psychogenic erectile dysfunction. According to the International Index of Erectile Function, sulbutiamine is believed to increase performance from around 17.5 to 24.8 on average.

Safety & Side Effects

Sulbutiamine is typically well tolerated and doesn’t have too many side effects.  But, there are still some points that should be considered before using this supplement. Irritability and anxiety are two common side effects. However, these effects are a consequence of consuming higher than normal doses of this substance. If you experience anxiety or irritability from normal sulbutiamine use, you should discontinue its use immediately. Other side effects associated with sulbutiamine are depression, nausea, skin rash and headaches.

When talking about tolerance, sulbutiamine is known to cause tolerance build-up quite quickly. This is typically associated with the mood boosting or energizing effects of this substance. However, some users find that its nootropic effects weaken overtime. This is why, sulbutiamine works well as a stacked or “as needed” nootropic. Sulbutiamine doesn’t appear to be addictive because it’s not considered a psychoactive substance.

Stacking

This supplement is quite good to stack with other racetams. It doesn’t appear to contribute towards potentiating the effects of racetams but it’s good at accenting a stack nicely by bringing in its own exceptional features. In fact, many advanced nootropic users, use this supplement in a stack that could be used occasionally with other nootropics.

Just like other nootropics, sulbutiamine has it’s own unique properties and can fairly accent other nootropics. In fact, pyritinol and sulbutiamine make a good, effective and unusual synergistic combination. Always try this supplement before starting to use it in a stack for assessing your individual tolerance and sensitivity to sulbutiamine.

An In-Depth Review of Citicoline

Citicoline is considered a pro-supplement for both choline and uridine. It confers both choline and uridine into your body after its oral ingestion. This supplement first dissociates into choline and cytidine, and later, cytidine converts into uridine.

Citicoline is known to prevent or treat memory impairments linked with aging because the two molecules conferred by this supplement are neuroprotective and are believed to improve learning. While citicoline seems to have more effective results than phosphatidylcholine because it enhances PC synthesis in your brain, citicoline’s potency can be compared to that of Alpha-GPC.

The recommended dosage of citicoline is 500-2,000 mg, which should be divided in two doses of 250-1,000 mg. The two doses are typically separated by around 12 hours, but a single daily dose may also be used. It’s important to note that a single dose of around 4,000 mg is no different than a dose of 2,000 mg in terms of its effects on the blood. So, you don’t need to take a high dose of 4000 mg to get powerful results.

There are certain properties of this supplement like attention or bioenergetics improvement, which appear to have stronger responses to lower dosages. Other properties such as appetite work differently and therefore, the right dosage is based more on the goal you want to achieve.

Being an intermediate between choline and phosphatidylcholine, citicoline gets converted into choline in your intestines and then takes the form of citicoline again as it makes its way through the blood-brain barrier. Phosphatidylcholine is a rate-limiting biological catalyst that is used to perform this transformation.

Choline is considered the brain’s first choice for Acetylcholine synthesis. In fact, it is involved in the breakdown of phospholipids such as phosphatidylcholine. Acetylcholine is an essential neurotransmitter and its deficiency is believed to be associated with cognitive complications.

Citicoline also enhances Acetylcholine levels by freeing up choline for synthesis. It is also useful in restoring depleted phospholipid levels. By preserving phospholipids, this supplement has positive neuroprotective effects as well. This also helps in protecting the brain from oxidative damages.

Citicoline and Dopamine

Citicoline aims at encouraging dopamine release by means of the tyrosine hydroxylase activity. In fact, this supplement acts as a dopamine agonist by preventing dopamine re-uptake. Research has shown that when combined with L-DOPA, citicoline has positive effects in people experiencing Parkinson’s.

Citicoline and Hormones

This supplement affects the hormone levels in your body as well. It raises Adrenocorticotropic hormone and at the same time, makes sure that the stress hormones don’t increase. These effects tend to increase HPA axis hormones without stimulating stress hormones. HPA axis hormones such as Thyroid Stimulating Hormone carry several health benefits.

Citicoline and Neurology

According to a study, a dose of 250-500 mg of citicoline can enhance attention. It is also believed that this supplement has minor appetite reducing effects in the body at high doses like 2,000 mg daily. However, the reason behind this effect is yet to be known.

Choline generally has pain-killing effects as it enters the brain. This is because activated choline receptors promote the release of opioid painkillers. Citicoline injections appear to have painkilling effects because of its choline content. However, there isn’t any orally supplemented evidence at present. Citicoline is also known to have anti-addictive effects if taken at 500 mg two times every day. However, the supplement doesn’t seem to be excessively potent.

Side Effects

Citicoline is fairly tolerated in most people. Having low levels of toxicity in the body, citicoline doesn’t appear to have any connection with liver toxicity. Citicoline may lead to gastrointestinal issues in some cases. This can be associated with diarrhea and stomach problems. However, such side effects rarely occur.

Citicoline may also result in mild side effects when used in combination with racetams. Similarly, when used in combination with other supplements, citicoline may cause headaches.

5 Herbal Nootropics for You to Love

For those not wanting to resort to nootropic chemicals, drugs or dietary supplements, there are some natural alternatives that are still very powerful. This list will help bring you up to speed on just exactly what types of herbal nootropics there are and just how they may work with you.

Huperzine A

Huperzine A is a very powerful nootropic that has been used for centuries to help improve cognitive performance. This type of Chinese club moss has been used in many nootropic formulations like Alpha Brain as a primary active ingredient. It works well on its own but this natural nootropic also is synergetic with other compounds like the racetams (piracetam, aniracetam, etc…).

