View Full Version : Wondering if anyone has tried the following "brain" supplements....


drb471
02-03-14, 12:52 AM
Diamond Mind by Dragon Herbs
SAM-e (and why are people who are bipolar advised to not take it)
5-HTP
Huperzine A
Rhodiola

If so, did you notice any benefits?

dvdnvwls
02-03-14, 12:56 AM
If they were good, you'd be hearing about them night and day on here. Now you know. Really, that's about it.

BellaVita
02-03-14, 01:41 AM
Sam-E - idk haven't looked into it, but if it affects neurotransmitters in a similar way that SSRIs do, then that would make sense.

You'd think the same would be said about 5-htp....

Nicksgonefishin
02-03-14, 03:12 AM
Had a ex that took sam e. She was less Moody on it.

I picked up some oat straw extract (rhodiola) yesterday. I'm going to try it out. Seen it on Dr oz.

BrainJuice
02-03-14, 09:37 PM
I have studied neurochemistry in depth and have personally experimented with most of the neurotransmitter ingredient on the market, including:

5-HTP
Huperzine A
Rhodiola

5-HTP
5-HTP is great, and I have experimented with it extensively...it is the building block of serotonin, so your brain uses it plus Vitamin B6 to product serotonin. I find that taking B6 with it has a strong synergistic effect. Make sure you use pyridoxal-5-phosphate as your B6, as it is far superior to its synthetic cousin, pyridoxine HCL. Also, this is very important: do not overuse 5-HTP. What is overuse of 5-HTP? Overuse means taking it every day repeatedly. The maximum consecutive days that you should take 5-HTP is 3 weeks. Then, give yourself at least a 2 week break. Also, I recommend dosages of 20-50mg, depending on body size and other factors. I, personally, wouldn't take a dosage over 70mg in any case. That said, if you use Ecstacy, MDMA, or any other drug that depletes serotonin, a 40mg dosage before use, and a 50-70mg dosage after use can dramatically help replenish your serotonin reserves.

Huperzine A
Huperzine A is also very effective in my experience. It is an Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Acetylcholinesterase is the chemical that breaks down acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is, in my opinion, the mother of all cognitive function neurotransmitters. It enables learning, making new memories, recalling memories, focusing, mathematical functions, imagination, muscle coordination, and is even a neuromodulator. That basically means it is a boss among neurotransmitters. It functions in the central nervous system, the peripheral nervous system, the somatic nervous system (muscle control/coordination), and the autonomic nervous system...so pretty much your entire nervous system. If you have ADD or ADHD, take my advice and start supplementing for acetylcholine. I had "ADD" for the first 23 years of my life, then I started taking Alpha-GPC, Acetyl L-Carnitine, and Pantothenic Acid (B5) for acetylcholine and it changed my life. Alpha-GPC is the best choline precursor on the market; most bioavailable and potent. Then you need an "acetyl," for which acetyl-l-carnitine is best in my experience. Anyway, to finish about Huperzine A. It is great, but, in my opinion, it shouldn't be taken every day unless an alternative health care provider (don't listen to MDs regarding this stuff, or they'll put you on speed, aka Adderall) recommends it for a mental condition, such as Alzheimer's. The reason you don't want to take it every day is that is sort of "hacks" your brain. Acetylcholinesterase has a purpose, and Huperzine A basically thwarts that purpose. So, I would be careful with it and use it as needed, but not necessarily every day.

Rhodiola
I don't know as much about this one, but I do believe there is evidence suggesting it can promote the release of norepinephrine and dopamine. There are scientific studies showing it reduces symptoms of fatigue, increases concentration and even promotes positive mood. Read about the scientific evidence on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodiola_rosea#Phytochemicals_and_potential_health _effects
I have taken it about 10 times, and noticed that I felt a bit better. For me, it didn't have nearly the level of concentration effect as Alpha-GPC and acetyl L-carnitine, but it did do something.

The bottom line about brain supplements for ADD is this: your brain needs adequate levels of acetylcholine and dopamine to focus. So, give your brain the building blocks of those 2 neurotransmitters if you have ADHD. The secret is puzzling together each nutrient your brain needs to produce those. For acetylcholine, it's Alpha-GPC (choline), acetyl L-Carnitine (acetyl), and Vitamin B5 (cofactor). For dopamine, it's L-tyrosine (N acetyl L-tyrosine is good too because there is evidence is crosses the blood-brain barrier better; plus it gives you more acetyls) and Vitamin B6 (P-5-P).

Thank you for reading.

Greyhound1
02-04-14, 01:16 AM
I have taken Sam-E for almost a year and I know it works for me. I tried every sri/ssri for years and none of them had the positive benefits I have experienced on Sam-E without any side effects.

It is critical to take it on an empty stomach and avoid food/drink for an hour to be effective.

My Dr. gave me her approval to take Sam-E and said several of her ADHD patients seems to really benefit.

Fraser_0762
02-04-14, 01:26 AM
If they were good, you'd be hearing about them night and day on here. Now you know. Really, that's about it.

