David Tomen And Ashley James
- Preventing Alzheimer’s and Dementia is not a sure thing but there are certain things that you can do to really increase your chances of it not happening.
- Free radicals and oxidative damage to the brain is by no means the only cause of cognitive problems and functional decline in your brain
- With the help of certain nootropics or supplements, you can increase your chances.
- Whole foods plant-based diets with healthy fats support brain health.
- Taking the right nootropic supplements can optimize your brain health and protect you from cognitive decline well into the future.
- It is never too late to start taking supplements.
Do you find yourself at times challenged at remembering the things you used to know and even used to really master at life? Memory loss? You would be shocked to discover that it is not a normal part of aging. Today’s podcast will help you understand why and how the decline in brain function starts and basically what to do when realizing that you’re not a sharp as you once were.
[00:00] Ashley James: Hello, True Health seeker and welcome to another exciting episode of Learn True Health podcast. Today, wow you are going to love today’s interview. David Tomen comes back on the show to teach us how to reverse and prevent aging of the brain. Science has shown it actually starts in your 20’s and really starts to take hold in our 40’s. You’ve noticed that you don’t think as clearly as you used to or maybe math which is my thing isn’t coming as naturally or as quickly to you as it used to. You want to hear today’s interview with David Tomen because he teaches us exactly how to help heal the brain and to anti-aging on the brain. Also, how to prevent and reverse big issues like Parkinson’s, Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. I know you’re going to love hearing what he has to say. It’s very technical. There’s a lot of science in it and I know you’re probably going to want to take notes. But here’s the thing, we now transcribe all of our interviews. So you can go ahead and go to learntruehealth.com and read the transcript for this interview. It’s going to take us a little bit of time between posting it to all of the podcast directories and then getting up on our website but once it’s on our website you’ll be able to read this entire interview which is really exciting. Remember to go to learntruehealth.com and check that out because all of the recent episodes have been transcribed for you, which is so great. I know several listeners have told me that they listened to episodes two or three times to take notes. This has been very helpful for them. I want to let you know about two resources because we discussed supplements in this interview specifically magnesium and vitamins. I want to let you know about two of my favorite resources. David mentions in this interview that magnesium is very important for brain health. My favorite source of magnesium is not oral magnesium. It is soaking in magnesium. If you’re a new listener you may have not heard this but if you’ve been around for a while you’ve heard me talk about Kristen Bowen’s magnesium soak which has really been transformative for my life and for my family. Over 2,000 listeners have enjoyed soaking in Kristen’s magnesium and actually come back and told me about it. There’s several threads in our Facebook group, the Learn True Health Facebook group where listeners have shared their positive experience with soaking in the magnesium soak. If you’d like to increase the magnesium in your body because most people are deficient. You’d like to do it without having to take an oral supplement that gives you diarrhea. Let’s be honest, most magnesium supplements do that. You can soak in the magnesium and your body will absorb grams of magnesium every time you soak in it. It’s very concentrated, it’s all-natural, it’s from the Zechstein Sea. You can listen to my interview with Kristen Bowen to learn more about that. You can go to learntruehealth.com and type in Kristen Bowen or type in magnesium in the search box and you’ll find those interviews. Go to livingthegoodlifenaturally.com and use coupon code LTH. That’s the listener coupon code to get your discount and buy a jug of her magnesium soak. It is really transformative. After we introduced it into the bath for our 4-year-old son, he was 3 at that time. He would always fight us every time it was bedtime. After we started adding it to his bath, he would be more relaxed and calm and want to go to sleep. That’s how we felt too. It just relaxes you, it calms you, and it increases sleep. It also increases energy because your body needs it for hundreds of enzymatic processes in the body. Since most people are deficient in magnesium and so many symptoms of magnesium deficiency that could mimic other diseases if you’re experiencing symptoms of anything, you should really try magnesium and try soaking in it. Kristen recommends you do a 30-day challenge. You’d buy one of the jugs and you soak in it every evening for 30 days. I soak in it while I’m in my sauna. You could soak in it while watching TV or when you’re sitting at your desk. Sometimes I do that. I soak while I’m sitting at my desk recording interviews. Just try it and see how you feel and come to the Facebook group. Learn True Health Facebook group and share your experience with soaking in the magnesium. Of course, everything that I’m talking right now is going to be on the show notes of today’s podcast of the learntruehealth.com. So go to livingthegoodlifenaturally.com and use coupon code LTH to try the magnesium soak, which I highly recommend. My second resource for you is where I buy all my vitamins and minerals from, especially my minerals is takeyoursupplements.com. Go to takeyoursupplements.com and fill out the form for a free consultation with a health coach that’ll help you buy the right supplements for you. They specialize in minerals. If you’re looking for a really good trace mineral if you’re looking for a really good selenium complex that is where I’d go. I absolutely highly recommend checking out takeyoursupplements.com for those supplements. Excellent. Enjoy today’s interview. I know you will and please share this interview with all of your friends and family who want to have a healthy brain.
