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supplement summary; alternative vs. pharma

Posted by nootrope , 13 February 2008 · 620 views

GABA for sleep hasn't seemed to work for me yet.

These are the nootropic supplements I've taken and what I think they've done for me:

Ashwagandha			  +		 relieves anxiety, improves mood, mental functioning
		   Bacopa				   +		 similar to ashwagandha, promotes concentration
		   Huperzine A			  +?		promotes concentration
		   GABA					 0		 haven't noticed improvement
		   alpha lipoic/ALCAR	   +		 increased energy short-term
		   Ginkgo				   ?		 possibly a mild effect
		   Lion's mane mushroom	 +?	   possibly general well-being

These are supplements I have some interest in:

Piracetam/Aniracetam
Phenibut
5-HTP
Gotu Kola

I'm intrigued by the different ways people evaluate "alternative/traditional" remedies and modern pharmaceuticals. Yesterday I browsed through a book that was very much against all "alternative medicine." While there's a lot I admit is complete bunk (homeopathy) I think there's a big region between medicines designed to treat a specific ailment, with some known active ingredient, and stuff you ingest with some possible health benefit (for example: food!). I think of this as the difference between "precision" and "accuracy". Rigorous, precise studies can lull one into thinking medicine is more accurate than it is (or that it is the only intervention that can improve health). There are always individual differences in response and there are often side-effects that aren't caught by the testing method. I think those who are extremely for or against alternate or herbal therapies in general often have an axe to grind.





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