Some nutrients widely believed to make your brain function better do just that–for a few hours. Caffeine is the most popular; people also use amino acids like phenylalanine, and herbs such as ephedra and guarana also provide a quick jolt of energy. However, they’re not likely to do anything for the long-term health of your [...]
A natural precursor to steroid hormones, pregnenolone in the body is converted into hormones such as DHEA, testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen. A rat study in 1992 indicating its effectiveness as a cognitive enhancer piqued the interest of smart-drug users, but no human studies have been completed to date. As with all other hormones, the long-term [...]
Produced in the adrenal gland, DHEA is the most abundant steroid hormone in the bloodstream. Proponents claim that it preserves youthfulness and prevents brain cell degeneration and that it has cognitive-enhancing effects as well. Sodhi warns agains using DHEA, as its long-term effects are not yet well understood. Natural medicine expert Andrew Weil, M.D., also [...]
WHAT IT IS Pyroglutamate is a naturally occurring amino acid found in the brain, blood, and cerebrospinal fluid.
WHAT IT IS This substance occurs naturally in the brain, and plays a key role in the synthesis of acetylcholine.
WHAT IT IS Phosphatidyl serine is a phospholipid, a form of fat found in every cell in the body, but especially abundant in the brain. PS is closely related to other phospholipids, such as phosphotidyl choline, and functions in much the same way.
WHAT IT IS The ginkgo tree, native to China and now found throughout the world, has been around longer than any other species of tree on the planet, for about 300 million years. You’ve probably seen the ginkgo, with its cloven fan-shaped leaves that turn bright yellow in autumn. Ginkgo leaves have been used as [...]
WHAT IT IS Docosahexaenoic acid is a polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid, an essential building block of brain tissue that is crucial for communication between neurons.
WHAT IT IS Choline is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, essential for memory and cognition. Also, it is a phospholipid that helps promote neuronal membrane fluidity, which is important for communication between brain cells. One form of this fat, phosphatidyl choline, is the active ingredient in lecithin–an emulsifier commonly found in processed foods, and [...]
WHAT IT IS Acetyl-L-carnitine is a molecule found naturally throughout the body that helps to transport fats into the mitochondria, the tiny energy “factories” in all living cells. ALC is closely related to carnitine, a natural amino acid that is also available as a nutritional supplement (ALC is considered the more potent of the two); [...]