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Herbs

Ephedra or Ma Huang
Ginkgo biloba
Ginseng
Goldenseal
Gotu Kola
Guarana
Hops
Kava Kava
Passion Flower
Skullcap
Schizandra
Valerian Root

B Vitamins :

B Complex Vitamins
B1 (Thiamin)
Niacin (B3)
Pantothenic Acid (B5)
B6 (Pyridoxine)
B12 (Cobalimin)
Choline


Hormones :

Melatonin
DHEA
Pregnenolone


Neurotransmitters and amino acids :

5-hydroxy L-tryptophan
Acetylcarnitine
Pyroglutamate
GABA
Glutamine
Glutamic Acid
Tyrosine
Phosphatidylserine
Phenylalanine

Terminology :

Free Radicals
Neurotransmitter
Synapse

Neurotransmitters:

Norepinephrine
Serotonin
Dopamine
Acetylcholine

CoEnzymes :

CoEnzyme Q10
NADH

Other stuff:

DMAE
Lecithin

HERBS :

Ephedra or Ma Huang :
A nervous system stimulant that is considered a bronchial dilator and decongestant. Has been used for depression and weight loss.

Ginkgo biloba :
Studied extensively in Europe for its ability to increase oxygen and blood flow to the brain. Has been linked to improvements in memory and mental alertness.

Ginseng :
An adaptogen that aids the body in dealing with stress, weakness and fatigue. Also thought to improve memory, concentration and learning.

Goldenseal :
Known mainly for it's antibiotic effects, Goldenseal is also a powerful body cleanser.

Gotu Kola :
Rebuilds energy reserves and increases mental and physical powers.

Guarana :
Unprocessed caffeine.

Hops :
Long known for its remarkable sedating powers, hops has long been used by insomniacs and those who suffer from anxiety.

Kava Kava :
Aids in relieving mental and physical stress without affecting cognitive performance.

Passion Flower :
An herb with a gentle sedative-like effect that has been used to treat hyperactive children, insomniacs and people under stress.

Schizandra :
Helps to increase energy and protects the body against stress.

Skullcap :
A gentle sedative which helps promote restful sleep and alleviate anxiety.

Valerian Root :
Used by many for its tranquilizing effects without any sluggish after-effects. Valerian is found in many European over-the-counter sleep aids.

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B VITAMINS

B Complex Vitamins:
The B vitamins work together to do a great many things for the body, including the maintenance of nerve cells. There have been studies which show that Alzheimer's patients lack B-Complex vitamins. It has also been shown that when taking specific B Vitamins, one should also take a B-Complex Vitamin. Many stress-complex vitamins contain a combination of B-complex and vitamin C

B1 ( Thiamin ) :
Known for its effects on mental attitude and the nervous system. Studies have shown that this water soluble B Vitamin helped increase the learning capacity of children, as well as lessen the severity of certain symptoms in psychiatric patients, including manic depression.

Niacin ( B3 ) :
Has been shown in tests to improve memory.

Pantothenic Acid ( B5 ) :
Important for the conversion of choline into acetylcholine. Helpful in improving the body's ability to deal with stress.

B6 ( Pyridoxine ) :
Promotes mental capabilities by assisting in the transport of amino acids to the brain, where they are used to manufacture neurotransmitters.

B12 ( Cobalimin ) :
Necessary for normal metabolism of nerve tissue. Helps with energy and memory.

Choline :
A building-block of acetylcholine, Choline plays a part in the transmission of nerve impulses. Without choline, brain and nerve function are impaired. Choline is able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, which ordinarily protects the brain against variations in the daily diet.

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HORMONES

Melatonin :
A hormone secreted by the pineal gland. People who take melatonin claim it is an aid for falling asleep and also for avoiding jet lag.

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) :
is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, which the body converts it into testosterone or estrogen. As an individual grows older he/she produces less---shown promise in the area of memory enhancement.

Pregnenolone :
Pregnenolone is a hormone produced in our bodies from cholesterol. It is a precursor to DHEA and progesterone. Pregnenolone has been linked to stress and fatigue reduction. It has also been found to inhibit GABA receptors, thus increasing mental alertness. Pregnenolone is also thought to stimulate NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors which play a part in memory and learning by regulating synapses.

