Nootropics: In Search of A Better Brain

better brain, increased cognition, brain perfusion, BDNF, nootropic, biohacking, nutrigenomics, bacopa, ginkgo, Dr. David Perlmutter,

S. Miller 12/2016

Nootropics many not be a household word yet but the time is coming fast. Mirriam Webster defines it as

“A substance that enhances cognition and memory and facilitates learning.”


Even though you may not have heard the term, you probably do something that helps you focus and think more clearly.  Most of us call this “coffee.”  For others, it is the B vitamins.  B12 is the most common.  As a health coach, the complaint of “brain fog” is in the top 3.  Having more energy being number one. People search still today for a magic pill for fat loss.  Products are out there that do help but losing  FAT is mainly controlled by hormones and what we put in our mouths.

 But what about our brains? Can we feed that optimally also?  We are finding out the answer is yes! Through food and targeted supplementation along with of course, using it!

Research always said that you never regain a brain cell once lost.  If you have heard that also then I have some great news to share with you.

I remember clearly a running joke I had with a coworker.   It was 1989 and I was an EMT working in Boston inner city community.  I have to give kudos to anyone in law enforcement and emergency medicine.  It was the toughest job that I ever had.  The stress drives many to drugs and alcohol abuse.  My coworker “Jack” would meet his buddies from the ambulance company every night after work for a “few drinks”.

There were many a day that I had to drive the ambulance while Jack let his hangover wear off.  The joke was “So Jack, how many brain cells did you kill last night?”  Back in the late 1980’s we were still convinced that once a brain cell died that you could never regain it.  Lost and gone.

Science has come a long way and we now know that the brain DOES in fact, regenerate itself and grow new brain cells. Its called “neurogenesis” “While the brain has a limited capacity for regeneration, endogenous neural stem cells, as well as numerous pro-regenerative molecules, can participate in replacing and repairing damaged or diseased neurons and glial cells .″. “

A Better Brain with Nootropics

KETONES are really hot today in the world of nootropics.

Of course we know that sleep is so very important when it comes to brain health as well.  Sleeping better translates into a better brain.  When the brain runs on ketones you can upregulate your calming hormones, reduce inflammation in the brain and sleep more soundly. That is a “no brainer” (pun intended).  Ketogenic diets and higher fat diets are great in helping with increasing ketones naturally.

But in the world of nutrigenomics, the study of how nutrition effect our genes; some supplements are bursting on the scene at rapid velocity.  It’s no secret that I am a big proponent of  therapeutic ketones.  I have had the pleasure to listen to Dr. Mary Newport speak of her journey with her husband Steve.  He improved with just a few tablespoons of   coconut oil   each day.  She said she had wished she knew about ketone products much sooner as it may have helped saved her husband.  Therapeutic ketones provide almost instant energy to our brains and I can vouch for the sharpness and mental clarity I feel when using them.


Perhaps the most cutting edge and “Hot off the Press”  information came from “Scholar of the Year” Ryan Lowery of the Applied Science and Performance Institute.  He is studying the effects of ketones on people who have recently had concussions.  Ryan shares some exciting news so watch the whole video!

 Is is possible that the major sports leagues may perhaps use ketones therapeutically for concussion sufferers?

You will only find out if you watch this!

Come hang out with Ryan Lowery and learn about the latest research on ketogenic diets and ketones!

Posted by Prüvit on Thursday, December 8, 2016


And probably ONE OF the MOST talked about TED talks here: and Dr. Dominic D’agostino talks at length about ketones and the brain.


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Ketones are used by the brain BETTER than glucose. Results in ONE HOUR









Huperzine A

I recently listened to a podcast by Tim Ferriss who is a well known biohacker.  His guest was Dominic D’agostino of the University of South Florida (Morsani College).  Dr. D’agostino helped bring therapeutic ketones and their research to the public.

He was speaking about how he mitigates loss of sleep when crossing continents while traveling.  He named huperzine “A”  as one of his recent favorites. Coming from someone who studies the brain for a living, I had to see for myself if this could work for me. I see this as a “must try” for anyone seeking a better brain.

How does it work?

According to WEB MD “Huperzine “A” is thought to be beneficial for problems with memory, loss of mental abilities (dementia), and the muscular disorder myasthenia gravis because it causes an increase in the levels of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is one of the chemicals that our nerves use to communicate in the brain, muscles, and other areas.”