Not really. I doubt very few people even bother to try suppliments on here.

Dopes1
02-04-14, 07:45 AM
Not really. I doubt very few people even bother to try suppliments on here.

A supplement is like a gummi bear right?

I try brain condiments.

Lunacie
02-04-14, 11:41 AM
Those are all too expensive for me to have tried.

I take Omega 3 (fish oil), B complex, Magnesium, Vitamin D3 and Zyrtec (store brands).

Researchers in Massachusetts are actually doing a study on the effect of SAMe for bipolar.
http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00762268

Jshect
02-06-14, 10:36 PM
Not really. I doubt very few people even bother to try suppliments on here.

Yes, I agree. We've all bought into Big Pharma (me included), just pay them $$$, pop a pill every day and just like the antidepressant ads, you'll be running through wild flower fields, smiling, blissful as can been be. I've been doing that for about 15 years and it's not working. I'm going to try alternatives now.

Fraser_0762
02-06-14, 11:23 PM
Yes, I agree. We've all bought into Big Pharma (me included), just pay them $$$, pop a pill every day and just like the antidepressant ads, you'll be running through wild flower fields, smiling, blissful as can been be. I've been doing that for about 15 years and it's not working. I'm going to try alternatives now.

I wish you all the best in your venture and hope you finally find some salvation to your problems.

I think i'm going to start taking some suppliments again as well. My anxietys currently through the roof and its affecting my sleep, which of course, is making my anxiety even worse. :umm1:

I'm going to attempt a combination of "5-Hydroxytryptophan", "L-theanine" and "Chelated Magnesium".

This should help me sleep better at night which will hopefully at the very least, take care of the anxiety side of things.

drb471
02-08-14, 05:27 PM
There was a post in another area of the forum regarding Ritalin increasing depression. Someone replied mentioning that Ritalin increases Dopamine, which in turn decreases your serotonin. He said that he'd been taking 5-HTP to boost the serotonin, and it's been a very positive result. Because I have been experiencing depression lately, and don't want to go back on Wellbutrin, I'm probably going to try taking 5-HTP with my Ritalin.

Jshect
02-09-14, 01:36 AM
If they were good, you'd be hearing about them night and day on here. Now you know. Really, that's about it.

Have you tried any of those supplements????

Slybfoxx
02-21-14, 12:32 AM
Addieup (brain pill). I love it I have been taking it on and off for a couple of years in an attempt to stop taking adderall. I feel like adderall is just wearing out my brain and body but sometimes I am so unfocused in the morning, you know...

gaara100
02-15-17, 03:21 PM
As compared to the SSRI Lexapro, SAMe shows greater efficacy upto ~ week 8, with Lexapro's effect increasing even greater until about week 12. That is to say that it doesn't work quite as well but works much more quickly than SSRI's, and may act synergistically when administered with certain SSRI's. In instance where SSRI's are not effective, SAMe may also show benefit when administered alone. More research is needed.

SAMe may be effective in treating the depressive state of Bipolar Disorder, but will also likely potentiate any manic episodes. As such, it is not recommended in the treatment of Bipolar disorder, nor is it recommended for any other use in a person with Bipolar or Bipolar tendencies. In addition, an uncommon but not unheard of side effect in some people is mania. This has been reported even in persons with no history of mania, so caution is advised.


It has been shown to be helpful in some instances with treatment of Schizophrenia, but the single study demonstrating an effect involved coadministration of antipsychotics and the results were highly variable. Again, more research is needed.

SAMe in twice daily doses of 800mg seems to show cognitive benefit similar to supplementation of Creatine. Much of the research done measuring cognitive effects have been done on either depressed persons or the elderly. The research is very limited, but the following result may be somewhat generalizable:

With persons who fail to respond to SSRI's, taking 400mg twice a day for two weeks, and then 800mg twice a day for 4 weeks, significant memory recall is evident. This result may be due to the cognitive decline associated with depression, of which also decreases as depression decreases. No other benefits were noted.

Neuroprotective properties have been noted in vitro in one study, restoring levels of serotonin. As always, more research is needed.

Lastly, relative safety has been well established.

TL;DR:

Research with an emphasis on cognition is very limited in healthy persons.

If you are depressed, SAMe will likely show substantial benefit in memory.

If you are not depressed, it may still be of neuroprotective benefit against certain environmental factors such as poor air quality, drug use, poor diet, etc.

The takeaway: More research is needed.


Sources:
Examine.com
https://nccih.nih.gov/health/supplements/SAMe#hed4
My Psychopharmacology textbook: I'm a neuroscience major.

