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Ten months of research condensed - A total newbies guide to nootropics


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#1 The Likud Is Behind It

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 08:35 PM

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You may not be aware of it, but academic steroids are real, completely legal, and clinically proven. I have spent the last 10 months researching, purchasing, and experimenting with nearly every single nootropic available. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nootropic) The effects have been profound. First, with the help of a little caffeine, I am able to study for the bar exam all day with zero mental fatigue. Second, I am able to read vast quantities of information only one time and spit it back with pinpoint precision. It is the closest thing to a photographic memory I have ever experienced. The information is just there on command when needed. When I take practice tests most days I have nearly perfect recall and my only mistakes are analysis.

You can do this for yourself.

The following nootropic regimen is unique in a few regards.

First, the effects of the supplements are synergistic because each of them has a different mechanism of action. If you randomly start taking nootropics, you are likely to take supplements that do not give you a synergistic effect. For instance, acetylcholine is the primary nerotransmitter related to information processing. Acetylcholinerase is responsible for the breakdown of acetylcholine. There are multiple supplements that will increase acetylcholine production, among them CDPCholine, alphaGPC, DMAE, centrophenoxine and Acetyl L Carnitine. If you double up, you simply hit a ceiling on the amount of acetylcholine available. Also, many nootropics such as huperzine A inhibit acetylcholinerase. Inhibiting acetylcholinerase has the same effect as producing more acetylcholine. There are so many supplements whose only mechanism of action is either to increase acetylcholine production or inhibit acetylcholinerase. If you take multiples of these supplements, you will hit a ceiling and will not get a synergistic effect. The synergistic effect of different mechanisms of action is very important to the following regimen.

Second, the effects are cumulative. Caffeine and amphetamines actually deplete your brain over time. They are short-term band-aid solutions that merely shift your brain into overdrive before wearing it out. The supplements here actually enhance the structure and function of your brain. They are proven to be more effective in three months than they are when you first start taking them.

Third, these supplements are non-toxic. They are safe for chronic use.

Forth, if you start with the first three supplements to get a taste of what is available, it is relatively cheap.

If you are just getting started I recommend three supplements.

1) Piracetam
2) CDPCholine
3) Either sulbutiamine or pyritinol

Piracetam is the time honored granddadday of all nootropics. This is a good introduction - http://www.ceri.com/noot.htm When discovered it shocked researchers by being completely non-toxic and also enhancing the performance of normal adults with no forms of mental impairment. Piracetam is proven to increase performance on multiple measures of intelligence. Its effects are cumulative.

It is recommended that you take a source of choline with piracetam. I recommend CDPCholine. Piracetam needs a source of choline because acetylcholine is the primary neurotransmitter related to information processing.

Sulbutiamine prevents mental fatigue. You can be as effective 8 hours in to your day as you are upon waking up. Pyritinol increases alertness, energy and the ability to concentrate. Pick either.

The blood-brain barrier is a threshold that any nutrient must cross in order to be used by your brain. Sulbutiamine is a synthesized version of thiamine that crosses the blood-brain barrier better than regular thiamine. After crossing the blood-brain barrier it is broken down into two parts normal thiamine. It is essentially a brain specific source of thiamine. Thiamine reserves play an important role in mental endurance.

Pyritinol is a neuroenhanced version of vitamin B6. It is one of the oldest and safest nootropics available. Like sulbutiamine, it is essentially a brain specific version of a B vitamin.

I also take the following supplements.

Picamilon
Aniracetam
Lion's Mane
Fish Oil
PhosphatidylSerine
Bacopa

Picamilion is a designer drug. GABA is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in reducing nervous excitement. However, taking GABA orally is ineffective because GABA cannot cross the blood-brain barrier. Picamilion is a synthesis of niacin (vitamin B3) and GABA that was designed to cross the blood-brain barrier. After crossing the blood-brain barrier picamilion is broken down to niacin and GABA.

I especially like the effect of the three neuroenhanced B vitamins. Sulbutiamine is broken down to two thiamine parts (vitamin B1) after crossing the blood-brain barrier. Picamilon is broken down to niacin (vitamin B3) and GABA after it crosses the blood-brain barrier. Pyritinol is enhanced B6. The combination of brain specific B1, B3 and B6 is greater than any of them alone. They are highly synergistic.

