Do you drink a cup of coffee or tea to get started in the morning? Or do you drink a caffeinated soft drink like Coke® or Pepsi® for a quick energy boost? If like millions of others, you drink caffeine to get going or to recharge your batteries, you’re already taking a “smart nutrient.”
Caffeine is the most commonly used “smart nutrient.” It gives us a quick physical pick-me-up and increases mental alertness. Although many people think caffeine is bad for you, in fact it’s surprisingly safe. With moderate usage—one to two cups a day of coffee, for instance—there are no known long-term ill health effects.
But caffeine is just one of many “smart nutrients”—some with much more dramatic and long-lasting effects. To go beyond caffeine, millions of people are turning to smart supplements—like ginkgo biloba, pregnenolone, and vinpocetine. These supplements dramatically improve memory, productivity, your ability to function in social situations, and your overall happiness with life.
With smart nutrients, you can be a lot smarter and happier than you are now, in just a few weeks.
Smart nutrients provide tremendous mental benefits
As a result of thousands of scientific studies, the world’s top nutritionists, biologists, and medical scientists have identified specific nutrients that compensate for the ravages of time and unlock your mind’s hidden potential.
Tens of thousands of people have reported a variety of tremendous benefits from smart nutrients including …
- Increased alertness, mental energy, and concentration
- Increased ability to concentrate for longer periods of time
- Increased ability to memorize
- Improved productivity, organization, and planning ability
- Improved verbal memory
- Improved problem-solving ability
- Alleviating depression
- Improved overall health
- Improved sexual performance
As you’ll see, these dramatic results have been found in thousands of scientific studies conducted by the world’s foremost biologists and medical scientists.
Results can be virtually instantaneous
Typically benefits from smart nutrients build slowly, over weeks. But in some cases results are virtually instantaneous. For instance, participants in one scientific study of vinpocetine found that memory and reaction time increased by 64% within one hour.1
Further, the dramatic results of smart nutrients don’t just occur in the elderly, as once thought, but with men and women of all ages from 16 to 100+!
Determining the smart nutrients that are right for you
To determine which smart nutrients are right for you, begin with a good general mental booster which contains four of the most powerful and proven smart nutrients: ginkgo biloba, vinpocetine, pregnenolone, and arginine pyroglutamate.
Carefully note changes in your mental functioning over 30-60 days. Does your memory seem to improve? Are you more alert? Does work become easier? Do you notice any improvement in organizational ability, your ability to concentrate, your overall health, or sexual desire? Also get a second opinion from friends and co-workers.
Next add other proven supplements—like B-5, choline, and DMAE—one at a time. Start with low dosages and carefully note changes over 30-60 days. The end result can be spectacular improvement.
The nine most effective smart nutrients
The smart nutrients described below are proven effective, and are safe and legal in the U.S. Thousands of controlled scientific studies show that—for most people—they dramatically improve memory, alertness, and overall mood with few if any side effects.
#1 Ginkgo Biloba:
Improved memory, mood, and sexual function; counteracting age-related cognitive disorders
The ginkgo is the world’s oldest existing tree species, dating back some 250 million years. It is also one of the world’s most intensely studied smart nutrients. As nutritional expert, Dr. Arthur M. Presser, explains:
“Since 1970, over 400 clinical research studies have been done on extracts derived from ginkgo leaves, and standardized ginkgo biloba extract has become a widely prescribed medicine in Europe. By 1989, over 10 million prescriptions were written for ginkgo biloba extract by over 100,000 doctors around the world.”2
What Ginkgo can do for you
Ginkgo provides a wide-range of benefits, including …
Improved blood flow and maintaining tone in veins and arteries. Ginkgo improves blood circulation throughout the body and makes veins and arteries more flexible.
Medical studies also show that ginkgo helps pain and numbness in the hands and feet (Raynaud’s Syndrome), dizziness, ringing in the ears (tinnitis), hearing loss, and deteriorating vision in the elderly, hemorrhoids, and even high blood pressure and heart pain.