I know this thread is a few years old. In doing my own research, this thread came up multiple times. I figure others looking for information will see this, so I figured i'd contribute.

cobain67
02-15-17, 04:16 PM
Natural herbs/supplements I benefit from:

Gotu Kola - Adaptogen; Helps normalize state (calms, yet energizes)
Ashwaghanda - Adaptogen (same)
Albizia - Great for mood (read up on this one! Seriously helpful)
N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine - Excellent for mood, energy, cognitive function
Noopept - Great Nootropic
Acetyl-L-Carnitine - Focus, Concentration
Maca Root - Depression, energy
Turmeric - Energy, Depression, and more
Fish Oil - Wide array of benefits

The above are excellent options, in my experience, for enhancing one's wellbeing when pharmaceuticals are either not an option or are not one's choosing (or in conjunction with some medications, caution and consideration first)

Greyhound1
02-15-17, 04:34 PM
As compared to the SSRI Lexapro, SAMe shows greater efficacy upto ~ week 8, with Lexapro's effect increasing even greater until about week 12. That is to say that it doesn't work quite as well but works much more quickly than SSRI's, and may act synergistically when administered with certain SSRI's. In instance where SSRI's are not effective, SAMe may also show benefit when administered alone. More research is needed.

SAMe may be effective in treating the depressive state of Bipolar Disorder, but will also likely potentiate any manic episodes. As such, it is not recommended in the treatment of Bipolar disorder, nor is it recommended for any other use in a person with Bipolar or Bipolar tendencies. In addition, an uncommon but not unheard of side effect in some people is mania. This has been reported even in persons with no history of mania, so caution is advised.


It has been shown to be helpful in some instances with treatment of Schizophrenia, but the single study demonstrating an effect involved coadministration of antipsychotics and the results were highly variable. Again, more research is needed.

SAMe in twice daily doses of 800mg seems to show cognitive benefit similar to supplementation of Creatine. Much of the research done measuring cognitive effects have been done on either depressed persons or the elderly. The research is very limited, but the following result may be somewhat generalizable:

With persons who fail to respond to SSRI's, taking 400mg twice a day for two weeks, and then 800mg twice a day for 4 weeks, significant memory recall is evident. This result may be due to the cognitive decline associated with depression, of which also decreases as depression decreases. No other benefits were noted.

Neuroprotective properties have been noted in vitro in one study, restoring levels of serotonin. As always, more research is needed.

Lastly, relative safety has been well established.

TL;DR:

Research with an emphasis on cognition is very limited in healthy persons.

If you are depressed, SAMe will likely show substantial benefit in memory.

If you are not depressed, it may still be of neuroprotective benefit against certain environmental factors such as poor air quality, drug use, poor diet, etc.

The takeaway: More research is needed.


Sources:
Examine.com
https://nccih.nih.gov/health/supplements/SAMe#hed4
My Psychopharmacology textbook: I'm a neuroscience major.

I know this thread is a few years old. In doing my own research, this thread came up multiple times. I figure others looking for information will see this, so I figured i'd contribute.
I have used SAM-e in the past with good results. I think it's important to consider taking a Vitamin B complex supplement if taking for an extended period. Homocysteine levels will increase and build up in the body without an adequate supply of Vitamin B.

20thcenturyfox
02-16-17, 03:10 AM
Diamond Mind by Dragon Herbs
SAM-e (and why are people who are bipolar advised to not take it)
5-HTP
Huperzine A
Rhodiola

If so, did you notice any benefits?

It's possible I don't use enough, but generally any benefits are most noticeable for the first hour of the first day, and either subtle or completely pooped out after that. Basically I find nothing OTC compares in effect to stimulants and Strattera.

SAM-e I actually took when I went off anti-depressants during a cancer scare. It was a bit of a brightener...but my problems are more around concentration and motivation than mood. I don't think I would mix it with anti-depressants. And it's a methyl-donor, so it might be fine for bi-polar depression, but the concern is that it would set off mania.

5-HTP seems to trigger migraines, so not for me.

Huperzine A does seem to help focus somewhat. I have some...maybe I should try it again. Also vinpocetine...I should see if I can detect any difference.

Rhodiola, I think helps sociability in my case. Mild but positive. Not as strongly as with testosterone 5% gel, but I'm an old woman, YMMV.

Not on your list is Bacopa monnieri, a botanical, I found better for concentration (and math) than any other supplement. Mild but noticeable, I thought.

burger
02-19-17, 12:00 AM
I took about 300mg trimethylglycine (TMG, betaine) daily for about 6 months. TMG is a precursor to SAM-e.

The general effects were:
-improved writing (no double words like and and)
-eyesight was fixed
-It didn't do any thing to help with concentration or the non stop thinking, etc...
-Made me snappy and a bit aggitated. For example someone would say hello and I would respond with a loud HELLO in a sharp manner surprising us both.
-exercising was easier but my shoulders kept feeling like they were going to explode and I ended up using TENS on them
-After 6 months it stopped working and nothing seemed to help much after that. It took about 3 months to get back to near normal.

As the previous poster mentioned bacopa may be ok for some people. I have been taking it for over three years now. It isn't for everyone and there's slight differences between batches/concentrations. You can buy about a years worth of loose bacopa powder for about $17 usd and put it in capsules by yourself.