Our newest supplement, Neuro Calm, is now available for purchase on our website (here).
To narrow it down to one sentence.... Neuro Calm has been specifically designed to temporarily promote relaxation, support cognitive health and/or brain function, aid in energy metabolism and in tissue formation.
That sounds very fancy, but what is it going to do for me?
The Neuro Calm formula was designed to be taken during the day to promote a calm, relaxed mental state, without causing undesirable drowsiness that leads to impaired focus and productivity. Neuro Calm’s combination of herbal components, essential amino acids, and vitamins provides many of the building blocks we already find in our nervous system that send out signals promoting relaxation and alpha brain waves (electrical brain wave patterns associated with a wakeful, but meditative state).
What makes Neuro Calm Different?
While some of the ingredients in this formula are commonly used in sleep-enhancing formulas, those ingredients have been dosed lower here so that their effects are not overpowering. This allows for lower doses to be used (1, maybe 2 capsules) to alleviate anxiety and stress, while higher doses (2-4 caps) could be used to promote sleep onset.
The effects on drowsiness will not be consistent across the board; some people may report drowsiness on a low dose, while others may not report it at any dose and may only experience its calming effects.
Will Neuro Calm be part of a Protocol?
We created Nuero Calm to be part of our Brain Protocol. This protocol will include a product called Vital Mind, which is currently in production, and we expect it to be available within a few months. As a part of the Brain Protocol, Neuro Calm provides the Yang to the Yin of Vital Mind. While Vital Mind provides the building blocks for all of your major wakefulness neurotransmitters (Dopamine, serotonin, and acetylcholine), Neuro Calm provides that contrasting support for the calming neurotransmitters (Glycine, GABA).
These supplements can be safely taken together or separately. In line with our desire to create health protocols that help people solve specific health issues, our Brain Protocol and Brain Protocol+ (which will include Magnesium Balance), will help with a variety of different problems related to brain and nervous system health.
Where can I find out more about this supplement?
If you visit the Neuro Calm product page, there is some information about the product. We're in the process of creating a product sheet which will contain more in-depth information about the supplement and its ingredients, but in the meantime you can read more about the ingredients and their effects in this post. If the following is too in-depth you can stop reading here, or come back to the rest of this post at a later date.
L-theanine (LT), an amino acid found in green tea, is commonly used for its calming and relaxing properties. Because of these effects it is commonly used to reduce nervous tension and anxiety. The structure of LT is similar to the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, and as such it weakly binds the same receptors as glutamate, inhibiting the binding of glutamate and its subsequent excitatory effects in the central nervous system.
- Small RCT using 150 mg LT in professional rowers for 6 weeks showed a decrease in inflammatory markers compared to placebo.
- Shown to facilitate nerve production in the hippocampus (memory forming region of the brain) in rats, as demonstrated by increased levels of BDNF and NGF in this region.
- The combination of LT with GABA has been demonstrated to improve both sleep latency and duration over either component alone, as well as significantly improving the duration of REM and NREM sleep.
- LT appears to cross the blood-brain-barrier to exert its effects within 30 minutes of oral intake. Levels in the brain begin to decrease 5 hours after consumption.
- LT in combination with green tea extract significantly improves attention in memory in those with mild cognitive impairment.
- Animal studies also indicate LT increases the levels of dopamine, GABA, and serotonin within the brain.
- Sleep quality was monitored in boys with ADHD with and without the use of LT and LT was shown to significantly improve sleep percentage scores. Additionally no adverse effects were detected at higher doses (400 mg).
- LT has been shown to increase the the generation of alpha brain waves (waves associated with a meditative or relaxed state).
- 2019 systematic review analyzed 9 studies comparing LT to a control, and concluded that 200-400 mg/day of LT may assist in the reduction of stress & anxiety in people exposed to stressful conditions. There appeared to be no side effects of taking LT at doses up to 400 mg/day
- 2020 double-blind placebo-controlled, crossover study found that LT can increase attentional processing of auditory information in a dose-dependent manner.
LT was first found in Camellia sinensis (green tea) in 1949 and makes up 1% of the leaves dry weight. Due to the low availability of LT in green tea many supplements use synthetic LT. For comparison, it has been found that up to 24 mg of LT have been found in single black tea bags.
The FDA recognizes LT to be GRAS (generally recognized as safe).
There is a theoretical contraindication for the use of LT in hypotensive subjects due its anti-hypertensive properties, however no studies have been done to illustrate this effect.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that acts on neurons in the central nervous system. This molecule is produced endogenously from glutamate, and interestingly acts antagonistically to glutamate (which is the CNS’ main excitatory neurotransmitter). GABA levels in the brain are directly correlated with an individual’s level of anxiety; higher levels of GABA correlate with lower levels of anxiety and brain waves indicative of a calm, meditative, or pre-sleep state. While it remains to be determined if GABA can pass the blood brain barrier (the research is not clear and scientists can’t decide), it has been considered that orally administered GABA may exert its beneficial effects by acting on the peripheral nervous system through the gut-brain axis. GABA receptors in the CNS are common target sites for many drug classes (such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines) commonly prescribed for anxiety and other neurologic disorders.
- Oral GABA administration of 100 mg significantly increased alpha-waves and decreased beta-waves within 1 hour, compared to water and L-theanine in a study on 13 subjects.
- GABA levels have been shown to be elevated 30 minutes after oral intake.
