Vitamin D – The most important supplement that you’re not taking

Most of us just are not getting enough vitamin D. It has so many benefits that most people do not even know about. Not only that, but there is also recent evidence that the severity of Covid-19 symptoms bears a strong relationship to the vitamin D concentration in your blood. The Swedish doctor’s magazine has reviewed the correlation between vitamin D deficiency and Coronavirus symptoms and has found a strong correlation between severe complications and vitamin D deficiency (<50 nmol/L)

Vitamin D is also really important for your energy levels which not a lot of people know. Many with symptoms of chronic fatigue that may have been going on for months or years can improve in as little as a few days with proper vitamin D supplementation.

Prevalence of low vitamin D was 77.2% in patients who presented with fatigue. After normalization of vitamin D levels fatigue symptom scores improved significantly (P < 0.001) in all five subscale categories of fatigue assessment questionnaires.

Satyajeet Roy, Anthony Sherman, Mary Joan Monari-Sparks, Olga Schweiker, and Krystal Hunter – Correction of Low Vitamin D Improves Fatigue: Effect of Correction of Low Vitamin D in Fatigue Study (EViDiF Study)

Almost half of Americans are deficient in vitamin D because we spend so much time inside and we are not getting exposed to enough sunlight. Sunlight also has its downsides as its UV rays are damaging to our skin. Fortunately, you can just as well take a vitamin D supplement to get your levels up.

There is also strong meta-analysis evidence that low levels of vitamin D can lead to incidents of depression. In fact, people with low levels of vitamin D are more than twice as likely as people with high levels of vitamin D of becoming depressed.

I recommend taking 5,000 IU per day to make sure your levels are sufficient.

Citations

Anglin, R. E. S., Samaan, Z., Walter, S. D., & McDonald, S. D. (2013). Vitamin D deficiency and depression in adults: systematic review and meta-analysis. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 202(2), 100–107. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.111.106666

Lucid dreaming with galantamine

What is lucid dreaming?

Lucid dreaming is a state of consciousness in which you are aware that you are dreaming. During lucid dreaming you can take control of your dream and do things like flying or go on adventures in exotic places.

What is galantamine?

Galantamine is an alkaloid that was isolated, amongst other plants, from the bulbs and flowers of Galanthus caucasicus or the Caucausian snowdrop.

Galantamine is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor which means that it will increase the concentration of aceylcholine, a neurotransmitter, in the brain by preventing it from breaking down.

What are the effects?

A study from 2018 shows that galantamine combined with the technique of mnemonic induction of lucid dreams were much more successful in inducing lucid dreaming when using galantamine

The percentage of participants who reported a lucid dream was significantly increased for both 4 mg (27%, odds ratio = 2.29) and 8 mg doses (42%, odds ratio = 4.46) compared to the active placebo procedure (14%). Galantamine also significantly increased dream recall, sensory vividness and complexity (p<0.05). Dream recall, cognitive clarity, control, positive emotion, vividness and self-reflection were increased during lucid compared to non-lucid dreams (p<0.0001). These results show that galantamine increases the frequency of lucid dreams in a dose-related manner. Furthermore, the integrated method of taking galantamine in the last third of the night with at least 30 minutes of sleep interruption and with an appropriately focused mental set is one of the most effective methods for inducing lucid dreams available today.

In other words, galantamine will significantly increase your ability to induce lucid dreaming. I know from personal experience that dreaming with galantamine is incredibly vivid and it is difficult to separate your dreams from reality while you are sleeping.

Citations

LaBerge, S., LaMarca, K., & Baird, B. (2018). Pre-sleep treatment with galantamine stimulates lucid dreaming: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. PLoS ONE, 13(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0201246

The 4 best ways to defeat depression and anxiety

1. Exercise

I went to the literature to see what I could find about what we knew about the effects of exercise on the brain, and what I found was an exciting and growing literature that was essentially showing everything that I noticed in myself. Better mood, better energy, better memory, better attention, and the more I learned, the more I realized how powerful exercise was.

Dr. Wendy Suzuki, New York University

A great number of studies suggest that exercise reduces depressive and anxious symptoms. In fact, exercising works at least as well or even better than any pill or nootropic for improving your depression and/or anxiety. I find that when I’m depressed the real hurdle is to even get started with exercise. Therefore it can be a good idea to use a nootropic such as phenylpiracetam to give you that initial momentum to start exercising. As you make exercise a routine the inertia also decreases so that every day it becomes easier and easier to get started!

2. Magnesium

Magnesium is a rather pedestrian sounding supplement, but it has very impressive effects when it comes to reducing anxiety. It is important to also take it with calcium at the same time to maximize absorption. It is important to get the right kind of magnesium supplement since absorption differs a lot between the different types. I recommend getting magnesium glycinate or magnesium citrate. Try a dose of 200-400 mg together with 1000 mg of calcium if you are an adult.

