Nootropics Frequently Asked Questions

What are Nootropics?

Nootropics, often called 'smart' drugs are those substances which are reported (and in many cases scientifically verified) to enhance memory, cognition, and intelligence. Many are also reported to enhance mood. Nootropics are varied in their effect as well as their action.

It is very hard to recommend certain Nootropics for an individual, so it may be better off to give a summary of all those sold by Bulk Nutrients and details which have what effect.

Is Alpha GPC the best Nootropic for me?

Alpha GPC is most often used for cognition and memory enhancement, it is categorised as a 'Cholinergic' as it affects the neurotransmitter acetylcholine or the components of the nervous system that use acetylcholine.

Alpha GPC rapidly delivers choline to the brain across the blood–brain barrier and is a biosynthetic precursor of the acetylcholine neurotransmitter. Alpha GPC is made from highly purified soy lecithin.

Studies have investigated its efficacy for cognitive disorders including stroke and Alzheimer’s Disease. In an Italian multicentre clinical trial on 2,044 patients suffering from recent stroke, all were supplied alpha-GPC in doses of 1,000 mg/day for 28 days and 400 mg three times per day for the five ensuing months. The trial confirmed the therapeutic role of alpha-GPC on the cognitive recovery of patients based on four measurement scales, three of which reached statistical significance.

How much Alpha GPC Nootropic should I take?

Commonly used doses of Alpha GPC are between 300 and 1200 mg daily.

Is GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) the best Nootropic?

Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) is unlike most other Nootropics. Rather than enhance neurotransmitter action, it is usually taken for its sedative and calming effects.

GABA is the most abundant inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. It helps induce relaxation and sleep, in addition to its relaxation effects, GABA stimulates the anterior pituitary, leading to higher levels of growth hormone. Increased levels of growth hormone can have positive effects on anti-aging, on lowering body fat levels and increasing lean muscle levels.

When should I take GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid)?

Given its sedative effect, many users limit their GABA intake to evenings.

How might taking GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) help me?

Many people see GABA as improving quality of life through it assisting the reduction of anxiety, improving sleep quality, and eliminating depression.

These factors may indirectly affect cognitive performance, since happy, mentally, and physically healthy individuals tend to do better than unhappy, anxious, unhealthy individuals, but that's just a pleasant side-effect.

How does the Nootropic 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) work?

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) also known as oxitriptan is a naturally occurring amino acid and chemical precursor as well as a metabolic intermediate in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitter's serotonin and melatonin from tryptophan.

Studies on 5 HTP are not conclusive, however one of the more impressive studies involved 99 patients described as suffering from "therapy resistant" depression (3). These patients had not responded to any previous therapy including all available antidepressant drugs as well as electro convulsive therapy. These therapy resistant patients received 5-HTP at average dosages of 200 mg daily but ranging from 50 to 600 mg per day. Complete recovery was seen in 43 of the 99 patients and significant improvement was noted in 8 more. Such significant improvement in patients suffering from long-standing, unresponsive depression is quite impressive prompting the author of another study to state "5-HTP merits a place in the front of the ranks of the antidepressants instead of being used as a last resort."

It is advised that 5-HTP should not be taken by people on SSRIs or other types of antidepressants.

How does 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) work?

5-HTP works in the brain and central nervous system by increasing the production of chemical serotonin. Serotonin can affect sleep, appetite, temperature, sexual behaviour, and pain sensation.

As 5-HTP increases the synthesis of serotonin, it is used for several diseases where serotonin is believed to play an important role including depression, insomnia, obesity, and many other conditions.

What conditions might 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) help with?

5-HTP has been studied and shown to be of benefit in the following conditions: Primary Fibromyalgia Syndrome, Friedreich's Ataxia, Depression, Anxiety, binge eating associated with obesity, and insomnia.

There is no statistically significant difference between 5-HTP and placebo in treating chronic headaches (primary or otherwise).