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Nootropics, A Pill For More Than Improved Cognitive Function

By Michelle Ackers August 26, 2019

Recently, there has been a lot of buzz about a relatively new product released by most supplement lines called "Nootropics". Nootropics are products that differ from all other standard nutrition supplements, because rather than working on the body, they aid in enhancing the brain. These supplements are known as 'smart pills', or 'focus pills', because they work on cognitive function. However, Nootropics extend far beyond better being able to enhance brain function. They also assist in memory enhancement, mood stabilization, and have multiple anti-stress and anti-anxiety properties. This is a pill that extends far beyond it's labelled use, but plays a role in one's overall wellbeing.  

Nootropics contain multiple cognitive enhancing natural ingredients, which make them safer and a more holistic option that other medications that have similar effects. Nootropics have been known to replace ADD/ADHD medications, mood stabilization medications, and anxiety medications. They are a great alternative and in some cases have been claimed to be more effective than the above alternatives. This article will outline some of the main ingredients found in standard Nootropics and what these ingredients do. 

What Are The Ingredients In Nootropics And What Do They Do?

The following are some of the main ingredients that you will find in a nootropic, what they do, and/or ingredients that you should look out for when purchasing this kind of supplementation. 

Huperzine A:

Huperzine A is a commonly used ingredient in nootropic supplements that is from the Chinese club moss Huperzia serrata, which is naturally occurring. It's main benefits include helping with memory and improving cognitive function. Huperzine has received significant research in improving several aspects of memory and learning performance, especially in regards to aging. It has been proven to assist in preventing Alzheimer's disease as well.

Huperzine A also aids in improving acetylcholine signaling, which is a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator. This signaling plays an important role in cognitive function and in memory. This process also helps to support mental alertness, learning and ability to pay attention.

Furthermore, huperzine A has been proven to increase REM sleep, which is important for cognitive function. It may also aid in protecting brain cells and nerves from damage.

Organic Lion's Mane:

Another commonly found ingredient in a lot of nootropics is lions mane, which is a large, white shaggy mushroom found in Asian countries. It is known to stimulate the growth of brain cells. Lion's mane contains two special compounds called hericenones and erinacines which assist in this. By doing so, this supplement helps regenerate the area of the brain responsible for emotional intelligence and memory processing.

Lion's Mane has also been shown to assist in memory loss, being directly related to protecting against Alzheimer's disease by preventing damage caused by amyloid-beta plaques, an Alzheimer causing occurrence. 

Furthermore, Lion's Mane is proven to help relieve mild symptoms of depression and anxiety. One major factor that contributes to mental health barriers such as these is inflammation in the brain, which can be caused by a number of factors including an unhealthy diet. Lion's mane has been show to decrease inflammation in the brain and therefore reduce symptoms of anxiety.

Cat's Claw:

Cat's claw is a plant that is commonly used in the U.S. and Europe, where it's medicine is derived from the root and bark. This root has a wide range of benefits including digestive system repair and replenishment, viral infection treatment, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and Alzheimer's disease.

Cat's claw works by acting as a powerful antioxidant on the body and anti-inflammatory. The antioxidant properties of this root have a positive effect on protecting your body and brain's cells against radiation and other harmful agents entering the body. As mentioned previously, chronic inflammation underlies many mental health issues but it also underlies many diseases. Cat's claw has anti-inflammatory messengers that assists in both chronic and acute inflammation.

Furthermore, Cat's Claw boosts the immune system and strengthens it ability to fight off pathogens and potentially elevate one's white blood cell count, which allows the body to be in an improved state towards fighting off infection. It also enhances DNA repair and can prevent cell degeneration.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a herb found in Ayurveda, used as an alternative form of Indian medicine. It is mainly known for it's apoptogenic and anti-stress properties. This is due to the way ashwagandha has been shown to prevent adrenal gland changes during times of physical stress specifically with cortisol, the stress hormone and ascorbic acid. By decreasing the bodies stress response, this herb leads to an overall sense of well being.

Ashwagandha is also known to have cognitive promoting effects. It has been shown to be beneficial for memory deficit disorders, as well as in preventing the degeneration of memory from old age. This also plays a role in both preventing and helping neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Along with being an anti-stress and memory enhancing supplement, Ashwagandha also has anti anxiety properties by having a GABA producing affect, which is an amino acid that plays a role in calming the central nervous system. It contains anti-inflammatory properties which also allows for less anxiety, and can improve energy levels.  

L-Theanine

Consumed in the form of tea, L-Theanine is an amino acid that is known to modulate aspects of brain function. There have been studies that have analyzed brain function and the effects of L-Theanine. These studies have shown the way that L-Theanine relaxes the brain. This is done by having inhibitory affects, increasing the alpha frequency band which regulates this part of the brain. It can also block excitatory stimuli, and increase the presence of the neurotransmitter GABA. Along with the relaxing properties, L-Theanine will also create an anti-anxiety affect. 

Although L-Theanine produces relaxing and anti-anxiety results, it has been proven to improve alertness and attention. This is because it does not produce drowsiness, nor does it produce sleepiness or impair motor behavior. L-Theanine also does not raise blood pressure unlike other forms of medication that induce focus and/or energy. For this reason, it promotes cognitive function and can protect brain cells from the damage of prolonged episodes of acute stress. 

Conclusion

It's no wonder that nootropics have become widely popular over the past year. The benefits of taking nootropics extend far beyond just mental focus. Nootropics aid in reducing stress, anxiety and act as an overall mood stabilizer. Stress not only has a very negative effect on one's well being and ability to think clearly, but it can be physiologically detrimental. This includes raising blood pressure, oxidative stress in the brain, and increased levels of cortisol and adrenaline. Prolonged episodes of acute stress can lead to many different detrimental health scenarios, as it is the leading cause of disease. That is why taking a nootropic can lead to health longevity and vitality.

One of the nootropics we would recommend that contains not only every ingredient listed here, but proper dosing is our FitStrong nootropic called Focus. It is dosed to ensure the user reaps all the benefits of cognitive enhancement and mental focus, but also to provide a baseline for overall mental and physical wellbeing. This nootropic is set up to be used over an extended period of time, where the best results begin after about 2 weeks of taking the product consecutively. It provides a slight enhanced effect, but with only 100mg of caffeine it can be consumed on a daily basis with other caffeinated products, without causing jitters or a crash. Furthermore, once your body adjusts, within days, taking the product will lead to almost no note-able changes that are overwhelming, rather an overall feeling of wellbeing. 

FOCUS by FitStrong 

References 

https://www.healtheiron.com/best-nootropics/

https://neurohacker.com/understanding-the-function-and-benefits-of-huperzine-a 

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lions-mane-mushroom

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-395/cats-claw

https://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2007/3/nu_catsclaw/Page-01

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18296328

https://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2016/3/Brain-Benefits-of-L-

Theanine/Page-01

https://www.fitstrongsupplements.com/collections/top-sellers/products/focus?_pos=1&_sid=935485138&_ss=r


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