[05:44] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 374. I’m very excited for today’s guest. We have back on the show with us Nootropics Expert David Tomen. He was here first in episode 362 where he taught us about how to heal the brain and balance dopamine and serotonin. Very fascinating story that you have David, where you were able to completely reverse your ADHD using natural substances and that it drove you to want to learn how to balance the brain, heal the brain and support the brain using herbs and supplements and food and just understanding more about the chemistry and science about the brain. Which is something that is not explored enough and you just think that we would just focus on the brain more since that is where we live. Right? I’m very excited to have you back in the show today. We’re going to cover some really interesting information that everyone can benefit from. Welcome back, David.
[06:57] David Tomen: Hi, Ashley. Thanks for having me back.
[07:00] Ashley James: Now, are you sipping your chai tea? We are talking about tea. I’ve got my green tea here I’m sipping. Do you have your organic chai tea you’re sipping right now?
[07:10] David Tomen: I’ve got another kind of Tazo tea. I think it’s oolong.
[07:14] Ashley James: Nice. Okay, there’s oolong in mine too. So, cheers.
[07:16] David Tomen: Excellent. Cheers.
[07:17] Ashley James: And we know that these teas have nice phytonutrients in it for the brain.
[07:23] David Tomen: I think they do. [Laughter] They’ll keep us calm during the podcast and we’ll be able to think quicker and live longer.
[07:34] Ashley James: Hold on while I chug mine. [Laughter]
[07:38] David Tomen: There, you just added two minutes to your life. [Laughter]
[07:41] Ashley James: Excellent. David, we were discussing a few days ago what we discussed today and you said, you mentioned, you rattled off some amazing topics all of which I want you to keep coming back on the show to teach but one of them really struck a chord for me and it was the aging brain and how to prevent. How to foresee the signs of it and how to prevent it. How to reverse it. You mentioned things like becoming forgetful or possibly like losing certain skills you used to have and that really struck a chord with me because in my 20s, I was a math whiz. You could throw math at me all day long. I was like a human calculator and now, I can barely add single digits. It’s just I have to like count on my fingers and it’s like, “What happened?” I feel like a part of my brain just shut down and I don’t have access to the same skills that I used to have and I’m approaching 40. I’m not a candidate for dementia hopefully. What’s going on? You have a great explanation so for those who might notice that they’re less sharp than they used to be or they have a bit more brain fog or possibly they’re concerned that they might end up with dementia. You’re here to teach us today how to take care of your brain so that we can reverse its age and become even healthier brain-wise.
[09:09] David Tomen: With a little bit of work you can get your math skills back. The thing is that we all know some people that have lived past 90 years old, right? They’ve enjoyed a really well functional brain until the very end so we know it’s possible to maintain a fully optimized brain right throughout our life. Most of us also know that people that have got Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s or Dementia, I’ve got people of my own family. My father-in-law’s’ got Parkinson’s. But neurodegenerative disease affects not just one person either like close family members and your friends impact as well. It’s not just you if your brain feeling is effective it’s everybody in the circle around you. The thing is that the memory loss that you just described is not a normal part of aging. It really isn’t. Recent research in aging and brain function found that as we get older, individual brain molecule cells and cellular circulation and even the physical shape of your brain are affected in some way. Some of these changes are right around your 21st birthday. If you’re young biohacker listening to this podcast, this podcast is just as much for you as it is for the aging baby boomer or the senior citizen. We know that the brain responds to the same types of insults that we throw at it with as the rest of your body. It gets attacked by stress, nutritional deficiency, poor diet, toxins, not enough exercise and sleep. These things all affect cognition but the human brain has an amazing ability to repair and maintain itself even up to old age. All we have to do is give it what it needs to survive and thrive. That’s kind of like our start. We can all just go through, when I was researching this, I divided it into segments so that it was easier to comprehend and understand. There’s five different segments and we’ll talk about each one of these in plain English so that anybody can understand what we’re talking about and some tips about how to take care of the particular thing.
[11:35] Ashley James: Sounds great.
