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I found the cause to my cognitive decline


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#1 withdrawn

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 02:53 PM

A few months ago I posted about my experience in relation to losing my once sharp astute mental abilities, and I was attempting to associate it to the long term intake of the vast number of supplements that I was taking at the time.

I narrowed it down to glycine or chelated zinc, and I believed that these were contributing somehow towards my mental decline.

But.. during the past three months, it seems as though the real culprit had been elucidated, and I wanted to know if somebody could shine further light on why this seems to have affected me in the way that it has.

I attempted to quit smoking in 2010. I invested in an electronic cigarette and began to take up vaping. I thoroughly enjoyed it, saved endless amounts of money and my sleep improved (along with a host of supplements I began to take).

But that is when the cognitive decline for myself started. Ever since I stopped smoking and began to vape electronic cigarettes. The liquid used in the electronic cigarettes are either Propelyne Glycol or Vegetable Glycerin. As far as I am aware, I have not and do not have an allergy to either substance.

In January, of this year, I had forgotten to stock up on e-liquid in order to vape, and unfortunately I reverted back to smoking real cigarettes for the duration of about a week, but within that week, my symptoms that I have been complaining about completely vanished????!!

I had no brain fog, no amnesia like symptoms, I felt intelligent again, got my word recall back etc.. All those things I thought I had lost due to glycine/zinc usage - they all returned.

At this point, I did not relate it to the cigarettes, but I immediately noticed a profound difference in my mental abilities. I analysed all the supplements I has been taking - I am still taking glycine at a very low dose and the same with chelated zinc. I had not adjusted my supplement regime for the past 6 months or so.

Again, I did not relate it to cigarettes. I analysed my diet, supplements, everything, and then finally it hit home.. Could it be something to do with my vaping?

I hate smoking cigarettes, but I am baffled as to why I feel normal again when solely smoking them.

The mental acuity is the only benefit, the con is that my insomnia returned within 3 days or smoking tobacco and I felt and looked gaunt.

Cutting this story short, I have assessed this since January and have experimented on myself. I have quit smoking and took up vaping full time and i felt the decline immediately. I tried different E-liquids with no benefit. I then gave up e-cigarettes and reverted back to smoking solely cigarettes and I felt normal again. My interest in books, my attention span, my word recall.. everything comes back.

I cannot explain this. It is definitely not a placebo. Is it something to do with the tobacco or is it something to do with the tobacco withdrawal, or is it something to do with vaping and the liquids or the effects that these liquids may be having when inhaled?

I need advice and for someone to highlight what the hell is going on?
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#2 arjacent

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 03:35 PM

Cigarettes contain nicotine and MAOIs, which while unsafe among other things, are both potent cognitive enhancers.
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#3 rwac

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 05:36 PM

Smoking a cigarette increases serum T3, which is the active form of the hormone. It's very possible that you are hypothyroid (subclinical or otherwise) and compensating for it by smoking. Nicotine doesn't have the same effect, which is probably why you don't respond to e-cigs.

I suggest you get your thyroid levels tested, that might be the way to quit smoking for good.


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#4 protoject

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 06:15 PM

Perhaps try a really weak MAO-A-I along with the vaped nicotine, see if anything changes.

My first bet would be passion flower (in tea form), since it has harmala alkaloids/ beta carbolines and I think tobacco does as well. However I'm not actually sure how significantly something like passion flower would contain those kinds of alkaloids.

(I guess the same could be said for tobacco, since at first glace it doesn't appear to interact with SSRI's as far as I know... )

*does a quick search*

It appears beta carboline is a reversible MAOI which might explain why it doesn't seem to interact that much with serotonergics

Edited by protoject, 31 March 2014 - 06:15 PM.


