It is clearly important to a number of us to keep a sharp mind. What do I mean by keeping a sharp mind?
1) Prevention of disease like Alzheimers
2) Better memory
3) Clear fast thinking
There are numerous things that you can take to support your brains functions. Telling if any supplement is helping can be a very subjective judgement.
I feel the least certain of all my supplements in this category. Here is a list of the supplements associated with brain function improvements that I have studied.
Here are the moods I categorize:
EM = Energy in the morning. I break my feelings morning to afternoon because frequently one or the other might be considerably better or worse.
EA = Energy in the afternoon
Moo = Happy Sad … this is simply smiley feeling good or feeling down for some reason
Rel = Relationship Do I feel good about my primary relationship
Foc = Focus = Am I feeling truly focused and sharp thinking
Cre = Creativity = Am I feeling like I’m creative today
Wor = Work = How do I feel about work and relationships
Fin = Financial = Do I feel good about finances
Lus = Lust = Do I feel horny, sensual or however you want to describe it
Phy = Physical Strength = Do I feel good about my strength or my physical progress, fitness of my body
These are all subjective measures. I believe each is important to understanding if you are really happy and executing well in life. Since our brains are the ultimate determinant of how well we do on all these things and react to them I think you have to understand what is contributing to your mood and brain function.
There are a lot of supplements that are associated with aspects of better brain function or are considered likely to improve brain function. I have started to measure myself during the day on my mood. In the past I would simply say, I am in a good mood, a bad mood. Mood can be very multi-faceted. I could be very happy about my relationship, unhappy about work. I could feel energetic or clear and sharp and other times feel disoriented and not focused. There are a lot of things that affect mood including real world events as well as what I just ate, how much sleep I had, when I last had sex, etc..
I have also found music, where I am, the time of day. So many factors. So, I am keeping a spreadsheet with 10 different mood indicators and trying to determine how I feel to see if I can tie those moods to some supplement, sleeping regime or other thing I can manipulate.
If nothing else it is useful to be aware of your feelings because you can’t improve a situation if you don’t even know it is upsetting you. Objectively analyzing it can remind you to do something about it. The data gives you the basis to adjust strategies to meet the problem.
Much of the research dollars today are focused on Alzheimers and the supposed assumption that if you prevent Alzheimers you will have a perfectly fine brain otherwise. 🙂 I don’t know if that is a good assumption. I don’t believe I am very likely to get Alzheimers. It’s not a big worry so I haven’t really looked too much into what things prevent it. I believe many of the supplements I take and generally the healthy way I eat will be preventative enough. Maybe I am naive about this and someone could illuminate why I should worry about Alzheimers specifically more.
My spreadsheet and the studies I have put these chemicals as most likely to impact ones likelihood of getting Alzheimers.
I am a pretty upbeat person and so the need for anti-depressants or calming supplements hasn’t been of interest to me. There are a large number of supplements in this category. For the reasons stated I haven’t studied them very well either. I know there are several supplements that are considered very effective but I don’t track them. I suggest that you do your own research in this area.
It is typical that many of the “Brain” supplements out in the market contain a number of these included in their recipes probably because a lot of people’s brain function is probably affected by nervousness, depression or other more problematic concerns which I am not particularly worried about.
Brain Supplements are generally classified into 3 categories:
Individual supplements with a single chemical – here you can find B12 and Circumin, Fisetin, or other chemicals that don’t fall into the other categories.
Classic Brain Recipe – Here you will find BrainGenX Brain Food, Rainbow Light Busy Brain Release and Fast Brain supplements from numerous manufacturers. These recipes include Ginko Biloba, L-Theanine, Valerian, Choline, Vinpocetine and numerous other similar chemicals determined from Chinese medicine to be brain healthy supplements.
No-otropic Stacks -Phenylpiracetam and variations in the Racetam family as well as Choline usually combined to form a “stack.” Much has been made of college students trying to use these for enhanced scores as well as people trying to get off ADHD drugs by using them for less side effects. So far, I have no personal experience to recommend them but I haven’t tried. Studies and people’s testimonials do seem to indicate I should add them next iteration to my recipe.
There are several supplements which have a long history of being associated with sharper minds or better memory. The one that is most common is:
Ginko Biloba: (240mg daily required dose to meet studies guidelines) Ginko has been shown in some studies to be effective but to do so you need to take 240mg+. It is hard to find supplements that have this level easily obtainable. I use Rainbow Light Ginko Bacopa Quick Thinking supplements. You have to take 3 pills to get 240mg. It contains numerous other good things for the brain.
ALA (alpha lipoic acid):
Green Tea: For a long time studies have shown Green tea has a big impact on reducing cancers along the gastrointestinal tract however, other studies point to its beneficial effects on other systems including brain. I don’t think anyone understands why it might do so.
Quick Thinking / Clarity:
B12: 1,000ucg to 5,000ucg: You will need to take a supplement to get this amount of B-12 but B-12 has been related in numerous studies I’ve seen to faster brain function and better memory, higher alertness, sharper thinking.