Huperzine A works as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Acetylcholinesterase is an enzyme in the brain that is essential for living because it is necessary in muscle coordination and other complex tasks relating to muscle neurology. On the other hand, acetylcholinesterase is actually negative to cognition because it depletes levels of acetylcholine. Huperzine A terminates extra acetylcholinesterase to help improve cognition and memory. It has been known to do this safely when used in recommended dosages.

Snowdrop (Galantamine)

Snowdrop is a type of flowering herb which contains the natural nootropic ingredient, galantamine. Galantamine is the active ingredient isolated from the plant and commonly prescribed for Alzheimer’s disease. Galantamine can also be obtained over the counter from certain retailers.

One can get a lot of natural galantamine from snowdrop and this can greatly help with cognition. Galantamine and huperzine A both work in a similar way by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase. This makes them both very powerful and sought after herbal nootropics which are often used in stacks with other cognitive enhancers.

Vinpocetine

Vinpocetine is another powerful herbal nootropic which is derived from the periwinkle plant. It is also a common additive in many brain enhancing formulations. This herbal product does not work as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor like huperzine A or snowdrop.

One of the primary methods of action of vinpocetine is thought to be its vasodilation effects. It is thought to influence blood flow and energy metabolism within the brain.

Vinpocetine is also thought to act as a PDE type 1 inhibitor that is one of the only known in this class. These PDE inhibiting activities help to increase cGMP within the brain. Increasing cGMP may help to increase long term potentiation (LTP) which may have a positive impact on overall cognitive function (namely memory). Aside from this, the PDE inhibiting activities if vinpocetine is also thought to relax cerebral muscle tissue which may also have further positive nootropic benefits.

Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa monnieri is another powerful nootropic plant which is also commonly referred to as brahmi. It is another common ingredient in natural nootropic formulations and it has been used in ancient Indian medicine for centuries as a cognitive enhancer.

Bacopa has many chemical constituants including flavonoids and its’ own unique bacopasaponins. It is not clear exactly what all the roles these constituents play in the cognitive boosting effects of this herb. Regardless, studies have pointed bacopa to be beneficial in improving cognitive function. The herb is also thought to be highly neuroprotective.

Tea Extract (L-Theanine)

Tea extract is an herbal product that has a large list of effective health benefits which includes an improvement in cognitive function. The most interesting in the tea complex is perhaps l-theanine.

L-theanine has long been thought to be a subtle nootropic which may act synergistic with other compounds including caffeine. Studies have shown that l-theanine when used alone, can help to increase areas of cognitive function. This natural nootropic also has an influence on important neurotransmitters like dopamine.

Centrophenoxine – effects and side effects

Centrophenoxine represents a nootropic chemical which is sold in different countries under the same name, Lucidril. Its benefits are mostly aimed towards elderly people who use this supplement in order to fight cognitive denial which comes with age. This nootropic protects the brain from many damages caused by various toxins. This article will show the benefits and side effects of this popular nootropic drug. Before you decide to try this substance, it is essential to consult a medical professional, either a physician or pharmacist, so that you would know the proper dose that would suit you and how to react if some side effects would occur.

Centrophenoxine

Benefits and effects of centrophenoxine

The centrophenoxine’s role is to treat certain damages to the brain caused by the use of certain drugs or chemicals, or from a stroke. This neuroprotectant keeps your neurons in proper condition, by preventing possible damage caused by various reasons. One of the studies suggested that centrophenoxine reduces the concentration of waste products, primarily lipofuscin, in the brain. Beside giving benefits to the brain, this substance helps the heart with the same mechanism, especially on the elderly whose predispositions show that cell damages are already significant. Another effect of this chemical is that it lowers the concentration of potassium in the brain, which normally accumulates in our brains as we age. These high concentrations may lead to an impairment to the brain function, representing one of the reasons why some people experience cognitive decline related to aging. Therefore, centrophenoxine is considered as one of the best nootropic drugs supporting longevity.

This nootropic drug also helps in increasing the production of substances which are both essential and helpful to proper brain functions. It benefits the production and maintenance of different proteins and RNA, including the glucose levels which are increased when centrophenoxine is used. In some parts of the world, this substance is presented as a great antioxidant that helps the brain in fighting poisons or toxins which can lead to oxidative stress. It is also used for the general treatment of the Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other types of cognitive disorders, and is often given in combination with medications that have similar effects. Another possible benefit from this nootropic drug according to studies is its potential as a treatment for ADHD.

How does it work?

There are many mechanisms that stand behind centrophenoxine, yet the main one is still unclear. Most researchers believe that the substance helps the levels of acetylcholine by increasing it. The supplementation of centrophenoxine leads to higher levels of choline and some phospholipids, which helps the general conversion and presence of acetylcholine in brain tissues.

Along with other acetylcholine supplements, like citicoline and alpha GPC, centrophenoxine is considered to be among the best.

The benefits of RNA increase as mentioned before, is another potential theory about the mechanism of this supplement. This surely helps cells to propagate the protein synthesis, replacing the old ones with new ones, which is essential when it comes to age-related problems.

The third potential mechanism regarding centrophenoxine is linked to a theory called “the membrane aging theory”. This theory supports the view, where the cells, as they age, accumulate potassium inside it because its mechanism to lessen potassium levels is not efficient enough to maintain the physiological levels of this mineral. Therefore, centrophenoxine lessens the potassium levels in cells by helping the potassium pumps to function better. Thereby, removing the accumulated toxins especially lipofuscin from the cells.

Side effects of centrophenoxine

This substance is extremely safe, with zero toxicity when used in proper dosage. It is well-tolerated when recommended doses are used, yet when it comes to its side effects, centrophenoxine like any other chemical has its share. If interactions with other drugs are present, these side effects are more likely to happen, so it is important to consult a pharmacist for drug interactions before the use of centrophenoxine. The most common side effects, similar to those of other medications are nausea, dizziness, headache, jaw clenching, irritability, and gastrointestinal problems. If a consumer experiences any of the presented symptoms, it is better to consult a medical professional for advice and further action.