Aniracetam is a supplement derived from piracetam. It is much more potent that piracetam and has entirely different types of effects. I take 750 mg of aniracetam and 4000 mg of piracetam daily. The effects are synergistic. Aniracetam is another supplement that you should probably research for yourself. Any supplement in the -racetam family is entirely non-toxic, has cumulative effects, and impacts almost every known measure of mental performance.

Lion's mane is a mushroom that has been used for centuries in the east to enhance the nervous system. Recently it has been discovered that this is because lion's mane increases the production of Nerve Growth Factor. NGF is responsible for determining the rate at which new brain cells are produced. A Nobel Prize was awarded for this discovery because no other substance is known to cross the blood-brain barrier and stimulate the production of NGF. Six months of supplementation with lion's mane is proven to produce a significant improvement in nearly every measure of mental function in people with dementia. In a literal sense, you have more brains when you supplement with lion's mane. NOBEL-FREAKING-PRIZE. Don't underestimate it.

Phosphatidylcholine is synthesized from uridine, choline, and DHA. Fish Oil has two omega-3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA. CDPCholine is broken down and converted into uridine and choline. Thus, phosphatidylcholine can be produced from supplementation with CDPcholine and fish oil. Both phosphatydlcholine and phosphatidylserine are essential components of every nerve cell membrane. Increasing the levels of phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylserine improve nearly every measure of mental performance.

Bacopa is a herbal supplement long used in India to enhance memory. It has unique chemicals that have a mechanism of action distinct from every other supplement in this regimen. Even alone it has a powerful effect on memory recall. It also repairs old and damaged neurons and dendrites. An interesting side effect is that it is as effective at reducing anxiety as prescription anti-anxiety medicines. This effect cannot be underestimated on stressful tests.

Finally, exercise is crucial. http://well.blogs.ny...ess-anxious/?em Exercise ensures that new neurons produced are able to perform under stress. It gives you a higher level of cognitive function naturally.

This is the holy grail of nootropic supplementation. If you go with the cheapest suppliers on the internet, you shouldn't be set back more than $100 a month. $3 a day is what it costs for limitless mental endurance and the best memory your brain is capable of having. You will surprise yourself. I promise you that you do not know how smart you really are.

As a side note, a doctor diagnosed me with ADHD and prescribed me Adderall. I think most ADHD diagnoses are bogus, but I still took Adderall because it was so effective at helping me to study. I still have a prescription for Adderall but I have stopped taking it. I literally experience almost no effect from it. With this regimen, it is as if I am always on Adderall already. Don't get me wrong. I WISH Adderall worked in conjunction with everything else. But the only effect it has on me now is making me obsessively organize and clean my room.

In addition to increasing performance on a variety of mental tasks, many of these supplements are proven effective at reversing alcohol related cognitive impairment. A year ago my short-term memory and ability to concentrate were impaired from all the drinking I did in law school. Today I can safely say that I am the smartest I have ever been. This will work for anybody.

Do your own research. You will only verify with I have told you.

If you start taking other supplements, the odds are you are only going to compound an effect already produced by one of the supplements on this list. They will not be synergistic. If you are really aggressive about nootropics with synergistic mechanisms of action, you can also look in to deprenyl, hydergine, lithium orotate and ashagandha. I take deprenyl and hydgergine off and on, but they are expensive enough that I do not include them in my usual nootropic stack. I caution against lithium orotate unless you know exactly what you're doing because it can be dangerous.

Good luck.

Note: Every person's brain biochemistry is different. There are a certain number of people who do not respond to Piracetam at all. The effect of any one of these supplements might be different for you. There is ultimately no substitute for researching and experimenting to find out what works for you.

Edited by bmud, 02 January 2010 - 08:52 PM.

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#2 The Likud Is Behind It

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 09:18 PM

I have tried idebenone and pregnenolone but did not include them because I did not experience any effect. I did not include cerebrolysin because it is injected, is relatively new, has an unknown mechanism of action, and is unlikely to be the type of thing a newbie is interested in. I don't consider theanine to be a nootropic. Vinpocetine is a vasodilator, and picamilon and pyritinol are already potent vasodilators. Taurine produces no effect in me. I don't consider SAMe to be a nootropic, despite being an effective antidepressent and being good for energy. NAC is good for antioxidant protection and depression, but is also not a nootropic. The last I read vasopressin had a very short window of effectiveness. Galantamine is a acetylcholinerase inhibitor. I don't consider melatonin to be a nootropic. I didn't include vitamin B12 or magnesium because I assume you're already taking a daily multivitamin. I remember doing some preliminary research and being unable to purchase the -fil drugs without a prescription. I consider the deprenyl + PEA combination to be a good recreational mix, but it is not the type of thing that enables me to sit down and study.

