View Full Version : memory focus supplements ?

06-16-17, 05:17 PM

new to forum. 32 female in grad school, recently and finally diagnosed with adult add. I say finally because it is validating to know that I suspected something was off about how my brain works, processed information and retains information. I prefer to stay in the 10mg 2-3 times a day. I especially use my rx around my study/class and work schedule.

I have recently looked into using a memory enhancing supplement that has been highly recommended as a clinically studied nootropic. Of course I know this stuff isn't approved by FDA and not everyone believes in it. I do find more natural herbs helpful and incorporate some supplements into my daily intake. Alpha Brain from ONNIT claims to be stimulant free , caffeine free, gluten & dairy free.

The pharmacist I spoke with advised me to stay away from memory and focus supps. and especially in combo with adderall and indicated that I should really just contact my doc about upping my rx if I am not getting enough out of my 10mg.

All that to say, I really want to try these supps out for studying purposes. Wondering if anyone uses this type of combination with your rx of adderall or separately? Curious.

If anyone can shed some light that would be great. Thanks for reading.

The ingredients in alpha brain instant :
serving = 1 packet (3.6 g) 30 calories
10 mg: B6
1,150 mg :
l-tyrosine, l-theanine, oat ( straw) extract, phosphatidylserine, cat's claw bark extract/

l-alpa glycerylphosphorycholine
bacopa extract
huperzia extract
71 mg
l-leucine, vinpocetine, black pepper (fruit)
extract (bio-perine) (r), pterostilbene

other ingredients: malodextrin/ tapioca / nat. flavors, organic tea leaf, organic rice hull concentrate, organic arabic gum, stevia leaf extract, trisodium citrate and citric acid

contains - soy

06-23-17, 02:49 PM
I don't have any suggestions for a particular product or food. What I do have to say is this. Take the time to research what is known about the ADHD brain. You will find it doesn't just think differently but is in fact physically and chemically different. This is why a stimulant is an effective when intuitively a stimulant should be the opposite, adding to the hyperactivity.
If you are having actual memory problems and not just seeking an edge to get better grades, I would suggest taking a detailed look at the Hippocampus portion of the brain, one of the portions of the brain known to be physically different for those with ADHD. It is also thought to be the portion responsible for memory and many other areas the ADHD mind has trouble with. But I'm referring specifically to the chemical processes known to be important to the functions of the Hippocampus. An intelligent mind should be able to follow that enough to glean some answers that will surprise you, including how to fuel that part of the brain.
Heres a good place to get started:

06-23-17, 04:36 PM
Oh and be careful with that stuff you posted about. A common misconception on the part of consumers is that products like these that contain "essentials" like amino acids have a benefit, when in fact they are byproducts of the body and cannot be utilized orally as a supplement. That doesn't stop supplement companies from selling them though. Sometimes they can be broken down into toxic parent chemicals or oxidized into new ones when taken orally.
In this case, I see problems that would prompt me to advise you don't waste your money.
First, the "other ingredients" represent a shot gun pattern of catch all "health food" stand bys. None of which do much more than feed into that mindset or make it taste nice. But the real problem is the main ingredient which is a perfect example for my first reply, l-alpa glycerylphosphorycholine. This is a highly volitile byproduct usually made from soy. It is highly hydroscopic in pure powder form and will oxidize in within minutes or seconds when exposed to air, turning into a liquid. This explains some of the fillers listed, added to compete for the water. Chances are by the time you get it down your throat, it has oxidized and no longer of any benefit. Encapsulation of this ingredient is also problematic and often results in capsules dissolving in the bottle while sit on the shelf.
Also I could find only one Clinical trial that indicated any benefits and in that it required 1200mg daily to produce mild results towards memory function improvements. This product shows just 240mg.
The opening statement of the other study abstract I found was even less enthusiastic,
"Parallel with the development of hypotheses regarding cholinergic involvement in geriatric memory dysfunction, the first attempts to treat patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) involved the cholinergic-precursor loading approach. Despite encouraging early results, well-controlled clinical trials did not confirm a clinical utility of cholinergic precursors such as choline and lecithin (phosphatidylcholine) in AD." This study was 180 days long @ doses of 800mg.
However, if you do want to try this approach, I would recommend doing so by taking purified sunflower lecithin as an alternative and let the body synthesize it naturally, at least the efficacy would be intact.