Centrophenoxine as a choline supplement

choline supplement

As mentioned above, this nootropic drug benefits the acetylcholine levels and therefore it is one of the best choline supplements. The market offers many of these supplements, so it is up to the individual to choose in order to start the right therapy. If you solely look at the centrophenoxine benefits when compared to other choline sources such as CDP choline or alpha GPC, then this substance has the advantage over others. So, it is important to recognize which of the benefits are essential to your body in order to support the right personal decision. If you are concerned with your age and potential cognitive denial, then centrophenoxine is the best choice for you because it supplements choline and can help the anti-age struggle. When compared to other anti-aging nootropics, centrophenoxine is the best for starters, so this is something which you should consider. The choice is yours, so choose wisely and don’t forget to consult your medical professional for additional information about this nootropic drug.

Acetylcholine and Cognitive Function

Many of us have probably never heard of acetylcholine or perhaps have only heard about it on the context of Myasthenia Gravis and Alzheimer’s Disease. But do you know how important acetylcholine is, especially for an individual’s cognitive function?

What is Acetylcholine?

Acetylcholine is a common neurotransmitter and most predominant in the peripheral nervous system. Often referred to as Ach, it can be found in both the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous systems.

ACh, or Acetylcholine is an ester composed of acetic acid and choline. It serves as the transmitter or neurotransmitter at many nerve, neural, motor and synapses end plate. When an impulse arrives at the ending of the nerve, it releases the acetylcholine which is stored at vesicles at the nerve ending and it then goes to the end-plate membrane or postsynaptic membrane of the muscle fibre where it combines with a receptor molecule. This causes a change in the membrane and can generate various results. When successive nerve impulses build up, it can cause a specific action such as creating movement or building a memory.

Because acetylcholine needs to be produced in adequate amounts, has to be released from pre-synaptic vesicles and have to combine with receptors in the post synaptic membrane for it to perform many of its functions, any disruption in ACh’s production, secretion, and transmission can cause very obvious impairments to the functions associated with it.

acetylcholine-and-receptor

Acetylcholine’s Discovery

1914 is a great year for neurological science, for it was the year that acetylcholine was first identified by Henry Hallet Dale. Later on, the existence of this neurotransmitter was confirmed by Otto Loewi. Both scientists received the Nobel Prize for Medicine/Physiology in 1936 for the discovery of the first neurotransmitter to be identified.

What are the Functions of Acetylcholine?

Acetylcholine functions as a neuromodulator in both the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. It means that it acts on different neurons all over the nervous system.

Acetylcholine plays a vital role as a part of the neurotransmitter system in the central nervous system, which is comprised of the brain and the spinal cord. Its main role is centered in arousal and attention; giving rise to the fact that it does play a very special role in cognitive function. For the peripheral nervous system, ACh plays a major part in activation of muscles as a part of its effects on the autonomic nervous system.

Because acetylcholine is in the central nervous system, a severe decrease or increase of it can affect one’s ability to get aroused and to focus. This is because ACh in the brain’s cortex acts to make the person more responsive to sensory stimuli. It has also been found that somatosensory stimulation can increase the firing rate of neurons, meaning, ACh aids in the transmission of sensory stimuli or information from the thalamus to certain regions of the brain.

In Alzheimer’s Disease, there is a decrease in the concentrations of acetylcholine in the caudate nucleus and the cerebral cortex. The disease is characterized by progressive dementia or memory loss. We can clearly see that in here, the decrease in acetylcholine has resulted in a significant impairment of cognitive function.

Arjan Blokjan published an article in a science journal which claims that acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter of learning and memory, but has this been proven? It does appear so. In an animal study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, permanent enhancement of spatial memory abilities and attention occurred in the offspring of mothers who are given prenatal choline supplementation whereas those who were restricted choline in their diet gave birth to offspring with impaired cognitive function. Since choline is one of the precursors of acetylcholine, we can derive from this study what the effect of acetylcholine is in learning and memory.

Substances that Affect Levels and Functions of Acetylcholine

In the body, there are two primary groups of substances that affect acetylcholine, cholinesterase and the anticholinesterase. From the term itself, anticholinesterase is inhibitory to acetylcholine, and cholinesterase is pro-acetylcholine. Same with cholinergic substances and anticholinergic substances. Anticholinergic substances and medications causes a decrease in the levels of choline, and can likewise decrease the level of ACh. On the other hand, cholinergic substances and medications causes an increase in the levels of choline, a precursor of acetylcholine and thus can increase its level.

An example of a group of substances that affect acetylcholine are racetams, which either increase the uptake of choline or positively modulate the signal at the acetylcholine receptors. Feel free to look more into racetams to discover their own unique and individual mechanisms. Racetams do not create more acetylcholine and actually cause an increased demand for free ACh in many cases. This is why many people will combine racetams and choline precursors together.

Citations:

http://neuroscience.uth.tmc.edu/s1/chapter11.html

http://onesci.com/journals/science_journal_9.pdf

http://global.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/3318/acetylcholine

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/4/896.abstract

http://ceaccp.oxfordjournals.org/content/4/5/164.full

A Review of Pyritinol

Pyritinol (pyridoxine disulfide) represents a semi-natural nootropic substance which is synthesized from vitamin B6, or pyridoxine. First synthesis was performed in the 1960’s and since then, it has been prescribed for various neurological conditions worldwide. In many other countries, including the United States, pyritinol is available as an OTC medicine (over-the-counter), which can be bought without a prescription, functioning as a common cognitive and memory enhancer.

