Nootropics are substances that have been shown to enhance cognitive function, memory, creativity, and motivation, among other things. Nootropic supplements, also known as cognitive enhancers or smart drugs, can be natural or synthetic and work by altering neurotransmitter levels in the brain, increasing blood flow, and protecting brain cells from damage.
Benefits of using Nootropics
People use nootropic supplements for a variety of reasons such as to
- enhance cognitive function, including memory, focus, and creativity
- alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression
- improve mood and motivation
- boost productivity and performance
What makes these Mushroom Supplements Nootropics?
Medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, tremella, and lion's mane are known for their brain-boosting properties and ability to enhance focus and cognitive function. These mushrooms contain compounds that work by increasing blood flow to the brain, supporting the growth and repair of brain cells, and regulating neurotransmitter levels.
Lion's Mane, in particular, contains compounds called erinacines and hericenones, which have been shown to stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF) production in the brain. NGF is a protein that plays a crucial role in the growth, maintenance, and repair of brain cells.
Several studies have suggested that lion's mane may improve memory and learning. For example, one study found that participants who took lion's mane supplements for 12 weeks showed significant improvements in cognitive function.
Reishi contains triterpenes, which have been shown to enhance cognitive function and improve memory retention.
Triterpenes are a type of organic compound that have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties, which can all contribute to improved cognitive function.
Research has also found that triterpenes from reishi mushrooms can help protect the brain against age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Additionally, triterpenes from reishi mushrooms have been found to improve mood and reduce anxiety and depression, which can help to improve cognitive function. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that reishi mushroom extract containing triterpenes improved mood and reduced anxiety in rats.
Tremella contains a unique polysaccharide called Tremella fuciformis polysaccharide (TFP) that has been found to have neuroprotective effects. Studies have shown that TFP has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and support brain function by promoting the growth of neurons and improving cognitive function.
What to look out for when choosing a mushroom nootropic supplement?Choosing a good quality mushroom supplement can be a daunting task, as there are many options available in the market. However, there are a few key things to consider when selecting a high-quality mushroom supplement.
- Look for an organic product, as this ensures that the mushrooms have been grown without the use of harmful chemicals and pesticides. Secondly
- Choose a supplement that has been lab-tested, and with third-party reports available to view. This provides a level of transparency and accountability, which ensures that the supplement is of high quality and safe for consumption.
- Ensure that the supplement has been tested for active compounds, not just polysaccharides. Polysaccharides are a group of complex carbohydrates found in various types of mushrooms, and they have been widely used as a marker of quality in mushroom supplements. However, the problem with relying solely on polysaccharides to assess the quality of mushrooms is that they do not provide a complete picture of the active ingredients present in the mushrooms.
Find out more about assessing the quality of mushrooms here.
Nootropic supplements have the potential to improve memory and focus in individuals who may struggle with cognitive function. These supplements can offer a range of benefits, from increasing the ability to concentrate and improving short-term memory, to reducing fatigue and improving overall alertness. However, it is essential to understand that nootropics are not a quick fix or a magic solution. A healthy lifestyle, including proper diet, exercise, and rest, remains the foundation of good cognitive function. With proper use and a balanced approach, nootropic supplements can be a useful tool in improving memory and focus.