Edited by bmud, 02 January 2010 - 09:53 PM.

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#3 RighteousReason

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 09:51 PM

Epic thread. This is exactly what I am looking for.

Also, training with the dual n back has been shown to raise IQ.

Jaeggi, S. M., Buschkuehl, M., Jonides, J., Perrig, W. J. (2008), Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 105 no. 19

Edited by RighteousReason, 02 January 2010 - 09:59 PM.

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#4 RighteousReason

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 10:00 PM

What do you think about creatine?
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#5 The Likud Is Behind It

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 10:02 PM

What do you think about creatine?


The last I read creatine is a nootropic for vegetarians. I already eat a healthy amount of chicken and beef, so I think my dietary creatine is sufficient. My guess is that it only appears to be a nootropic when there is a dietary insufficiency.
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#6 Gedusa

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 10:36 PM

This thread is fantastic. It's exactly what I've been looking for: a clear, concise introduction to nootopics presented with both evidence and subjective experience. This has finally tempted me to try nootopics, I'll probably use your starter regime.
Thanks again!!
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#7 The Likud Is Behind It

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 11:26 PM

Re: Sulbutiamine, Picamilon and Pyritinol

I actually had a very strong reaction to each of these supplements. The first time I took sulbutiamine my upper lip quivered for an hour. I actually had a physical reaction. The next day was my clearest thinking day up until that point. I also had a strong reaction to picamilon. Like sulbutiamine, my upper lip quivered but for a much shorter period. I almost think I had some sort of deficiency that these two supplements fixed.

The first time I took pyritinol I was still taking Vyvanse, an amphetamine. The combination of pyritinol and vyvanse gave me the shakes. I couldn't stop my hand from automatic twitching. My mind was racing, but it was good. It was like a very clean amphetamine high. It's like I was overdosing on amphetamines. The next day I did it again and simply felt energized. Now I don't even get a boost when I take the Vyvanse. It does next to nothing. Trying to take it is not only worthless, it's unnecessary.

My strong physical reactions to these three supplements leads me to believe I had some sort of B vitamin deficiency up until I started taking them. Now I simply have a clear head that lasts all day. The clarity of thought kicks in in the morning after I take my supplements. Until then I'm as groggy as the next guy.

Edited by bmud, 02 January 2010 - 11:50 PM.

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#8 David Styles

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 11:54 PM

If you go with the cheapest suppliers on the internet, you shouldn't be set back more than $100 a month.


May I ask, where do you get yours?

Thanks!
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#9 The Likud Is Behind It

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 01:04 AM

If you go with the cheapest suppliers on the internet, you shouldn't be set back more than $100 a month.


May I ask, where do you get yours?

Thanks!


Sorry, I don't even have the email receipts any more. I just comparison shop on google and find the lowest price then buy in bulk.
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#10 David Styles

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 01:13 AM

Sorry, I don't even have the email receipts any more. I just comparison shop on google and find the lowest price then buy in bulk.


Gotcha. I guess I'll do that then.

Thanks!
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#11 Esoparagon

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 09:15 AM

How long would it take to start seeing results if you followed a regime diligently?
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#12 Dorho

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 11:07 AM

Thank you very much for this thread. It's really great to have a person who has done comprehensive research and experiments writing about the conclusions he has ended up in.

When it comes to B vitamins, I have also read positive experiences regarding the consumption of Methylcobalamin, the only form of vitamin B12 that is used by the central nervous system.
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#13 Solarclimax

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 03:05 PM

Seems like some exciting info, I have been playing dual n back on and off for 3 weeks, i remember getting to level 3 and thinking this is pretty tough to get a good score. Now i think the exact same thing about level 5. Got 100% on level 4 a couple of times. I have also just started to learn a new language. 1 of the most difficult 1's hopefully something good will come from hard work. And even if it doesn't i will praise myself for trying.
I'm going to give your advice a shot and take those sups and report back.

Cheers

Edited by Solarclimax, 04 January 2010 - 03:12 PM.

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#14 Solarclimax

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 03:11 PM

What do you think about creatine?