For the last fifty years, numerous studies have shown pyritinol’s effectiveness on the nervous system, representing it as successful and safe general nootropic applied to huge numbers of people. Over the course of many years, media has overinflated the negative aspects of safety of pyritinol. Although this substance has a couple of safety concerns, like any other medical substance, most of these side effects are not unusual and dangerous. It’s semi-natural origin derived from pyridoxine helps in limiting the safety concerns and to ensure any issues are minimal, increasing the effectiveness/risk ratio of this medicine. Even though it has been found half a century ago, the nootropic mechanisms are still completely unknown, with several possible methods which support the benefits of this substance.
pyritinol

Mechanism

Probably the best and thoroughly explained mechanism, or method of action, is high affinity choline uptake which is similar to pramiracetam and sunifiram. A study on the animals has shown that rat brains experienced an increase in high affinity choline uptake, when researchers administered regular doses of pyritinol. This study included both young and old rat brains, where in both cases pyritinol showed a significant increase. The possible pyritinol choline uptake mechanism hasn’t been studied on human brains.

Another interesting and well supported study on rats has stated that pyritinol administration for the period of 2-3 weeks ameliorated acetylcholine levels. A similar, yet different study, has shown that pyritinol metabolites affected the release of acetylcholine, by indirectly acting on this neurotransmitter levels.

Benefits

The benefits of this nootropic supplement are numerous and over the course of many years, it has been proven on both young and old people, enhancing their cognitive capabilities. Probably the most significant effect could be seen in elderly people, because of the declination in cholinergic activity which develops with age, resulting in different health conditions, such is Alzheimer’s disease. It’s nootropic activity, which declared the substance as OTC medicine, is the most evident which makes it desirable among younger people, especially students.  One small study did find an improvement in reaction time, but not memory.

Pyritinol’s nootropic effects include increased learning, improved memory and problem-solving skills, enhanced sensory perception and a decrease in tiredness. The benefits improve with the higher doses, yet its safety concerns suggest that higher doses shouldn’t be used in this indication. The higher the dosage, the higher the chances that negative side effects could occur, resulting in its toxicity, so it is advised to be moderate when using pyritinol.

It is approved for the symptomatic treatment of chronically impaired brain function in dementia syndromes and for supportive treatment of sequelae of craniocerebral trauma in various European countries, including Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, and Greece.  In France it is also approved for rheumatoid arthritis as a disease modifying drug, on the basis of the results of clinical trials.  In most other countries it is either sold as an over the counter (OTC) drug or has distribution legally limited.

Safety

As mentioned, media has belied the story about pyritinol, representing it as unsafe drug. The fact that is is an over-the-counter medicine, which proves the safety, overthrows the false information. This medicine has an astonishing safety record, administered for over a couple of decades by thousands and thousands of people. Even with the presented evidence, pyritinol still has some safety issues, similar to other medicine widely used by the population all over the world. A conversation with a qualified medical professional, such is doctor or pharmacist, is essential before the use of this medicine.

The concerning serious side effects which have been present in couple of cases were connected to immune system response. This case of pancreatitis was present at regular doses which means that immune system has overreacted, bringing the organism to a rare and uncommon inflamation. The other rare case included hepatotoxicity, related to cholestasis, believed to be a side effect of the mentioned nootropic. This case is also related to genetic predisposition present at a smaller percentage of population. With the upcoming methods of genetical biomedicine, these rare cases are going to be discovered early, resulting in the decrease of these rare, yet strange cases.

Common side effects, on the other hand, are not dangerous and life threatening. These include headache, most likely linked to its cholinergic mechanism, then gastrointestinal discomfort, insomnia, nausea. Even rare side effect is a skin problem, such as dermatitis.

It is usually combined with other nootropics, to decrease the side effects and increase the effect available thanks to different nootropic mechanisms of medicine. It works synergistically when applied with similar cholinergic drugs, like choline and acetylcholine supplements and racetams. Another synergetic proposal is the combinasion of pyritinol with sulbutiamine, but there isn’t a direct evidence of their conjoined potential. The substance is not recommended to pregnant women or those who are breasfeeding their newborns. It is important to be introduced to safety warnings, including the consultation with pharmacist or a doctor, before its use.

Alpha GPC Citicoline Comparision

Both citicoline and alpha GPC are effective in improving memory and accelerating learning. But, you may find it difficult to determine which one would work best for you. By comparing the benefits and method of action of each supplement, you can make a well-informed decision.

Method of Action

Although both the nootropics achieve the same goal of ensuring acetylcholine abundance in the body, alpha GPC and citicoline significantly differ in terms of their respective methods of action. While citicoline functions as an intermediate to acetylcholine, alpha GPC works as a synthetic precursor to acetylcholine.

By freeing up choline for synthesis, citicoline aims to increase acetylcholine levels within the body. It further helps in restoring phospholipid levels that eventually become depleted. It should be noted that depleted phospholipid levels tend to result in cognitive decline. On the contrary, alpha GPC works by mimicking choline effects for producing acetylcholine. In fact, alpha GPC is deemed more effective than choline at acetylcholine conversion because of its exceptional chemical properties

Effects

The two nootropics have positive effects on the brain’s function and overall mental health. By enhancing acetylcholine levels, these nootropics address cholinergic deficiency. In fact, both alpha GPC and citicoline benefit individuals with choline or acetylcholine deficiencies.

The unique properties of citicoline cause it to affect the functioning of the dopamine transporter (DAT) while influencing dopamine release. Unlike alpha GPC, citicoline may positively affect dopaminergic neurons, which eventually leads to improvements in attention and focus.

Alpha GPC is known to improve cognitive function in individuals with damaged cholinergic systems like brain trauma sufferers or Alzheimer’s patients. Moreover, this nootropic triggers the release of essential human growth releasing hormones that further leads to natural HGH release. Natural human growth hormone plays an important role in repairing body tissue while stimulating the immune system.