3. Meditation

Meditation helps me feel grounded and relaxed. I like to do 30 minutes in the morning, but if that sounds like a lot to you then you can start with ten minutes and try to increase it over time. I like to do Zen meditation, which is also called zazen. Instructions for this type of meditation can be found here.

4. L-Theanine

L-theanine is one of my favorite nootropics for increasing my general well-being. It relieves anxiety and makes me feel happy and relaxed. An added benefit is that it also helps with fatigue and headaches! The science also backs it up and has shown that L-theanine can be taken long term and has continuous benefits for anxiety and depression.

Citations

Hidese, S., Ota, M., Wakabayashi, C., Noda, T., Ozawa, H., Okubo, T., & Kunugi, H. (2017). Effects of chronic l-theanine administration in patients with major depressive disorder: an open-label study. Acta Neuropsychiatrica, 29(2), 72–79. https://doi.org/10.1017/neu.2016.33
Ströhle, A. (2008). Physical activity, exercise, depression and anxiety disorders. Journal of Neural Transmission, 116(6), 777. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00702-008-0092-x

The best nootropics of the Racetam family

There are quite a few members in the piracetam family that are known for having diverse nootropic effects. They can all improve your focus and energy and help you become more productive, but they also improve depression and anxiety! In this post, I would like to get you up to speed on some of the most popular ones. In a Reddit thread on favorite racetams, some of the favorites listed were Aniracetam for its ability to act as an anxiolytic, increase speech fluidity, improve thought organization, as well as recall. Another user felt like it was the best one because they could take it every day and get the benefits without the side effects.
I like Phenylpiracetam a lot since it increases your energy, focus as well as improving motivation.
Piracetam was the first nootropic I ever tried and I liked that it helped me focus more and think more clearly. I and many other users have also noticed that they can see colors more intensely, as well as hear the nuances of music more clearly. At the same time, it is a mild nootropic and it has virtually no side effects.

The mechanism of these nootropics still remains a mystery, but they are thought to affect the GABAergic as well as the glutamate receptor systems. There is evidence that piracetam increases oxygen consumption and the permeability of cells and mitochondrial membranes to Krebs cycle metabolites, which is a way of saying that it “overclocks” your brain to work faster .

Piracetam

Piracetam was the chemical that gave rise to the notion of nootropics. Piracetam is a derivative of the neurotransmitter GABA. There is scientific evidence that piracetam is able to lower anxiety and depression, as well as being able to improve memory

Phenylpiracetam

Phenylpiracetam was developed in the ’80s in the USSR to alleviate the prolonged stress that was experienced by cosmonauts working in space. Phenylpiracetam has both energy and memory-boosting properties, as well as being a potent anxiolytic (stress reliever) and antidepressant. This might not be ideal for a first time user of nootropics as it is quite potent. Personally I would start with piracetam just to see what it feels like.

Pramiracetam

I have to say Pramiracetam is the only Nootropic I’ve taken that lives up to the hype.

u/ThirdHuman

Pramiracetam is a CNS stimulant and a cognitive enhancer. Users on Reddit really like it for its ability to keep you focused and improve thinking abilities.

Aniracetam

Users on Reddit report that Aniracetam makes them feel more lucid and free from anxiety. Great if you are worried about some particular problem that you can’t seem to get started on. With Aniracetam it is much easier to begin to work on difficult problems because of the anxiolytic effect, as well as finish it because of the cognitive enhancement. Some users do not seem to see any effect with doses lower than 2-3 grams, however.

The importance of adding a choline source

Many people add a choline source, e.g. citicoline as it synergizes with the racetam nootropics to give you even better results! Cholines are important parts of your cell membranes that modulate their fluidity and in fact, it is currently thought that much of cognitive enhancement from different nootropics come from these chemicals’ ability to modify membrane fluidity in nerve cells.

Bibliography

Wikipedia. (2020). Phenylpiracetam. In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Phenylpiracetam&oldid=943841048
Grau, M., Montero, J. L., & Balasch, J. (1987). Effect of Piracetam on electrocorticogram and local cerebral glucose utilization in the rat. General Pharmacology, 18(2), 205–211. https://doi.org/10.1016/0306-3623(87)90252-7
Nickolson, V. J., & Wolthuis, O. L. (1976). Effect of the acquisition-enhancing drug piracetam on rat cerebral energy metabolism. Comparison with naftidrofuryl and methamphetamine. Biochemical Pharmacology, 25(20), 2241–2244. https://doi.org/10.1016/0006-2952(76)90004-6
Malykh, A. G., & Sadaie, M. R. (2010). Piracetam and Piracetam-Like Drugs. Drugs, 70(3), 287–312. https://doi.org/10.2165/11319230-000000000-00000