It has been said that it will help increase dopamine levels.  Research on how huperzine “A” could help addictions will be much anticipated as those are “dopamine driven.”

You might be familiar with addictive personality types and the issues they face.  Dopmanine  ( or lack of adequate dopamine production) is the driver of addiction.  So fascinating of a topic in fact that I plan to do an entire article on this quite soon.

Many “bio hackers” out there will “stack” these notropics for optimal brain performance.  Often ketones and huperzine “A” are stacked together.  Caffeine can be added to this but take it easy as caffeine can have negative effects at higher doses. Obviously not a choice for those with heart issues or blood pressure challenges.

Keep Your Eyes on This!

A company called    Vasayo  launched in January of 2017. Vasayo used a superior combination of well studied nootropics.   Huperzine “A” is just one of the ingredients in the product called “NEURO”  and I have already pre-ordered mine.  Watch this link when it goes live since this product includes  some great nootropics in combination with a delivery system that truly impresses.

Citicholine is another of its well studied ingredients. Getting these nootropics across the blood-brain barrier is the challenge at hand.  This company is creating innovative products that do just that. Liposomal delivery is the key.  It allows the ingredients to be better absorbed by our cells as it’s outer layer mimics the outer layer of our own cells. I have tried this product myself and also my husband has used this product.  We have found this to be one of the better nootropics we have tried.  Pricier than many but results were tangible.  VASAYO

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Nootropic formula with superior delivery and no excipients or fillers









Bacopa Monierri

It’s no secret that I love when a single herb or combination of herbs shows us the power of substances and how they can help us be better versions of ourselves. This little trailing plant has been used for cognition and recall, overall memory enhancement increased neural activity.   This website gives all the best information on supplements that you can find today and I was surprised to learn that Bacopa also increases our bodies abilities to make it’s own antioxidants via the Nrf2 pathway.

Nrf2 in a Nutshell

The easiest way to describe Nrf2 is that is is an enzyme. When  this enzyme is activated, It signals certain “proteins” to tell our DNA to make MORE of it’s own antioxidants like Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), Catalase, and Glutathione peroxidase. Often referred to as “SURVIVAL GENES”. The “ASE” at the end indicates that these are all enzymes. By dramatically reducing inflammation our fire more consistently and perform better.

These enzymes act like a “wake up call” for DNA to MAKE MORE OF OUR OWN antioxidants.   The product combination in the product   PROTANDIM   has 3 U.S. Patents and 13 studies on the PRODUCT in the National Library of Medicine at  I love the scientific validation of this product.



A Resource for ALL Supplements        Examine is a resource for the most updated information on supplements and shows that bacopa is an herb that does also show that it increases this Nrf2 signal to the body.  Interesting information awaits when you click this link AND you can research the other nootropics that I mentioned previously.

Even Dr. David Perlmutter who wrote several books on brain health  has spoken out on the efficacy of the   PROTANDIM supplement by Lifevantage. This product helps us make our own antioxidants. How does this tie into better brain health?  Read on.

An Inflamed Brain is an Aging Brain.

Dr. David Perlmutter has written two books on the very subject of brain health.  ONE main vein runs through all of his books.  We can eat our way to a better brain.  The other is that inflammation is to the brain what starts our cognitive decline.  Unfortunately it is complicated by any head trauma.  Ketones are proving to be a much better fuel for our brains and the research leans heavy on this subject.

4  Top Tips for a Better Brain

Any time we can cut down on inflammation systemically we benefit our bodies and our brains.  Here are 3 quick tips to reduce inflammation.

  1.  Run on ketones more than glucose and keep simple sugars and carbohydrates below 7o grams daily. 50 is even better
  2.  Anything that affects the gut affects the brain.  Eat a clean, whole food diet. Take a good probiotic multistrain supplement. Avoid diet sodas and processed foods.
  3. Increase antioxidants and inflammation with supplementation.  Food alone is ineffictive at scavenging the free radicals we fact today. Avoid overexercising which causes accelerated inflammation and free radicals.
  4. Try nootropics or combinations of such.  Many increase blood flow and decrease inflammation.  Improvement can be seen when we address these two things.

Learn something NEW!  Exercise your brain the way you exercise your body.  Flexing your “mental muscle” keeps your mind sharp.  Chess anyone?







**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.








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