Improving memory. Ginkgo increases blood flow in the brain, which improves memory. Ginkgo also improves your brain’s biochemistry: It increases the number of receptor sites for acetylcholine—a brain chemical involved in thought, memory, and long-term planning. Ginkgo also boosts the brain chemical norepinephrine, which is essential for learning and maintaining mood.
Patients with Alzheimer’s disease typically show significantly reduced acetylcholine levels in some areas of the brain. There is increasing evidence that ginkgo can delay or prevent the onset of this crippling disease which now strikes many older men and women.
Reducing cell damage and slowing aging. There is a large body of scientific evidence that shows oxygenated free radicals damage cells and DNA, and contribute to aging. Ginkgo is a powerful antioxidant which metabolizes free radicals, reduces cell damage, and slows damage from aging.
Improved sexual function. Recent studies have found that 70% to 80% of men with erectile problems were again able to achieve erections after taking ginkgo.3
Other conditions helped by ginkgo include:
- Bronchial asthma (improvement reported in just 8 weeks)4
- Reduced sexual function caused by anti-depressants
- Altitude sickness and cold-related vascular problems
Dosage: 120 mg to 240 mg daily. Ginkgo should be taken for a minimum of 12 weeks.
Precautions: Dosages over 360 mg per day can interfere with blood pressure medication. Since ginkgo is an anticoagulant, it should also be used with caution in combination with other anticoagulants. Consult your doctor if you are taking blood pressure or anticoagulant medications.
#2 Arginine Pyroglutamate:
Remarkable, cognitive-enhancing effects
Pyroglutamate is an amino acid naturally occurring in vegetables, fruits, dairy products, and meat. It is also normally present in large amounts in the human brain, cerebrospinal fluid, and blood.
Arginine pyroglutamate is simply an arginine molecule combined with a pyroglutamate molecule. Arginine is an amino acid which builds muscle bulk and helps burn fat and has many other beneficial effects: It increases nitric oxide (NO) production, an important neurotransmitter associated with memory. And NO dialates blood vessels, improving blood flow. So arginine has several cognition-enhacing effects which work synergistically with pyroglutamate.
Pyroglutamate has a number of remarkable cognitive-enhancing effects. Clinical studies of pyroglutamate have demonstrated that it enhances memory, helps combat the effects of alcohol, and combats senility.567Precautions: No serious adverse effects from the use of pyroglutamate or the use of arginine pyroglutamate have been reported.
A powerful memory enhancer
Vinpocetine is a derivative of vincamine, which is an extract of the periwinkle. Vinpocetine improves brain function by improving blood flow in the brain, increasing production of brain cell ATP (ATP is the cellular energy molecule), and by increasing utilization of glucose and oxygen.
Benefits of using vinpocetine are powerful and quick: One double-blind, crossover study of normal healthy volunteers found a 55% improvement in short-term memory within one hour of taking 40 mg of vinpocetine! 8
Precautions: Adverse effects are rare, but include hypotension, dry mouth, weakness, and tachycardia. Vinpocetine has no drug interactions, no toxicity, and is generally very safe.
Dosage: 10 to 40 mg per day, in divided doses.
100-times more effective in improving memory
Pregnenolone is a steroid-hormone and a building block for all the other steroid hormones in your body. It is manufactured from cholesterol and is converted into testosterone, progesterone, DHEA, and other steroid chemicals on an as-needed basis.
A recent study of rats found pregnenolone to be 100-times more effective in improving memory and enhancing learning than other steroids. 9
In fact, pregnenolone has many beneficial effects, including:
Alleviating arthritis. Prior to the development of the arthritis drug cortisone in the 1950’s, pregnenolone was used to effectively treat rheumatoid arthritis in many patients. One study of the effect of pregnenolone on arthritis patients found that 24 of 64 patients studied improved dramatically and another 20 improved moderately.10 By the time the harmful side-effects of excessive cortisone became known, doctors had forgotten all about pregnenolone.