- Low levels of GABA have been associated with the etiology and maintenance of acute and chronic stress, anxiety disorders, and insomnia.
- In a systematic review on the use of GABA in humans, it was found that subjective sleep scores of sleep disturbance, morning drowsiness, and recovery from fatigue improved in studies where there was a prolonged GABA use for at least 1 week.
- Oral administration of 100 mg GABA has been shown to improve sleep. Sleep latency was shortened by 5.3 minutes.
- GABA is effective for reducing psychological stress.
High levels of GABA are found in fermented foods. As such, many GABA supplements are made from lactic acid fermentation.
There have been no contraindications identified for the oral supplementation of GABA. Take caution and consult your healthcare professional if you are taking any drugs that act on GABAergic receptors (barbiturates, benzodiazepines).
Glycine is considered a non-essential amino acid and is one of the primary inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain. It acts on glycine receptors and is also a co-agonist at NMDA receptors. Glycine is an essential building block for many important endogenous molecules such as glutathione, creatine, bile salts, and purines (a component of genetic material).
- High dose administration (60 g/day) has been reported to improve cognition and reduce negative symptoms of schizophrenia.
- 3 grams of glycine before bedtime subjectively improves sleep quality and reduces sleepiness and fatigue during the day in individuals with insomniac tendencies or restricted sleep time.
- Same dose ofglycine stabilizes sleep state and shortens latency to slow-wave sleep.
- Glycine induces a hypothermic effect on the body, which may be the mechanism in which it aids in many different sleep parameters.
- Glycine can also be rate-limiting for glutathione synthesis and supplemental glycine has been shown to increase tissue glutathione in several animal studies.
- Daytime administration of glycine has not been shown to cause drowsiness.
- Glycine has been shown to decrease systolic blood pressure in patients with metabolic syndrome.
- Glycine has been shown to improve memory and attention in healthy volunteers.
Any protein sources.
There are no identified contraindications when taken orally. High daily doses of glycine, up to 30 g/day, have been shown to be practical and safe. Neuro Calm contains nowhere near any toxic dose of glycine.
Bacopa monnieri (Bacopa) is a perennial herb commonly found in Australia and India and has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine. It has been gaining popularity in the western world for its cognitive enhancing effects as of late and has extensive research illustrating these benefits.
- Systematic review of the human studies on Bacopa found evidence that Bacopa improves learning and free recall of information in healthy (non-demented) subjects. These studies tended use doses of between 300-450 mg/day for 12 weeks.
- Another study suggests that Bacopa decreases the rate of forgetting newly acquired information but doesn’t affect the rate of learning.
- Bacopa appears to have a variety of modes of action; it acts as an anti-oxidative neuroprotectant, acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (blocks the breakdown of acetylcholine), reduces the accumulation of B-amyloid (the extracellular protein implicated in Alzheimer’s dementia), and increases cerebral blood flow.
- Typically studies have shown Bacopa exhibits its effects over the long term (3 months) rather than having strong acute effects, but there is a gap in the research to see if the benefits continue to improve even more past 3 months use.
- Its properties include anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing), antidepressant, cognitive-enhancing, antioxidant, cholinergic, and adaptogenic.
Perennial plant commonly growing as a weed in rice fields, found most commonly in India and Australia.
Though there have been no long-term use studies on Bacopa, it appears to exhibit low toxicity in model organisms and humans. Bacopa has a long history of use and is typically well tolerated. One study using a concentrated extract reported gastrointestinal side effects, and was theorized that they may have been caused by its cholinergic effects. As such, caution should be taken when using alongside cholinergic medications. No other detrimental effects were reported in a clinical study in which participants took a daily dose of 300 mg.
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxal-5-phosphate is a water soluble vitamin important to many enzymatic processes, including but not limited to metabolism of homocysteine, and the production of serotonin from 5-HTP, dopamine from tyrosine, and GABA from glutamate. B6 supplementation has been shown to be useful in treating a number of conditions in which affected individuals have a higher incidence of B6 deficiency.
- B6 correlates with increased zinc absorption.
- Neuropsychiatric disorders including seizures, migraine, chronic pain, and depression have been linked to B6 deficiency.
- Has been reported to improve dream recall.
- An RCT studying the use of B6, B9, and B12 showed a significant slowing of brain shrinkage over a 2 year period in elderly subjects with increased risk of dementia.
- B-vitamin supplementation containing B6 can decrease medial temporal lobe atrophy, a region of the brain that is commonly affected in Alzheimer’s disease progression.
- B6 supplementation has shown to be consistently valuable in addressing depression in pre-menopausal women.
- Study on 3362 adults found that average intake of vitamin B6 was lower in anxious and depressed people than in healthy participants.
- Moderate and severe depression were significantly inversely associated with only vitamin B6 (in a study examining many different nutrient levels) in a population of 289 females over the age of 40.
Vitamin B6 is found in a variety of foods, including brewer’s yeast, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, walnuts, fish, potatoes, and rice. Supplements come in the form of pyridoxal-5-P or pyridoxine HCl. P5P is the active form and is absorbed faster, however it is unclear which form has a higher bioavailability.
Toxicity of high dose supplementation of vitamin B6 has been seen at levels ranging from 500 mg-5 g over a span of months to years. Symptoms of excess supplementation include sensory neuropathies in the extremities that are usually reversible upon continuation. The levels required to reach toxicity is so much higher than that recommended that it is considered to be generally safe for consumption.