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NEUROTRANSMITTERS and AMINO ACIDS

5-hydroxy L-tryptophan :
5-hydroxy L-tryptophan (5-HTP), is normally converted in the body from Tryptophan (found in food, like turkey). 5-HTP is converted to serotonin, which is then converted into melatonin. Historically Tryptophan itself was taken as a sleeping aid and immune system booster, however since it is no longer available, people now use 5-HTP.
Please note: those on Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) (i.e. Prozac and other drugs) should not take 5-HTP.

Pyroglutamate Acid :
An amino acid shown to improve learning.

GABA :
An amino acid that acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Helps promote sleep and alleviate anxiety.

Glutamine :
Glutamine passes easily from the bloodstream into the brain, where it is then converted to Glutamic Acid. This conversion rids the brain of ammonia, an inhibitor of higher brain functions.

Glutamic Acid :
A neurotransmitter that is used by the brain as fuel. Glutamic Acid increases the firing of neurons and is a pre-cursor of GABA.

Tyrosine :
Tyrosine is a precursor of norepinephrine and dopamine, two neurotransmitters responsible for regulating depression and mood levels.

Acetylcarnitine :
Acetyl L Carnitine transports fats to the body's cell's mitochondria, where they are converted to energy. In this way it helps to reduce unnecessary fat deposits in the brain's nerve cells, thus increasing mental capabilities.

Phosphatidylserine :
A phospholipid found in membranes of brain cells. Thought to increase neurotransmitter activities, dopamine release and acetylcholine release.

Phenylalanine :
An amino acid shown to elevate mood, and which also aids in learning and memory. In the body it may be converted into Tyrosine.

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NEUROTRANSMITTERS:

Norepinephrine :
Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter synthesized by the amino acids L-phenylalanine and L-tyrosine, along with vitamins B6, C, niacin and others. It controls the release of endocrine hormones which regulate sex and metabolism. Norepinephrine is also involved in sleep patterns, learning and memory.

Dopamine :
Like norepinephrine, dopamine is a neurotransmitter synthesized from the amino acids L-phenylalanine and L-tyrosine. It stimulates the pituitary gland to produce a hormone which burns fat and builds muscle. Depression has been linked to low levels of dopamine while schizophrenia has been linked to excess levels.

Serotonin :
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter synthesized from L-tryptophan, and is a pre-cursor to the hormone melatonin. Serotonin plays a major role in regulating sleep, blood clotting, and alleviating depression. Many anti-depressant medications, such as Prozac, Paxil and Effexor, affect serotonin levels.

Acetylcholine :
A neurotransmitter synthesized in the body by choline, lecithin, DMAE and vitamin co-factors such as C and B6. It is important in the role of behavior and memory; low levels of acetylcholine may result in forgetfulness. It is the most abundant neurotransmitter in the body and controls the release of the hormone vasopressin.

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CO-ENZYMES :

CoEnzyme Q10 :
Aids the brain in producing ATP, which is the body's molecule for the storage and release of energy.

NADH :
A derivative of the B vitamin niacin, NADH is coenzyme that plays a major part in energy production in cells. It is a reduced form of NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) containing high energy hydrogen. NADH stimulates the production of such neurotransmitters as L-dopa, dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.

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OTHER STUFF:

DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol) :
Occurring naturally in fish, DMAE is often given credit for having a mild stimulant effect without the quick up and down which comes from caffeine and other stimulants. It is also able to elevate mood and improve memory and learning. People who have taken DMAE for a period of a few weeks often report an increase in physical energy and less of a need for sleep. DMAE also increases the brain's production of acetylcholine.

Lecithin :
A type of lipid, Lecithin is a natural component of the sheath that protects the brain.

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TERMINOLOGY :

Free Radicals :
A free radical is a compound or molecule fragment that has one or more unpaired electrons in its makeup. Unpaired electrons cause these fragments to be very reactive, as their natural state is to have an even number of electrons. The free radical can cause a reaction in which it strips another compound of one of its electrons; then that other compound can become a free radical and perpetuate the process. One free radical can damage a million or more molecules in this self-perpetuating process.

Neurotransmitter :
Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that nerve cells use to communicate with each other across the tiny gaps between nerve cells (called synapses).

Synapse :
A synapse is the tiny gap between two connecting nerve cells. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that can travel across these gaps.

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