It is important to note that both the nootropics have “anti-aging” effects on the nervous system. However, alpha GPC is better suited as a post workout choline replenishment supplement since it tends to activate the parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system, while citicoline serves as a stimulatory agent, making it a suitable option for enhanced focus and drive.

Safety

The use of both alpha GPC and citicoline is considered highly safe, particularly when used in their recommended amounts. Neither alpha GPC nor citicoline carry risk of causing addiction or toxic reactions. Having limited interactions, citicoline serves as a neuroprotective agent as well.

It is important to note that the two nootropics have very few, mild side effects that are usually experienced by sensitive individuals. However, a majority of these side effects can be avoided by reducing the dosage. Headaches and upset stomach are common side effects associated with the use of both nootropics.

It has been observed that cholinergic hyperactivity can lead to mood problems and abnormally high acetylcholine levels are related to depression. This makes depression a possible outcome of the over-dosage of both alpha GPC and citicoline. Alpha GPC may cause heartburn, rash, confusion or insomnia in sensitive individuals whereas citicoline may lead to nausea.

Stacking

Both alpha GPC and citicoline are known to enhance the advantages of other nootropics, particularly the racetams. Citicoline stacks quite well with many cholinergics, particularly with racetam nootropics. This happens because citicoline tends to facilitate enhanced acetylcholine demand, which results in fewer side effects as compared to choline supplementation. Furthermore, citicoline stacks well with ACh inhibitors, particularly in individuals experiencing cholinergic deficiency. However, in other cases, this stack may lead to increased side effects.

The synergetic effects of alpha GPC are best observed when stacked with a racetam. For potentiating the effects, alpha GPC is typically stacked with cholinergic racetams. Racetams are known to increase the acetylcholine demand while alpha GPC facilitates the replenishment of these amounts without causing choline overload in the brain. It is typically believed that excessive choline can cause headaches and therefore, stacking with alpha GPC may reduce the possibility of experiencing such side effects. However, it is important to note that it is still a disputable claim.

Conclusion

While alpha GPC and citicoline greatly differ in terms of the method of action, the two share several similar nootropic effects. Both the nootropics enhance brain function by improving acetylcholine levels.  Neuroprotection has been observed in both as well. Alpha GPC and citicoline are equally effective in preventing aging. In fact, the two have very few, mild side effects.

At the end of the day, the decision of determining the better option between the two nootropics boils down to personal choice. Because each individual responds differently to these acetylcholine sources, the best strategy would be testing each of them out. Consider starting with any one of the two for several weeks before switching. Lastly, it is important to make sure that you have the most beneficial combination in your stack.

Yerba Mate – an exquisite alternative to coffee and green tea

How many times have you drunk a liter (or four cups for that matter) of coffee just to stay awake and study for tomorrow’s exam? Probably a couple of times, at least, because every student uses coffee to boost the energy and prepare for a certain exam. The bad side of it comes when you drink lots of coffee and then you experience headaches, arrhythmia and high blood pressure. Therefore, nature has offered many different alternatives to coffee, which potentially has better effects on your concentration, yet lack the serious and concerning side effects present with coffee. An excellent example of such an herb is called Yerba Mate which became more popular recently as a much effective drink than coffee. This great natural nootropic herb, similar to coffee, is also a natural caffeine source, but the caffeine boost is stable and smooth when compared to coffee, which has much frequent crashes and peaks that promote the caffeine side effects.

Yerba Mate is most commonly used as a coffee-like nootropic alternative which increases vigilance and alertness, yet offering a positive stress-free mood. Different reviews state that it helps an individual to achieve mental clarity for a longer period during work or when studying. This plant originates from South America’s subtropical areas such as Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia. The drink made from this plant has been used as a nutritional supplement, similar to coffee, and is still used as a drink in many European cultures. The taste of this herb is similar to the taste of green tea and it is also available in combination with many flavored extracts, to hide the bitter taste of flavonoids which this plant is full of. Yerba Mate consists of various nutrients such as selenium, magnesium, inositol, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, C, E, fatty acids and a complex of antioxidants, ready to boost your immune system and maintain your health.

Effects of Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate has a couple of known mechanisms and effects in that it works similar to green tea. Its main characteristics are that it acts like a cognitive enhancer and it stimulates the central nervous system, like caffeine. Important ingredients which support this mechanism are antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, amino acids, and minerals. This herb helps maintains one’s health, including the cognitive functions of the brain.

Another mechanism which is supported by numerous studies is its influence on the energy-related systems which complete the cellular function and metabolism. This results in higher concentrations of ATP, the main source of energy for a cell. It also acts as a vasodilator and helps the blood vessels to dilatate by relaxing the muscles. The dilatation of blood vessels improves the blood flow and the general cardiovascular functions.

Yerba Mate benefits

Yerba Mate Benefits

Probably the most important benefit of Yerba Mate is its antioxidative activity. The main components of this herb are antioxidants and when compared to different varieties of green tea, it contains 90% more antioxidants. The significant boost of the immune system helps the removal of harmful free radicals, preventing them from damaging the brain and body. Because the brain produces a lot of energy thanks to its function, this organ is the most sensitive when it comes to free radicals. Yerba Mate prevents the effects of free radicals and it detoxifies the brain cells as well, preventing many types of cancer in your body and slows the aging process.

It has nutrients such as vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, amino acids and polyphenols that enhance the ability to focus or concentrate. These Yerba Mate nutrients will give the balancing effect. The nutrients will increase the clarity and mental energy without additional side effects that caffeine normally brings. Additionally, this herbal nootropic supplement reduces anxiety, insomnia, and stress for many individuals.