[11:36] David Tomen: Yes. The first thing that we have to deal with our free radicals and brain aging. Now we’ve got extensive research that shows oxidation of DNA proteins and lipids by free radicals are responsible for functional decline in your brain. As estimated, that 10,000-oxidated interaction between DNA and free radicals in each one of your brain cells occurs every day. But as you get older at least one out of every three proteins per cell is dysfunctional because of oxidative damage.
[12:14] Ashley James: Wow.
[12:16] David Tomen: So free radicals and oxidative damage to the brain is by no means the only cause of cognitive problems but their rule of free radicals and [Inaudible 12:26] dysfunction is a really major issue and it’s fairly simple to take care of it.
[12:36] Ashley James: In terms of the free radical damage that happens to the brain. It’s kind of approaching it in all fronts because free radical damage harms the circulation to the brain and also the circulation away from the brain so bringing fresh nutrients to the brain and removing the waste away from the brain. The free radical damage would cause inflammation to all the vasculature that’s sort of one insult to the brain that’s happening every day but then you’re saying it’s also affecting the protein synthesis in the brain and it’s also affecting the DNA itself.
[13:15] David Tomen: Yes, right down to the DNA. When you think about it, free radicals and oxidation are a normal part of how our brain works because when you are sending oxygen and nutrients into brain cells, into the mitochondria to use the skill, there’s a burning process that takes place. We’re talking about energy production but whenever there’s energy production there’s also waste because once the fatty acids, for example, are used up they’re oxidized fatty acids and we have a built-in immune system that helps flush the stuff out but it gets out of hand as we get older. Our body cannot cope with the free radical, the normal free radical process that’s going on in our system, we can’t cope with the onslaught and if you don’t do something about it, you just don’t catch up cells get damaged and they die. Let’s talk about a couple of things that you can do to help stop this and reverse it. Yes?
[14:23] Ashley James: Awesome. Let’s do it. Let’s jump in.
[14:25] David Tomen: All right. Alpha lipoic acid is a naturally-occurring, sulfur-containing fatty acid that is very unique among antioxidants. Because it is both water and fat-soluble. It’s got a unique ability to neutralize free radicals in all cellular environments. This antioxidant can even reduce brain damage after a stroke.
[14:51] Ashley James: Wow. Very cool. Where does it come from? Alpha lipoic acid?
[14:54] David Tomen: Well, lipoic acid is a naturally occurring fatty acid in your body and what we do know is that lipoic acid helps boost the synthesis of acetylcholine that increases glucose uptake in brain cells. Lipoic acid is actually part of the synthesis of acetylcholine. If you don’t have lipoic acid you cannot synthesize acetylcholine so it’s part of that process. Lipoic acid regenerates other depleted anti-oxidants that are already in your system like vitamins C and E, glutathione and it recycles CoQ10. It reduces inflammation, it gets rid of heavy metals and boosts cellular energy and memory
[15:40] Ashley James: Very cool. I just pulled up Alpha lipoic acid is a vitamin-like chemical called an antioxidant. You can get it from yeast, liver, kidney, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes. They are all very good sources of it. You can have it also use it as a supplement. Even though if you eat lots of broccoli and spinach, I’d still, if you’re looking to heal the brain I would still use it as a supplement.
[16:05] David Tomen: Absolutely. 50 – 600 mg a day depending on what you’re trying to cure.
[16:13] Ashley James: Would you divide that up if someone decided to do the full dose like the full 600 mg a day? Would they divide that up?
[16:22] David Tomen: I would divide that up into three. For example, for diabetic neuropathy, it’s recommended to use 800 mg a day so you divide that into two doses. You’ll need 400 mg in the morning and 400 mg early afternoon.
[16:34] Ashley James: Is it best to take on an empty stomach or with food?
[16:37] David Tomen: This one on an empty stomach but it’s like it doesn’t really matter with lipoic acid because it’s both water and fat-soluble. I did make some notes when I was researching this that eating it with amino decreases its bioavailability. So taking it on an empty stomach is better but it’s not going to kill you if you happen to make a mistake and you eat it right after a meal.
[17:11] Ashley James: The benefits of supplements is you’re not going to have these large reactions if you took a drug the wrong way.
[17:19] David Tomen: Yes. It’s just going to work better if you take it on an empty stomach. The thing about alpha lipoic acid supplements they contain a mixture of RLA and SLA. RLA is the natural kind of lipoic acid that’s found in our system. S lipoic acid is the synthetic kind. The thing is that R lipoic acid is pretty unstable. They combine it 50-50 with synthetic lipoic acid just to maintain it’s stability so that they could put in the capsule so you could take it as a supplement.