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Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:29 PM

Maybe try give up smoking and vaping...
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#6 nightlight

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 09:28 PM

It may be any of additional effects of tobacco smoke, such as MAO B inhibition, or boost in glutathione, catalase and SOD (near doubling of each), or some other unappreciated alkaloid in the tobacco smoke. After all, tobacco is an ancient medicinal plant finely honed to perfection over 8000 years of known use by 2+ billion of lifelong test subjects. Any one or few-dimensional pharmaceutical substitute cannot but fall far short of such natural optimization.

But the first observation that strikes me in your story is that you didn't account for much lower efficiency of nicotine absorption from the ecigs. Hence, the problem may be as simple as boosting the nicotine levels artificially to approximate what you had from the tobacco smoke. Merely changing e-liquids to stronger ones may not suffice. Vaping is a self-limited process (you can inhale PG only so fast before your mouth and throat dry out and make process unpleasant), hence you may wish to try supplementing nicotine via patches or gums.

Of course, I personally would never bother switching from the ancient, highly optimized natural medicine to a synthetic substitute from Chinese quick buck artists (I didn't switch to margarine from butter when that was the thing to do, or go on low fat diet, or chase "optimal" cholesterol levels or BMI, or follow any other similar hype). When all scientific evidence about tobacco smoke is examined with open mind, especially the hard science (experiments), the inescapable conclusion is that tobacco smoking is not only harmless to the smoker, but that it the single most beneficial medicinal substance one can have at any price, a panacea without equal among natural or synthetic medicines. This topic was discussed in depth in an earlier thread here, Smoking is good for you (links to highlights are here).

Edited by nightlight, 31 March 2014 - 09:31 PM.

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#7 Flex

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 01:08 AM

How much chelated zinc do you take ?

Zinc, per se, can be neurotoxic. Altough I dont know if the chelated one is the same as normal Zinc.

Or maybe the combination of Zinc and Glycine is harmful ?

Edited by Flex, 03 April 2014 - 01:09 AM.

#8 protoject

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 05:28 PM

oh yeah, low dose deprenyl might be a good idea too along with the nicotine.
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#9 bzyb

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 05:29 PM

Maybe try give up smoking and vaping...

I second this. I mean if you want an accurate experiment on yourself, you have to remove all variables, the control group I think (I'm not a scientist).
Also cigarettes are addictive, that has been proven so it could also be your body yearning for all the chemicals in cigarettes, and so when you start smoking again your body is happy again at that time. If you stopped all kinds of smoking for a while you can get a more accurate indicator of your symptoms while vaping, while smoking, and while not smoking anything.

I have never been a smoker, but have vaped an e-cig I bought in asia. As far as the effect well during that time it did help with anxiety and feeling chill, and then after cessation there was a lot of anxiety and other issues I was facing. But that being said, before that time I was on benzos, and while vaping I was also usually drinking alcohol. But since then I pretty much stopped all that stuff and trying to go to more herbal things (herbal cigarettes might be another choice). I myself am just sticking to just an occasional hookah for now and e-cig is buryed somewhere in my closet. I'll have to try that chelating though if it is healthy since I have amalgram fillings.

#10 Introspecta

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:48 PM

Have you ever tried ALl Vegatable Glycirine juices and then tried all Propolyne Glycol Seperate and check difference.

The other best cause is what Rwac said with your Thyroid. I remember a woman I worked with tried to quit cigarettes and switched to electronic cigarettes many years ago and she had to switch back to cigarettes because it screwed her all up. Everyone thought she was crazy including me but after reading what Rwac said about Hypothyroid I now remember her saying she had that.

I've been vaping for 6 months now and have not noticed any decline.