When it comes to physical endurance, Yerba Mate works on this field as well. It helps the metabolism of carbohydrates, which is essential for body energy and the loss of unwanted calories from your body depot. It affects the levels of lactic acid, which benefits the muscles and prevents pain after the workout, speeding up the recovery time.

Recommended dosage of Yerba Mate

When it comes to Yerba Mate and its recommended dosage, there is very limited information regarding its proper daily uptake. However, scientists advise that drinking this herbal preparation should be done in moderation, since taking abnormally high doses may have the potential to lead to the appearance of some types of cancer (at least that is the theory). Even though antioxidants prevent the cancer phenomenon, these chemicals promote oxidative action in the body when administered in higher concentrations, so it is recommended not to go overdrive with the use of this nootropic. It is better to consult your medical professional before you decide to use this natural nootropic for the first time.

The proper dosage depends on one’s personal reasons for taking these supplements, as well as on several factors which should be considered, including how it is supplemented and any other supplements being taken in combination. If you take Yerba Mate as a tea, it is recommended to take only 1-3 cups per day. On the other hand, if you are taking it as a supplement, once per day of 500 mg is the recommended dosage. When taking other polyphenols and caffeine supplements and drinks, it is recommended to lower the dosage of Yerba Mate. Every manufacturer that sells this herbal preparation has the recommended usage on the package, so the following of such instructions is highly recommended.

Yerba Mate side effects

Even though this herbal preparation is much better than coffee when it comes to side effects, it still has some issues which should be avoided when using this herb to prepare drinks. Some rare side effects may include stomach upset, vomiting, nausea, nervousness, insomnia, increased heart rate, headache, ringing in ears, and restlessness. If this supplement is consumed in higher doses, these side effects are more likely to occur, so in this case you should seek an advice from a medical professional.  As always, stop use of any supplement when unpleasant side effects occur and seek the cousel of a medical professional.

Dopamine and Nootropics-The Good and the Not-So-Good

When talking about nootropics, it’s simply impossible to miss the mention of acetylcholine or the cholinergic system. In fact, most nootropics specifically target the cholinergic system and glutamatergic system to enhance cognitive function while reducing the risk of side effects, tolerance as well as dependence.

Just like acetylcholine, dopamine is yet another nootropic neurotransmitter that plays an important role in cognitive function. There are many different types of supplements that help in activating and modulating dopamine along with its receptors to enhance memory. Moreover, dopamine supplements tend to improve learning as well as focus.

dopamine function on brain

How Is Dopamine Associated With Addiction?

Dopamine is considered extremely important to perform different types of cognitive tasks. In fact, it is usually called the “reward” neurotransmitter because it lets people enjoy things by getting reward through stimuli. And this perfectly explains why, dopamine is known for its strong and sought-after effects. But, at the same time, this reward system also makes dopamine a potential target for addiction. This means, any substance with a high affinity with your dopamine system has greater chances of becoming addictive.

Dopamine and ADHD-The Idea of “Smart Drugs”

Many ADHD patients seek the help of nootropics such as racetams to avoid the many side effects as well as health risks associated with ADHD drugs. Studies have shown that nootropics like Piracetam, which target the cholinergic system, may benefit people suffering from ADHD. However, it is important to note that this switch from ADHD drugs to racetams can’t solve the problem permanently. The simple reason behind this is the fact that ADHD isn’t a malfunction in the cholinergic system but it actually affects the dopaminergic system.

It is generally believed that people experiencing the condition have low dopaminergic activity. Many stimulant drugs such as amphetamines can help in strengthening dopamine activity in the brain, thereby reducing or alleviating ADHD effects. On the contrary, amphetamines also serve as powerful stimulants for people who don’t suffer from this condition. You may have heard college students trying to use these drugs to enhance productivity, which is what gives them their popular name i.e. smart drugs.

It’s important to understand that the main difference between smart drugs and nootropics is that the latter carry reduced addiction risks. This is why; dopamine-enhancing drugs don’t usually make it to the nootropics family. In fact, most stimulants tend to increase dopamine levels, thereby enhancing particular areas of cognitive function. When using these stimulants for enhancing memory, be careful and avoid long-term use.

Two Popular Nootropics Associated with Dopamine

Mucuna Pruriens and Dopamine

Mucuna Pruriens is a herbal extract that is extremely powerful and may serve as an effective nootropic. It contains L-Dopa, which is actually a precursor to dopamine. If you have low motivation and/or libido, you may have low levels of dopamine. And by using this herb as a nootropic, you can increase your dopamine levels. Even if you have normal dopamine levels, increasing L-dopa can still help with cognition.

Sulbutiamine and Dopamine

Sulbutiamine is a synthetic vitamin derivative that carries mild stimulating effects. This substance has a different method of action than typical ampakines and racetams. The primary method of action of sulbutiamine is believed to be party involved with dopamine. The supplement enhances the density of dopamine receptors, known as D1 and D2. Although it is safer than typical “smart drugs”, this supplement may have some form of addictive potential. Tolerance buildup is yet another effect associated with sulbutiamine use.

Yamabushitake Mushroom’s Top Benefits

Yamabushitake represents a medicinal mushroom, with a significant benefits aimed towards the neurological function of an individual. The name was derived from the latern term Hericium erinaceus and it also has a couple of recognizable names such as Monkey Head Mushroom, and Lion’s Mane. This amazing mushroom has many neurological benefits. It is rich in minerals like Zinc, Iron, Selenium and Potassium, as well as various polypeptides, polysaccharides and amino acids. Scientists from Japan have discovered that this mushroom stimulates numerous nerve cell growth factors, so there is a debate that this mechanism of action could be applied for the Alzheimer’s disease treatment and for damage of peripheral nerve tissue.

