Nootropics: In search of a better brain.
Pronounced “No TRAW Picks”.
“A substance that improves memory and facilitates learning.”
Nootropics, Pronounced “no TRA PICKS” are substances that improve memory and facilitate learning. Although you may not have heard the term, you probably do something that helps you focus and think more clearly. Many of us refer to this “coffee.” For others, it is the B vitamins. B12 “energy shots” are most common. As a health coach, the complaint of “brain fog” is in the top 3 for most of my clients Having more energy overall being number one.
We know we can feed our bodies optimally. But what about our brains? We are finding out the answer is yes! We do this through food and targeted supplementation. In addition, we must, use it or lose it. Flexing our mental muscles by learning something new should become routine.
Past research claimed that you never regrow brain cells. Once they are gone, they are gone. I have some encouraging news to share with you.
Science has come a long way, and we now know that the brain DOES in fact, regenerate. The ability to grow new brain cells is called neurogenesis. While the brain has a limited capacity for regeneration, we know it is possible. Ultimately, science tells us that pro-regenerative molecules can participate in replacing and repairing damaged or diseased neurons and glial cells.
Better gut, better brain - Viome tells the story of gut health. What will your story be?
A Better Brain with Nootropics. My Top 4 Picks.
I recently listened to a podcast by Tim Ferriss, who is a well-known biohacker. His guest was Dominic D’agostino of the University of South Florida (Morsani College).
Dr. D’agostino helped bring therapeutic ketones and their research to the public. He was speaking about how he mitigates his loss of sleep when crossing continents while traveling. He named huperzine “A” as one of his recent favorites. Coming from someone who studies the brain for a living, I had to see for myself if this could work for me. I see this as a “must try” for anyone seeking a better brain. The result for me came in less than an hour.
He was right. Huperzine A helps our other neurotransmitters work better. According to WEB MD “Huperzine “A” is thought to be beneficial for problems with memory loss > Additionally, benefits are seen for (dementia) and the muscular disorder myasthenia gravis. Levels of acetylcholine increase with nootropics such as Huperzine A. Therefore, research will continue and looks promising.
Acetylcholine is one of the chemicals that our nerves use to communicate in the brain, muscles, and other areas.” Huperzine A is said to help increase dopamine levels. Research on how huperzine A could help addictions will be much anticipated as addictions are “dopamine-driven.” In other words, when there is low dopamine, the brain needs a new FEEL GOOD and it needs it quickly. Nootropics to the rescue.
It’s no secret that I love when a single herb or combination of herbs shows us the power of substances, and how they can help us be better versions of ourselves. This little trailing plant has praised for cognition and recall, and overall memory enhancement increased neural activity. And it has been a favorite for centuries in many cultures.
Citicoline is the generic name of the pharmaceutical substance that chemically is cytidine-5′-di-phosphocholine (CDP-choline). Identical to the natural precursor of the phospholipid “phosphatidylcholine.”
Phosphatidylcholine is a natural chemical contained in eggs, soybeans, mustard, sunflower, and other foods. You will also find generous amounts is in “lecithin,” and while the two forms differ, the end result is the same. Choline is a critical B vitamin that helps to form the walls of cells.
What science is ascertaining is that Citicoline appears to slow the advancement of neurodegenerative diseases and glaucoma.
Vinpocetine is a man-made chemical resembling a substance found in the pretty purple periwinkle. The botanical name is “Vinca Minor.”
While Vinpocetine cannot claim to be completely natural, it is sold by prescription in Germany under the brand name Cavinton. Vinpocetine studies to date seem to show there is an increase of blood flow to the brain with Vinpocetine.
Many people now are using this supplement to prevent ischemic stroke due to the surrounding science for its benefit to blood flow.
It is hardly a secret that I have personally found exogenous ketones to be one of the most valuable supplements for a number of reasons. From fat loss, glucose and insulin regulation, to pain relief, exogenous ketones is one of my favorite supplements for your best cognition support.
Ketones are being studies in the fight against cancer and for the cognition support for those with Alzheimer’s disease.
The beauty of the noogtropics I mention in this article is that you can “stack” them. This means that you can use them in conjunction with one another.
An Inflamed Brain is an Aging Brain.
Dr. David Perlmutter has written two books on the very subject of brain health. ONE main vein runs through all of his books. We can eat our way to a better brain. The other is that inflammation is what starts one down the path of cognitive decline.
5 Easy Tips for a Better Brain.
Any time we can cut down on inflammation systemically we benefit our bodies and our brains. Here are 3 quick tips to reduce inflammation.
- Keep dietary sugars low and eat MORE fat. The brain is about 60% fat. Sugar isn’t brain food. Avocado and egg yolk are brain superfoods.
- Anything that affects the gut affects the brain. Eat a clean, whole food diet. Take a good probiotic multistrain supplement. Switch different strains occasionally. Avoid diet sodas and processed foods.
- Increase antioxidants and inflammation with supplementation if necessary. Food alone is ineffective at scavenging the free radicals we face today. Avoid overexercising which causes accelerated inflammation and free radicals.
- Try nootropics or combinations of such. (do not take supplements without consulting with your physician.) Many increase blood flow and decrease inflammation. Improvement can be seen especially when combining them.
- Understand that your brain is not a “processor” it is a RECEIVER.
Learn something NEW! Exercise your brain the way you exercise your body. Flexing your “mental muscle” keeps your mind sharp. Chess anyone?
**This post contains affiliate links, and I could be compensated if you purchase after clicking on my links. One should not take any natural or synthetic substance without first consulting with their physician. This article is for information purposes only.