[18:03] Ashley James: Do you find that even though half of it is synthetic, people still gain benefit from taking it?
[18:09] David Tomen: Absolutely. There are a couple of R Lipoic acid versions that have been produced that are patented that would improve the stability of that particular as RSLA is a little bit more expensive but it’s possible to get plain RLA. You’re just going to pay more for it.
[18:26] Ashley James: I know one from Japan that was they claim it to be all-natural and stable.
[18:43] David Tomen: Yes. That’s the one that they used in Performance Lab Energy’s got that and that’s the one that I use. Anyway, that is lipoic acid. Another one that you can do is CoQ10. This is a natural antioxidant synthesized in every single cell in your body and brain and it helps produce adenosine triphosphate which is your mitochondria source of energy. There’s two types of CoQ10. There’s one ubiquinone. It gets converted to ubiquinol your cells and then once ubiquinol gets converted back to ubiquinone. We find that people that are over 40, there’s some research that shows that if you supplement with ubiquinol you get more benefit. Then some other people say ubiquinone is better for them. They get as much benefit from ubiquinone as they do from ubiquinol. One is more expensive than the other.
[19:41] Ashley James: I know that you have some supplements brands that you specifically recommend. We’ll make sure that we include that in the information on the show notes because after we had you on the first time, several listeners have reached out to me and said, “What brand do I get? David didn’t tell us what brand.” I know you’ve looked into the quality and the –
[20:11] David Tomen: I look deeply into the quality.
[20:11] Ashley James: Yes and I really want to make sure that we protect the listener that they make sure that they have access to the best quality.
[20:20] David Tomen: Okay. I know that alpha lipoic acid, the R lipoic acid that we’re talking about and Coenzyme Q10 are both available in Performance Lab Energy which is the one that I use.
[20:30] Ashley James: Okay. Great.
[20:32] David Tomen: Creatine. Creatine is a non-essential amino acid that synthesized in your liver and your brain uses it to recharge adenosine triphosphate that fuels mitochondria. ATP is directly involved in producing packaging and secreting neurotransmitters, which obviously affects intelligence, improves memory, faster thinking, improves mood. Creatine fuels ATP, which boosts cellular metabolism. This is another way that you can energize your cells. Another natural one is Gingko Biloba. Gingko is one of the oldest species of trees on earth. Gingko increases nitric oxide levels, which dilate blood vessels which increases cerebral circulation which improves oxygen and glucose availability to neurons which improve memory recall, cognition, and learning. There was one interesting study with 31 stroke patients that look at the effects of gingko in stroke recovery. The patients were given with 1,500 mg of gingko per day and the researchers found that the stroke patients using gingko had lower oxidative stress, inflammation, and better anti-oxidant levels. Along with the greater decrease in C-reactive proteins and an increase in circulating antioxidants.
[22:05] Ashely James: I love it. This is where it’s buyer beware. There was a group decided to test how much gingko Biloba was on the shelf at Walmart or Target or whatever pharmacy you could just buy capsules of Gingko Biloba and they discovered that many of the over the counter gingko Biloba supplements contain 100% filler and zero gingko Biloba.
[22:37] David Tomen: That happened in New York. That was when New York attorney general sued and went after Target, CBS, Walmart, and Walgreens I think and a couple of other big retailers that are white labeling these supplements and that’s what exactly what happened. I actually spent quite a bit of time and I wrote a couple of posts on this on how to choose the best supplement. We can do a whole podcast on just this but generally what you’re looking for is stay away from department store brands and drugstore brands of supplements because they sell drugs. That’s not their business. Look for a company that that’s all they do is produces and sells supplements. The Vitamin Shoppe is a good example although they were guilty of putting out some crap in years past but have lightly changed the way they’re doing things and they test everything now but other big brands like Now foods, Doctor’s Best, Nature’s Way. These companies all test their stuff before it goes into production, during production then after encapsulation before they ship it and will actually send you a certificate of analysis proving that what’s in that batch of capsules is actually in there on request. They usually indicate this to their website. A company like the Bulk Supplements for example. I believe you can pull download a certificate of analysis right from their website. A couple of companies do that but most of them you have to ask for it.
[24:31] Ashely James: Got it. I love it.
[24:34] David Tomen: Gingko, 40 mg three times a day.
[24:37] Ashely James: How much Creatine should we take?