This mushroom inhabits the surface of dead or old broadleaf trees and it is widely consumed in China and Japan. It has many nutrients and while it is widely consumed, there is no harmful side effects reported. The traditional Chinese medicine has enlisted this mushroom as the key medicine. It improves body energy, physical condition, and improves digestion. Based on the latest studies, Yamabushitake has the potential to inhibit cancer cell growth. The benefits of this natural nootropic are aimed at liver, kidneys, hear, stomach and spleen. The supplements of this nootropic are in demand lately for its anti-aging and nootropic effects.

Effects of Yamabushitake

Yamabushitake

When using this mushroom as nootropic, probably the most important mechanism of actions which supports this benefit is the effect on the nerve growth factor or NFG. NFG is a chemical that is present in the brain that affects the developments and growth of neurons. The most important role of this substance is the survival and differentiation of nerve cells, which is present both in peripheral and central part of nervous system. Studies have stated that lower concentrations of NFG lead to brain cell denial, which could promote dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Yamabushitake works as a stimulator of NFG, which is a unique factor that is present among the medicinal mushrooms.

The benefit of Yamabushitake use could be also explained by the fast absorption, especially the fast crossing of blood-brain barrier. This is quite uncommon among medicinal mushrooms. Because of the small molecules present in Yamabushitake, it can easily cross the blood-brain membrane and affect the brain more efficiently. These chemical substances then interact with brain receptors and help restore the nerve sheaths that are important for the improvement of conductivity signals in nerves. Positive impact of this mushroom enhances the brain electrical conductivity and therefore, increase the efficiency of signal transmission.

Yamabushitake benefits

Improve immunomodulation is one of the benefits this mushroom can give.. Immunomodulation is usually propagated by either suppressed or stimulated inflammation, which classes this nootropic as an adaptogen. This supplement also boosts the immune system and protects the organs from oxidative damage. By boosting the concentrations of both interferons and white blood cells, Yamabushitake supports almost any healing process in the body and enhances the immune system. It is also beneficial for those who suffer from gastrointestinal diseases, because this mushroom enhances the mucus stomach barrier, accelerates the ulcer healing and reduces present inflammation.

As far as it comes to blood system, Yamabushitake assists in blood sugar and cholesterol regulation by lowering these concentrations to a normal level. There are also evidences that this mushroom affects the response to allergies by lowering the allergy sensitivity. It also improves numerous conditions such as multiple sclerosis, neuronal degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, autism and muscular dystrophy. As a nootropic supplement, Yamabushitake promotes brain plasticity and memory retention, including cognitive decline which is a direct benefit of anti-aging and longevity effect. The multiple mechanisms of action could even reverse the neurological damage which occurs due to environmental toxins, substance abuse, stroke or aging.

Recommended dosage for Yamabushitake

Yamabushitake is present for centuries and is used for traditional human treatment, yet there is still no recommended dosage for this nootropic supplement. Relatively few studies on humans are probably the reason for scarce data regarding the dosage, yet certain literature suggests the dosage up to 1 gram, which could be taken three times a day. If you decide to try with this nootropic treatment, it is better to start with lower doses and then advance with higher ones. The starter dosage should be around 50 to 100 mg. After you become familiar with the benefits, effects and side effects, then you could increase the dosage, staying in the predicted limits.

Side effects of Yamabushitake

Since this supplement is still new in modern medicine, there are no reported side effects which could be considered. Yet, this doesn’t mean that side effects do no exist, so it is important to consult a medical professional before you decide to start using this mushroom. Along with the data for side effects, there are also no evidence for Yamabushitake toxicity, interactions and even reactions with other medications.

Vinpocetine Overview – Effectiveness & Benefits

In a previous article about vincamine, we touched the topic of natural nootropics which are derived from plants and are mostly preferred by those who are sceptical when it comes to synthesized products. We have mentioned that a vincamine derivative, called vinpocetine, is more popular than its predecessor, when it comes to effectiveness and benefits. In this article, the reader will get to know whether this herbal supplement is the right choice for him/her, by introducing vinpocetine’s benefits and side effects, as well as the mechanism of its action.

Like vincamine, vinpocetine represents an indole alkaloid which is extracted from Vinca minor, or Periwinkle plant. Even though both of these compounds are found naturally in this plant, vincamine is the one which was used the most as a brain enhancing compound in the past. Lately, studies about vinpocetine have shown that this substance has a more potent activity than vincamine, as well as rare manifestation of side effects, which are more common in vincamine. Because alkaloids are found in lower concentrations in plants, laboratories nowadays synthesize vinpocetine from vincamine and other similar alkaloids, ensuring the purification of this natural derivative and higher quantities available to consumers.

vinpocetine

Along with the mentioned effects in various therapies, vinpocetine also deals with neurological impairments by providing increased brain blood flow. Like vincamine, it boosts cognitive functions and has a general effect on brain health when used for a longer time period. It has a neuroprotective activity and treats memory loss, mental decline related to age and reduces mortality in patients who have suffered from ischemic stroke.

How Does Vinpocetine Work?

Vinpocetine is considered to be an anti-inflammatory substance, causing brain blood vessels to relax and dilatate so that additional blood flow may come to the brain. One of the proposed mechanisms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease is the neuroinflammation which causes the neurons to die off. The anti-inflammatory effect of vinpocetine prevents such neuroinflammation and helps neurons to renovate. Vinpocetine prevents the excessive stimulation of neurons, a dangerous effect which could lead to excitotoxicity and premature death of neurons.