Neutralizing the harmful effects of cortisol. Cortisol is another important steroid hormone manufactured by the body. In small quantities, it is vital for health. However, excessive cortisol production is associated with many health problems including (a) impaired memory, (b) impaired wound healing, (c) skin aging, (d) fluid retention, (e) flabby skin, and (f) persistent scar tissue.
Unfortunately, as we age, our bodies start producing higher and higher levels of cortisol, resulting in the problems noted above. Many clinical studies have documented that pregnenolone counteracts these effects.1112
Boosting the body’s de-tox system. High levels of cortisol also impair the functioning of the system for de-toxification of harmful chemicals, such as pollutants, auto emissions, drugs, and pesticides. By neutralizing cortisol, pregnenolone improves your ability to resist these harmful substances.
Dosage: From 5 to 100 mg per day. When combining smart nutrients, you may need to reduce the dosage.
#5 ALC (Acetyl-L-Carnitine):
Improved memory and learning; combating age-related mental decline
Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) is a naturally occurring molecule involved in the transport of fats into the mitochondria—the energy-producing part of all living cells. ALC is found in some common foods, such as milk. Numerous studies show that ALC improves memory and learning, and combats cognitive decline associated with aging.
Combating the mental effects of aging. In human studies, ALC has increased attention span and alertness in people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of senility. One recent study found that ALC increased brain levels of choline acetyltransferase. Low levels of this enzyme are found in Alzheimer’s patients, and is the major reason for their severe deficiency of acetylcholine.16
In another study, 20 patients with regressive symptoms of aging were treated with 1,500 mg of ALC per day for six months. There was significant improvement in cognitive ability, self-sufficiency, motor activity, and reduced depression.17 ALC has also shown to be effective for treating depression in hospitalized geriatric patients.18
Precautions: Studies on humans have not found any toxic effects or significant side effects.
Dosage: 1,000 mg to 2,000 mg per day, in two doses.
#6 Vitamin B-5:
Essential for good memory and stress relief
B-5, or pantothenic acid, has many functions in the body. B-5 is essential for the conversion of choline into acetylcholine, which in turn is essential for memory.
B-5 is also a powerful antioxidant and stamina enhancer. And it’s essential for the formation of steroid hormones, making it particularly important for individuals under stress. (Under stress, you secrete more adrenal cortex hormones.19)
As you age and when you’re under stress, steroid hormones—including pregnenolone, DHEA, and testosterone—are depleted. These steroid hormones are themselves powerful memory enhancers. So taking B5, particularly as you grow older and when you’re under stress, makes sense.
Help with recovery from traumatic injuries. B-5 in conjunction with choline can also help with recovery from traumatic injuries.
Contraindications: Large dosages of B5 may initially cause diarrhea. This effect can be avoided by starting with a low dose and increasing it slowly.
Dosage: Most people start with 100 mg and slowly work up to 250 – 1,000 mg per day, in 3 or 4 doses with meals.
B5 works very well in conjunction with …
Nutritional building block for acetyl-choline—one of the most important brain chemicals
Choline (together with B5) is a precursor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and improves memory by increasing the amount of this chemical in the brain. Choline has been shown to improve performance by normal, healthy people in many intelligence and memory tests.20
Choline is available in several forms, including choline bitartrate, choline chloride, phosphatidyl choline, and choline citrate. Choline bitartrate and choline chloride can sometimes cause diarrhea at doses high enough to give you cognition enhancement effects. Phosphatidyl choline is great for cell membrane integrity but to get high amounts of active choline, you would need to take several spoonfuls of it. Choline citrate is the preferred form for getting sufficient levels of active choline with the least likelihood of unwanted side effects.
Precautions: Choline and compounds containing choline, including phosphatidyl choline, should not be used by people who are manic-depressive since it can deepen the depressive phase.
Dosage: 1,000 – 3,000 mg of choline a day in three, divided doses. When combining smart nutrients use a lower dose.