The last I read creatine is a nootropic for vegetarians. I already eat a healthy amount of chicken and beef, so I think my dietary creatine is sufficient. My guess is that it only appears to be a nootropic when there is a dietary insufficiency.


I read Creatine only appears in meats in small amounts ?

Edited by Solarclimax, 04 January 2010 - 03:11 PM.

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#15 Solarclimax

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 03:19 PM

Can you post what dosage(s) you took of each, and at what time(s) of day ?
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#16 csrpj

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 03:59 PM

an issue i have with piracetam (combining with choline) is it's really great the first couple days, then starts to diminish in effect if taken consecutively? is there a cumulative effect from taking daily that i wouldn't really feel until after a while, even though i feel it at first then it starts to decline? i'm considering taking it weekly to keep the effects there, but maybe i'm missing something...?
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#17 Esoparagon

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 11:56 AM

Can some people help with sources to buy these? I live in Australia.
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#18 The Likud Is Behind It

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 04:02 PM

Can you post what dosage(s) you took of each, and at what time(s) of day ?


Lion's Mane ~500mg in the morning ~500mg at bedtime to get an even distribution of constant NGF release
400mg Pyritinol in the morning
800mg CDPcholine in the morning
5g fish oil in the morning
150mg picamilon in the morning
500 mg phosphatydlserine matrix with 100mg PS, also including some phosphatydlcholine
1g sulbutiamine in the morning with whole milk
750mg aniracetam in the morning with whole milk
1g bacopa in the morning
4g piracetam in the morning

I forgot to include that I also take inositol. It's not considered a nootropic, but it was orignally considered a B vitamin. It lost its status as a vitamin because it was found that the body could synthesize some of it. Regardless, it plays a huge role in the normalization of brain function in general. It is also incorporated into phosphatydlinositol, which is a part of cell membranes as much as phosphatydlcholine and phosphatydlserine. I can't claim it's a nootropic, but I take it for the same reasons I take nootropics, whole brain health. I take 4g inositol in the morning with my bacopa.

Edited by bmud, 05 January 2010 - 04:21 PM.

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#19 The Likud Is Behind It

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 04:06 PM

How long would it take to start seeing results if you followed a regime diligently?


I noticed extreme improvements with the B vitamins almost immediately. I had the strong physical reactions to them noted above immediately. They made me feel significantly better and cleared my head within a couple of days.

The phosphatydlcholine and phosphatydlserine are going to take time to restore in your body. Long term deficits are not fixed over night. They are supposed to be found in your diet naturally. But, among other things, the skewed the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6s in modern diets throws off production.

Bacopa takes 12 weeks to get the huge effect in memory. Taken just once, there is no improvement on the same day other than the anti-anxiety effect.

Piracetam and aniracetam have cumulative effects. CDPcholine also has long term effects, but the choline part of it should make you a little clearer almost immediately.

It takes 6 months with lion's mane to start getting the global improvements in mental function found in the study.

Edited by bmud, 05 January 2010 - 04:30 PM.

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#20 The Likud Is Behind It

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 04:09 PM

When it comes to B vitamins, I have also read positive experiences regarding the consumption of Methylcobalamin, the only form of vitamin B12 that is used by the central nervous system.


Thanks for this. This was exactly what I was looking for. I purchased some now.
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#21 Dorho

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 04:54 PM

When it comes to B vitamins, I have also read positive experiences regarding the consumption of Methylcobalamin, the only form of vitamin B12 that is used by the central nervous system.


Thanks for this. This was exactly what I was looking for. I purchased some now.

Np. Forgot to say though that methylcobalamin should be taken sublingually. If it is swallowed, it'll break down in the digestive track.
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#22 Esoparagon

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 05:58 PM

Thanks for that. That really helps. I'll be trying this very soon. I'm just trying to find sources for everything. :)
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#23 nito

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 10:04 PM

I took my b complex under my tounge, oh they taste so foul lol. I'm going to try to put the multivitamin powdered gel caps (Now Adams) under my tounge too and see if they are better accepted.
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#24 Solarclimax

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 10:19 PM

When you take yours in the morning do you basically put the lot in your hand and swallow it all down with whole milk ? and why whole milk, because of the fat that's in it ? whole milk is also slow digesting, does that add a bonus ?

I didn't know you could get the better form of b12 in sublingual form, until i saw this thread. Will have to try that.