06-26-17, 08:09 AM
I've tried taking l-tyrosine at the end of the day when my Adderall wears off and it does seem to help give me a little boost without me having to take more Adderall. That being said, my memory sucks and Adderall doesn't do much for that. I write everything down and use productivity tools on my computer for task management.

For me, pen and paper for notes is more effective than using the computer but I never could learn to type properly so that might be it.

I tried the natural route before Adderall and it works a little but pales in comparison to the pharmaceutical route. I feel like disorders like anxiety and depression (I've had both) can (but not always) be addressed without meds but ADHD it's like night and day.

I think it's best to let Adderall do its work and not try to take less by adding supplements which your body still has to work to eliminate. I know it's hard to accept relying on meds but over time I've realized I'm a healthier person overall since I've been properly medicated.

06-27-17, 03:36 AM
Some info I dug out about supplements:

In the US, regulations (under DSHEA) specifically allow “structure/function” claims without any requirement for evidence to back up the claims. In other words, as long as you don’t mention a disease by name, you can make pretty much whatever claim you want. This was supposed to be good for the consumer, when in fact it is springtime for industry at the expense of the consumer. If your claims are outrageous enough the FTC can still go after you, but they are playing a game of whack-a-mole and losing.

Another pattern that is common is for a supplement product to contain specific components that are claimed to have specific benefits. Often these claims are based upon evidence – just the wrong kind of evidence. Basic science evidence is used inappropriately to support clinical claims. This strategy is more insidious, as it gives the public the sense that the product is science-based when it isn’t.
The site reviews all of the ingredients in Alpha-Brain explaining the science behind the claims – let’s look in detail at just one example, GPC choline, which is an essential nutrient and a precursor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. The site claims:

"There is scientific evidence that proves that increased levels of acetylcholine in the body can dramatically increase memory and cognitive ability of men and women of all ages[1]

The reference given is not to a peer-reviewed study, but to another promotional site that simply makes more claims about the benefits of choline. The concept here is not implausible, but also cannot be assumed, and is very common in the supplement industry. The idea is that a precursor of an important molecule in the body will increase the availability and therefore function of that molecule. That could be true, if availability of the precursor is the rate-limiting-step in the production and function of the molecule. Specifically in this case, is the nutritional availability of choline limiting the production and function of acetylcholine?
Choline is an essential nutrient, so (as is true with all nutrients) in someone who is undernourished or with specific deficits in their diet, supplementing will help. But in someone with an adequate diet, there is no reason to assume that more will be better. Supplements treat deficiencies – but there is no reason to think that taking additional nutrients beyond the minimum necessary will have functional benefits.
They then report:

"A study performed by Sangiorgi Barbagallo at the University of Palermo studied 2044 candidates who suffered from recent stroke or transient ischemic attack. The study concluded that administration of GPC choline confirmed its therapeutic role in improving cognitive ability in this group of study subjects.

They don’t give the reference, but I tracked in down. This is an excellent example of how a company can cite studies to make is seem as if their claims are evidence-based when they are not. The question is – how relevant is this study to Alpha-Brain? There are two major problems: The first is that the study (which was not blinded, but even if we take its results at face value) used 1000mg IM (intramuscular) for 28 days, followed by 400mg orally daily. Alpha-Brain contains 100mg of GPC choline. IM administration likely has a completely different bioavailability than an oral dose. And of course the dosing for 28 days was 10 times that in the supplement.
A bigger problem, however, is the study population – those recovering from a stroke or TIA. When the body is under physiological stress demand for nutrients are likely to become a limiting factor in the rate of recovery, even when those same nutrients are not a limiting factor in a healthy individual. You therefore cannot extrapolate from a disease population to a healthy population – just because a nutrient helps recovery does not mean it will enhance normal function.

The same is true for Alzheimer’s disease. There is evidence that choline supplements may improve the symptoms of dementia. But this does not mean they will enhance mental function in a healthy individual. vpvArmBEt_%7E_PcSnyCun-oEnvA-JunGF-JEBAt-JvGu-Gur-FHCCyrzrAG-vAqHFGEL_%7E_PcS (

To be clear, I take alot of supplements because I have deficits that need to be corrected and I am not against the supplement industry in part- but I often question specific supplements that are marketed to specific issues and are expensive. Like...everyone including science knows that 0mega 3's are good for adhd. In some cases people only need fish oil and nothing else to treat their adhd. You can buy fish oil from walmart, the grocery store, a health food store or online and its affordable. No one is marketing fish oils as a 'brain supplement" and marking it up to 67$ a bottle like they are with alpha brain.
Just sayin'.