A biological detergent
Phosphatidylserine acts like a biological detergent, keeping fatty substances soluble and cell membranes fluid. It also seems to work by increasing glucose metabolism in the brain, and by increasing the number of neurotransmitter receptor sites.21 The increased number of receptor sites may explain why the memory-enhancing effects last for up to a month even after the supplement is discontinued.
Improvement in normal, healthy people. Thomas Crook and his colleagues studied 149 individuals who suffered from age-associated memory impairment. These people had no overt illnesses, but showed signs of memory loss that normally occurs with aging. Those who took phosphatidylserine showed improvement in memory and learning. As with many other smart-drug studies, the people who functioned the worst in the beginning were the most likely to improve. The researchers concluded that “the compound may be a promising candidate for treating memory loss in later life.”22
Treating depression and senility in the elderly. In a study at the University of Milan, Italy, 10 elderly women with depressive disorders were given placebos for 15 days, then 300 mg of phosphatidylserine for 30 days. Phosphatidylserine alleviated depression and improved memory and general behavior. No adverse effects were noted in any of the patients.23 Other studies have found similar, positive results. Phosphatidylserine has also proved effective in treating early and mild Alzheimer’s Disease24 and senility.25
Precautions: Phosphatidylserine may interact negatively with anticoagulants. The only other reported side-effect is occasional, mild nausea.
Dosage: 100 – 200 mg twice a day, orally.
Elevates mood, improves memory and learning, increases intelligence
DMAE, or dimethylaminoethanol, is normally present in small amounts in our brains. DMAE is known for its remarkable brain-enhancement effects. It is a naturally-occurring nutrient found in seafood, such as anchovies and sardines. Perhaps that is why fish has often been called “brain food.”
DMAE improves memory and learning, increases intelligence, and elevates mood. It also has been shown to extend the life span of laboratory animals.26 DMAE is used by many people for its mild, safe stimulant effect, and yet DMAE also makes it easier for most people to get to sleep at night as well as reducing the amount of sleep needed.
No quick highs, or crashing, depressive lows. The stimulant effect of DMAE is significantly different from the stimulation produced by coffee, amphetamines, or other stimulant drugs. DMAE does not have a drug-like quick up and quick come down. People who take DMAE report that after 3 to 4 weeks, they feel a mild stimulation continually, without side-effects. Also, when DMAE is discontinued, no depression or let-down occurs.
DMAE works by accelerating the brain’s synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which in turn plays a key role in maximizing mental ability and preventing the loss of memory in aging adults.
Precautions: Overdosage can produce insomnia, dull headaches, or tenseness in muscles (especially those of the jaw, neck, and legs). These side effects disappear if the dosage is lowered slightly. No serious side-effects have been reported with DMAE. Patients with certain types of epilepsy should be closely monitored by a physician. DMAE should not be used by people who are manic-depressive because it can deepen the depressive phase.
Improving your memory, alertness, and mood with nutritional supplements
Smart nutrients can dramatically improve your memory, work performance, your social relationships, even your love life. Further, there is growing evidence that smart nutrients can prevent or reduce many of the mental problems commonly associated with aging.
Benefits you can expect include:
- Improved blood flow in the brain and throughout the body
- Dramatic improvement in memory and mental alertness
- Reduced cell damage from aging
- Improved sexual performance
- Increased attention span
- Healthier skin
- Improved ability of your body to de-toxify harmful chemicals
The sad fact is that as we age, our memory fails and we become less creative and productive. The good news is that you can now do something about it with smart nutrients. With so much to gain and so little risk, trying smart nutrients is a “no-brainer.”
- Subhan, Z, Hindmarch I. Psychopharmacological effects of vinpocetine in normal healthy volunteers. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 1985, Vol. 28, pp 567-71.
- Presser, AM. Ginkgo, Pharmacist’s Guide to Medicinal Herbs.
- Presser, op. cit.
- Grioli S et al. Pyroglutamic acid improves the age-associated memory impairment. Fundamental and clinical pharmacology,1990, 4, pp 169-73.