Vinpocetine Benefits

Numerous studies have demonstrated that vinpocetine has a vasodilatatory effect on peripheral blood vessels of brain. This vasodilatator increases brain circulation, without a significant change of total blood pressure in other parts of the body. By increasing blood flow to the brain, neurons receive additional oxygen, as well as glucose and other essential nutrients, required for generating energy through brain metabolism. Enhanced brain metabolism affects cognitive processing, including motoric skills, memory and general response. Another great effect of an increased blood flow is the elimination of toxic products from the brain, which supports the preservation of brain cells and their maintenance and growth.

vinpocetine benefits

Vinpocetine, as a natural product, is becoming more and more popular among the senior population, as well as students, who want to enhance their cognitive and studying capabilities. Students usually say that this natural nootropic gets rid of brain fog, helps them with studying specific material. It improves mental stamina, bringing higher mood and motivation necessary for endurance. When it comes to elderly people, vinpocetine lessens the risk related to Alzheimer’s disease including similar neurological forms of the disease. It helps with reduction of brain aging and improves the memory of seniors. Additional non-nootropic benefits are effect on menopausal symptoms, prevention of motion sickness, seizure disorders, and CFS or chronic fatigue syndrome.

Vinpocetine Side Effects

This supplement has few side effects which should be taken in consideration. Most individuals react quite well, without any serious side effects. Mild side effects include headache, nausea, nervousness, gastrointestinal symptoms, sleep problems and dizziness. These side effects are often resolved within couple of days, but if any of the side effects prolong, a consultation with a medical professional is necessary so that the right treatment could be processed.  As with any supplement, stop use until it is possible to consult with the appropriate health professional.

When taking vinpocetine, it is necessary to take drug interactions into consideration because specific combinations of medicine could prove to be dangerous to ones health. Vinpocetine does have some vasodilation properties that could be a problem for people with related conditions.  Combination with analgetics, or pain relievers, should also be avoided, as well as combination with agents that lead to blood thinning. It is not recommended for use by a person who has heart problems, hemophilia or low blood pressure. Pregnant women, or those who are breastfeeding, should avoid the use of vinpocetine, as well as children under the age of 18. Patients have had a recent surgery should avoid the vinpocetine use because it could increase the risk of bleeding and antagonize the effects of blood thickening drugs.

Conclusion

Vinpocetine is considered to be among the most used natural nootropics in the world. Its benefits and possibility of side effects are significant, which makes this supplement acceptable for wider masses. It enhances cognitive effects and increases activities linked to learning, memory, clarity of thought, speed of recall and alertness. For those who would like to start a nootropic treatment, vinpocetine is a good call. Certain people who suffer from blood clotting should avoid the use of this substance, as well as children, pregnant women and those who breasfeed. It should be taken orally, with 5-10 mg three times a day, for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Please consult a medical professional if you decide to use this nootropic, because it is important to take in consideration all the current conditions which could affect your health.

Improve the functioning of your brain with Huperzine A

huperzine aHuperzine A is an alkaloid compound, with basic nitrogen atoms, naturally found in the plant species, fermoss (chemical name: Huperzia). Generally, the Chinese club moss is used to extract and purify huperzine A with the help of laboratory manipulation. This herbal supplement has many nootropic benefits for humans and deals directly with memory and brain’s functioning.

A number of neurological problems can be treated with huperzine A, especially Alzheimer’s disease. It is also used to target problems of memory losses and deficiencies in learning. Its effects can further aid to enhance concentration, gain mental clarity and increase the potential to process information.

Scientifically, huperzine A is known to increase the amount of acetylcholine in brain and is considered an acetlycholinesterase inhibitor. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter between neurons that transmits signals to encode memories. The way huperzine A affects acetylcholine is the same as medications for Alzheimer’s and galantamine, another alkaloid, affect acetylcholine. However, huperzine A is more readily available and cheap comparatively.

Acetlycholinesterase is an enzyme which breaks down acetylcholine to recycle it in a continuous neuron process. Huperzine A and galantamine inhibit the action of acetlycholinesterase and thus, lead to increased levels of acetylcholine in brain. Acetylcholine is associated with helping the brain in adapting, learning and storing new information. With the passage of time, levels of acetylcholine decrease inside the brain. Hence, older people can greatly benefit from this nootropic supplement to reverse the decline.

Huperzine A’s effectiveness was tested with a number of Alzheimer’s disease patients. Researchers found out that after regular usage of the supplement for 30 to 60 days, most patients had improved memory and thinking abilities. Another research study hinted towards the benefits huperzine A can provide to patients suffering from senile dementia. Although, more research and experimentation are required, to authenticate the positive results. Adolescents, especially students, can use the supplement for boosting formation and retention of memory, especially under stressful conditions.

There are no consistent side effects that have been associated with the use of huperzine A, particularly when using the supplement for short term. However, like other supplements, some standard side effects have been reported which include nausea, barfing, loose motions, faded vision, appetite loss, restlessness and twitching. But nothing severe has surfaced till now.

But there are certain conditions, during which the use of Huperzine A is to be avoided. People with heart diseases, like bradycardia, should avoid its usage. In some cases, Huperzine A has resulted in a slower heartbeat. To avoid any major issues, it is advisable to consult a doctor before using huperzine A if you have a heart condition. Patients suffering from epilepsy should also avoid using it. As the supplement imbalances the chemicals in the brain, there is a possibility that Huperzine A worsens epileptic seizures. Although, there isn’t much research out there that explores how huperzine A affects during and after pregnancy, pregnant and feeding women should avoid the supplement.

Based on scientific research and studies, doses have been recommended for individuals. For people with Alzheimer’s disease and Vascular Dementia, it is advised that they orally consume 50 to 200 mcg of the supplement twice in a day. Old people who have senile or pre-senile dementia (declining of thinking skills with age) should take 30 mcg twice per day. Adolescents looking to improve memory, 100 mcg two times in a day is recommended.

There also seems to exist, a relationship between prevention of muscle weakness due to myasthenia gravis, a muscular disorder, and Huperzine A. Such individuals can receive a shot of huperzine A daily if approved by a medical professional.

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