#11 protoject

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 01:04 PM



in terms of possible MAO-B-I / MAO-A-I options to go along with vaped nicotine, I have stumbled upon this piece of research recently:


(found on https://www.research...nneaus_in_mice)



ABSTRACT A benzoflavone moiety (BZF) has recently been reported to be liable for many of the biological effects of the plant Passiflora incarnata Linneaus. In light of various reports mentioning the usefulness of P. incarnata in tobacco addiction, studies have been performed using four doses (1, 5, 10 and 20 mg/kg) of the bioactive BZF moiety isolated from the aerial parts of P. incarnata. In a 7-day experimental regimen, mice (n = 5) were given nicotine hydrogen tartrate (2 mg/kg), and combinations of nicotine with four doses of BZF (NnP-1, NnP-5, NnP-10 and NnP-20) q.i.d. by the s.c. route. At the end of the 7 days of treatment, naloxone was given to the mice from all groups to induce a nicotine withdrawal syndrome. The mice that had been treated with 10 and 20 mg/kg dose of BZF concurrently with nicotine showed a significantly fewer number of withdrawal jumps relative to the group treated with nicotine alone (Nn group). Separately, in a 14-day treatment regimen, mice (n = 10; for the N group, n = 12) were administered nicotine (2 mg/kg) and combinations of nicotine with four doses of BZF (NP-1, NP-5, NP-10, NP-20 groups) q.i.d. by the s.c. route. Spontaneous physical and behavioural signs of nicotine dependence were observed 3 hours after cessation of treatments on the 14th day. Mice administered with combinations of nicotine and 5, 10 and 20 mg/kg doses of BZF (i.e. NP-5, NP10 and NP-20 groups), exhibited less intensity and severity of withdrawal effects compared to the mice treated with nicotine alone. Those mice treated with the two highest doses of BZF,in combination with nicotine (NP-10 and NP-20), showed significantly fewer nicotine-abstinence withdrawal jumps and normal ambulatory behaviour. BZF treatment prevented weight loss and resulted in normal performance in the swimming endurance test, which may be a measure of stress and/or depression. Similarly, acute administration of a single 20 mg/kg dose of BZF prevented some of the nicotine-withdrawal effects; lower doses were almost inert. These studies, although preliminary, suggest that the BZF may have value in treating nicotine addiction.


So not sure if passion flower would be a good candidate afterall..., but who knows, it itself could make you feel better haha.





Edited by protoject, 10 April 2014 - 01:09 PM.

#12 airplanepeanuts

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 08:41 PM

Maybe you just need to more time after quitting cigarettes to get back to baseline. Smoking is hard to quit because it there is no other mood booster quite like it. But in the long term cognitive wise you are doing better without it for sure.

Edited by airplanepeanuts, 10 April 2014 - 08:52 PM.

#13 Mr. Pink

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 05:05 AM

Cigarettes contain nicotine and MAOIs, which while unsafe among other things, are both potent cognitive enhancers.

in the uninitiated, yes, but in habitual smokers, it's not "enhancing" if it's just bringing the addict back to baseline. 

#14 Jeoshua

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 05:35 AM

There are some people who are intolerant of Propylene Glycol, who have reported similar symptoms. Luckily there are juices that are made from only Vegetable Glycerin. Try switching to that and see if it helps. Definitely don't go back to smoking, since long term it will screw you up much worse than brain fog.

Edited by Jeoshua, 11 April 2014 - 05:37 AM.

#15 Steve-22

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 02:07 AM


I have the same experience with quitting smoking cold turkey. No e-cigs though. Although nicotine is now a well-known nootropic, quitting smoking still benefits me in the long run. Giving up bad habits will boost dopamine in the long run anyways. Took me about 4-5 months to get back to baseline regarding cognitive performance, but my physical performance increased from zero to hero as well as mood and erections.


side note: 6 month mark is where I went back to smoking again due to stress. Now trying to give up the second time and played it cool. Stupidly thought that because I've been there, then it's going to be easier to give up once again. Receptors say otherwise... Once you try to quit the second time your brain will be more resistant, and the withdrawal will be even worse than the first time. Got a pack of Xanax ready to preserve sanity and waiting to get erections back once again. Give up the damn cigs for good; it's not worth it!

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#16 normalizing

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 03:37 AM

ok... so whats the update here. im curious about this whole e-cig vs real cigs debate and how they interact with people pro and cons

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: cigarette

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