- Sinforiani E, Trucco M, Cavallini A, Gualtieri S, Verri AP, Spignoli G. Sulla Reversibilita dei disordini cognitive negli alcolisti cronici in fase di dissauefazion. Minerva Psichiatrica.1985, 26, 10, pp 90-7.
- Anderson K, Anderson L. Orphan Drugs. Los Angeles, CA: The Body Press, 1987 p 170.
- Subhan, Z, Hindmarch I. op. cit.
- Flood JF, Morley JE and Roberts E. Memory-enhancing effects in male mice of pregnenolone and steroids metabolically derived from it. Proc Nat Acad Sci 89:1567-71, March 1992.
- Freeman, H, et al. Therapeutic efficacy of delta 5 pregenolone in rheumatoid arthritis. JAMA 143: 338-44, 1950.
- Guth, L, et al. Key role for pregnenolone in combination therapy that promotes recovery after spinal cord injury. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, US 91(25): 12,308-12, 1994.
- Steiger, A, et al. Neurosteroid pregnenolone induces sleep EEG changes in man compatible with inverse agnostic GAGA-A receptor modulation. Brain Research 615: 267-74, 1993.
- Ghirardi O, Milano S, Ramacci MT, Angelucci L. Long-term acetyl-L-carnitine preserves spatial learning in the senescent rat.Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry. 1989, 13 (1-2) pp. 237-45.
- Bossoni G, Carpi C. Effect of acetyl-L-carnitine on conditioned reflex learning rate and retention in laboratory animals. Drugs Under Experimental and Clinical Research. 1986, 12 (11) pp 911-6.
- Drago F, Conteinella G, Pennisi G., Alloro MC, Calvani M, Scapaginni U. Behavioral effects of acetyl-L-carnitine in the male rat,” Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior, 1986, 24 (5) pp. 1393-6.
- Pearson D, Shaw S. Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw’s Life Extention Newsletter. January-February 1990, 2: 10, pp. 84-6.
- Fiore, L, Rampello L. L-acetylcarnitine attenuates the age-dependent decrease of MNDA-sensitive glutamate receptors in rat hippocampus. Acta Neurologica. 1989, 11 (5), pp. 346-50.
- Tempesta E, Casealla L, Pirrongelli C, Janiri L, Calvani M, Ancona L. L-acetylcarnitine in Depressed Elderly Subjects. A cross-over study vs. placebo. Drugs Under Experimental Clinical Research. 1987, 13 (7) pp. 417-23.
- Newbold HL. Meganutrients for Your Nerves. New York: Berkeley Books, 1975.
- Sitaram, N, Weingartner, H Human serial learning: Enhancement with arecoline and choline and impairment with scoplolamine,Science, 1978, 201, pp 275-76.
- Klinkhammer P, Szelies B and Heiss WD. Effect of phosphatidylserine on cerebral glucose metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease. Dimentia (Switzerland) 1(4): 197-201, 1990.
- Crook TH, Tinklenberg J, Yesavage J, Petrie W, Wells C, Nunzi MG and Masari DC. Effects of phosphatidylserine in age-associated memory impairment. Neurology 41 (5) : 644-9, May 1991.
- Maggioni M, Picotti GB, Bondiolotti, GP, Paneral A, Cenacchi T, Nobile P and Brambilla F. Effects of phosphatidylserine therapy in geriatric patients with depressive disorders. Acta Psychiatr Scand 81(3): 265-70, March 1990.
- Engel, RR, Satzger W, Gunther W, Kathmann N, Bove D, Gerke S, Munch U and Hippius H. Double-blind cross-over study of phosphatidylserine vs. placebo in patients with early dementia of the Alzheimer type. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol (Netherlands) 2(2): 149-55, June 1992.
- Dean W, Morgenthaler J, Fowkes SW. Smart Drugs II: The Next Generation, Petaluma, CA 1993, pp. 77-80.
- Hochschild R. Effect of dilmethylaminooethyl p-Chlorophenox-acetate on the life span of male Swiss Webster albino mice.Experimental gerontology. 1973, 8, pp 177-83.