Edited by Solarclimax, 05 January 2010 - 10:22 PM.

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#25 nito

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 11:39 PM

How long would it take to start seeing results if you followed a regime diligently?


I noticed extreme improvements with the B vitamins almost immediately. I had the strong physical reactions to them noted above immediately. They made me feel significantly better and cleared my head within a couple of days.

The phosphatydlcholine and phosphatydlserine are going to take time to restore in your body. Long term deficits are not fixed over night. They are supposed to be found in your diet naturally. But, among other things, the skewed the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6s in modern diets throws off production.

Bacopa takes 12 weeks to get the huge effect in memory. Taken just once, there is no improvement on the same day other than the anti-anxiety effect.

Piracetam and aniracetam have cumulative effects. CDPcholine also has long term effects, but the choline part of it should make you a little clearer almost immediately.

It takes 6 months with lion's mane to start getting the global improvements in mental function found in the study.


damn u have to take bacopa everyday for 12 weeks. I think i stopped after 1 week and ended up taking it whenever the bottle crossed my eyes.
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#26 protoject

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 09:29 AM

thought I'd throw in that deprenyl isn't expensive if you get it from the right source. I got some recently from one source that's 8x cheaper than where I previously got it.
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#27 babcock

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 01:01 PM

Wow great post about noots, exactly what I was looking for to get started. Great Job and Thank you!
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#28 The Likud Is Behind It

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 03:28 PM

When you take yours in the morning do you basically put the lot in your hand and swallow it all down with whole milk ? and why whole milk, because of the fat that's in it ? whole milk is also slow digesting, does that add a bonus ?


I swallow them all at the same time. I think there might be a higher likelihood of phosphatidylcholine being produced if the omega-3s and the CDPcholine are both available at spiked levels at the same time.

I do it for the fat content. I'm not really sure if my theory holds, but both aniracetam and sulbutiamine are fat soluable if I recall correctly. I'm hoping that with whole milk they will be absorbed better than with water or skim milk.

The only thing I know I could be doing better is to take the piracetam at spaced out intervals throughout the day. I just take 4g in the morning and forget about it. I don't know how much the subjective qualities of piracetam would be enhanced by spacing it out. It seems like a lot of work.

Edited by bmud, 06 January 2010 - 03:31 PM.

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#29 Shay

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 03:37 PM

Very interesting post which has inspired me to try nootropics again after a years long break. I'd originally experimented with piracetam (from RI) and choline. It appeared that nothing much happened except a twice coinciding sinus infection when using two different bottles of piracetam.

While I find this thread interesting, I'm also following the Piracetam Non-responders thread in conjunction. It's been hinted at that there may be some "fatiguing" of the endocrine system when using piracetam. This may be part (aside from placebo) of why so many people start of with a benefit which then turns to exhaustion as the only effect from piracetam.

bmud, do you think any of the supplements in your identified stack are helping to offset this issue, or any other items in your general health regimen? You appear to be taking a large amount of piracetam to no ill effect.
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#30 The Likud Is Behind It

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 03:41 PM

Very interesting post which has inspired me to try nootropics again after a years long break. I'd originally experimented with piracetam (from RI) and choline. It appeared that nothing much happened except a twice coinciding sinus infection when using two different bottles of piracetam.

While I find this thread interesting, I'm also following the Piracetam Non-responders thread in conjunction. It's been hinted at that there may be some "fatiguing" of the endocrine system when using piracetam. This may be part (aside from placebo) of why so many people start of with a benefit which then turns to exhaustion as the only effect from piracetam.

bmud, do you think any of the supplements in your identified stack are helping to offset this issue, or any other items in your general health regimen? You appear to be taking a large amount of piracetam to no ill effect.


I have no idea when it comes to piracetam non-responders or the people who report that piracetam produces variable effects in them. For me, piracetam produces a subtle but consistent effect. It's as if my ideas sort of flow better. The words I want to use are there instead of being on the tip of my tongue. I'm slightly more relaxed and focused.

With the combination of piracetam and aniracetam, there was a very noticeable change in textures and visual contrast. I really enjoyed looking at the stars for the first couple of weeks. I don't know if I'm just used to it now or if this effect has worn off, but it's no longer something that I stop to notice. I took this to be an indicator that I'm a responder and not a non-responder, even though my response was otherwise subtle and not dramatic.

Edited by bmud, 06 January 2010 - 03:46 PM.

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