ALC (Acetyl-l-carnitine 1000mg or more): I think this is one of the most important supplements to take. ALC is involved in mitochondrial function and studies have shown mitochondrial function as critical. ALC is involved in the conversion process of ADP to ATP. This is a basic element to all operations in the cell practically. If you want to move a molecule from one place to another ATP provides the basic energy by supplying a phosphate atom and releasing energy in the process. ALC is a basic building block in this regeneration chemical reaction.
There has recently been a lot of interest generated in a class of substances discovered in Russia that seem to have significant enhancement to brain function. These drugs are grouped together as No-otropics. I have only dabbled in these. I took a couple doses last iteration of my regime and decided they were too much. I was not having any noticeable effect that was positive and some negative effect. I decided to delay adding these into my regime until I learned more.
|“+3 to -3|
|Ginseng||Brain||https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Ginkgo_Supplements_Memory_Review/GinkgoBiloba/||CONSUMERLAB||Korean Ginseng used in ADHD studies||4|
|B12||Brain||http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2008/09/08/vitamin-b12-key-to-aging-brain||Vitamin B12 Key to Aging Brain (reduced brain volume with less B12 even at normal levels)||9/2013||2|
|Resveratrol||Brain||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-02/hfhs-srs022013.php||Study: Resveratrol shows promise to protect hearing, cognition||2|
|Aniracetam||Brain||http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aniracetam||WIKI||Potent antianxiety, calm||2|
|Citicoline||brain||http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citicoline||WIKI||increase dopamine receptor sites||2|
|Noopept||Brain||http://examine.com/supplements/Noopept/||Examine.com||significant benefit for brain recovery||2|
|BacopaMonnieri||Brain||http://examine.com/supplements/Bacopa+monnieri/||Examine.com||3 to 4 weeks to get significant memory improvement||2|
|D3||Brain||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-07/uoc–vdc071509.php||Vitamin D, curcumin may help clear amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer’s disease||1|
|Curcumin||Brain||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-07/uoc–vdc071509.php||Vitamin D, curcumin may help clear amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer’s disease||1|
|D3||Brain||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-02/uoc–vdo020513.php||Vitamin D, omega-3 may help clear amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer’s||1|
|Omega3||Brain||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-02/uoc–vdo020513.php||Vitamin D, omega-3 may help clear amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer’s||1|
|EGCG||Brain||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-09/w-bbs090512.php||Brainy beverage: Study reveals how green tea boosts brain cell production to aid memory||1|
|Probiotics||Brain||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-05/uoc–cgb052813.php||Changing gut bacteria through diet affects brain function, UCLA study shows||1|
|Pterostilbene||Brain||https://www.biotivia.com/pteromax.html||Biotivia claims memory enhancements,||1|
|Pycnogenol||Brain||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-12/mg-pft120611.php||Pycnogenol found to improve memory and test scores in college students in new clinical …||1|
|Carnosine||Brain||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-11/uosf-ntp110613.php||Natura Therapeutics product shown to improve decision making skills in older adults||1|
|Melatonin||Brain||http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-10-memory-loss-alzheimer-reversed.html#ajTabs||Melatonin part of regimen reversed memory loss||1|
|Curcumin||Brain||http://www.worldhealth.net/news/spice-compound-boosts-brain-stem-cells/||Circumin boosts brain stem cells||1|
|fisetin||Brain||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-10/si-anc101706.php||A natural chemical found in strawberries boosts memory in healthy mice||1|
|Aniracetam||Brain||http://nootriment.com/aniracetam/||Aniracetam Cognitive Enhancement Guide For Beginners – See more at: http://nootriment.com/aniracetam/#sthash.G1tcxo5v.dpuf||1|
|Aniracetam||Brain||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-09/bmj-ii092909.php||Increase in ‘academic doping’ could spark routine urine tests for exam students||1|
|fisetin||Brain||http://www.salk.edu/news/pressrelease_details.php?press_id=655||Natural plant compound prevents Alzheimer’s disease in mice||1|
|phenylpiracetam||brain||http://nootriment.com/phenylpiracetam/||Phenylpiracetam – A Super Strong Nootropic Supplement – See more at: http://nootriment.com/phenylpiracetam/#sthash.rMO8nzco.dpuf||1|
|Oxiracetam||brain||http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxiracetam||1000 times more powerful than piracetam||1|
|Piracetam||brain||http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20166767||Piracetam and piracetam-like drugs: from basic science to novel clinical applications to CNS disorders.||1|
|EGCG||brain||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-04/uob-gtb040714.php||Will green tea boost your brain||1|
|Choline||Brain||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-05/epr-nsi052307.php||New study indicates that people may need more dietary choline than previously thought||1|
|Choline||Brain||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-07/uog-cii071113.php||Choline intake improves memory and attention-holding capacity||1|
|Carnitine||Brain||consumerlabs||Carnitine found beneficial for memory and cognition||0|
|Omega3||Brain||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-09/aaon-efn091713.php||Eating fish, nuts may not help thinking skills after all||-1|