[24:40] David Tomen: Creatine is kind of like up in the air grams. Creatine is a funny one because it’s sold as to the athletic world. There’s a bunch of different kinds of Creatine and from my research what I found is just that Creatine modified by a reputable supplement manufacturer works just as well as the other fancy ones. Up to five grams a day.
[25:19] Ashely James: Is that on empty stomach?
[25:22] David Tomen: Creatine probably better on an empty stomach otherwise it’s going to compete with stuff that’s going on because when you eat protein, for example, you’ve got transporters in your gut that help transport it to place in your body like your brain. When you take a supplement that is competing for the same transports one is going to win over the other one. Right? So it may work, it may not. It’s kind of like you’re not sure who’s going to win. Some things better to take on an empty stomach so it’s not competing with anything else.
[26:02] Ashely James: The CoQ10, I find it fascinating that those who are on Statin drugs need to take CoQ10 because statin drugs inhibit the body’s ability to produce CoQ10. We need CoQ10 for the heart to beat. It’s very, very important. Those on statin drugs will feel fatigued and exhausted as one of the side effects because the statin drugs are inhibiting the body’s ability to produce CoQ10 so their bodies just ran out of fuel so they have to supplement. But they’re told to supplement a very small amount. How much CoQ10 is optimal to take daily?
[26:41] David Tomen: 2 – 400 mg.
[26:44] Ashely James: Would you say that would be on empty stomach or with food?
[26:51] David Tomen: I’m not so sure that it makes a difference with CoQ10.
[26:56] Ashely James: There’s one thing about CoQ10 is we can take too much. Back when we lived in Las Vegas, I was supplementing with CoQ10 and a few other things. My husband had to go to work at 4 in the morning. I’d wake up and make him lunch and see him off. Sometimes I’d go back to bed. Sometimes I’d stay up. I woke up, I made him his lunch. I took my supplements, my 400 mg of CoQ10 and then I fell asleep on the couch. Woke up again, forgot I took my supplements, took another 400mg and I might have done it again later in the day forgetting I had taken my supplements but I ended up having a negative reaction. I thought I was going to die. My heart was just beating like crazy. No matter how much I breathe, I couldn’t get oxygen into my lungs. I felt like I was drowning. And I was lying there in the couch going, “That’s it. My husband’s going to come home and he’s going to find his wife dead.” Later upon looking this up and talking to a naturopath, I discovered that you can take if you take too much CoQ10 it can cause an adrenal dump. I was experiencing basically my adrenal is completely dumping and me going through that stress response not knowing what I was stressed about lying on the couch thinking I was going to die. It’s not lethal but it can be very uncomfortable to take too much CoQ10 which you have to really, really overdose but if you stay under the 400 mg a day you’re not going to experience what I experienced.
[28:46] David Tomen: I’ve got even more specific dosage recommendations than that on my CoQ10 dosage notes on the Nootropics Expert. For example, if you’re using it as an anti-oxidant, 60 – 150 mg per day, for muscle control problems 300 – 3,000 mg. For Alzheimer’s disease 400 mg. For heart attack recovery, 30 – 600 mg. Even I’ve got other ones too, male infertility and Peyronie’s disease, 30 – 300 mg. Diabetic nerve pain, 400 mg. Weight loss, 100 mg. The dosage recommendations were pretty specific on what you’re trying to do. If you’re just using it if you’re a reasonably healthy person and you just want to use it as help boost your anti-oxidant defenses 60 – 150 mg.
[29:40] Ashley James: Got it. Awesome. We’ve got the Alpha lipoic acid, the CoQ10, Creatine, Gingko Biloba. What’s next?
[29:51] David Tomen: N-acetyl L-Cysteine. This is naturally occurring amino acid. Well, it’s L-cysteine. There’s just an acetyl group added to it to increase its bioavailability and it works primarily by restoring glutathione.
[30:11] Ashley James: I’ve got some right here. NAC right?
[30:16] David Tomen: Yup. NAC. I think NAC is an amazing supplement because it not only does it helps glutathione I find that when I’m using NAC, when everybody else around me has got the flu or a cold, I don’t get it but it also helps restore dopamine receptors which is really important for me being adult ADD and using Ritalin. Right? 600 mg three times a day.
[30:43] Ashley James: Oh, man. I’m taking 500 mg twice a day so you’re saying 600 mg three times a day?
[30:51] David Tomen: 500 mg twice a day is good. But you can take another one.
[30:58] Ashley James: Did you say 600 three times a day?
[31:00] David Tomen: Yes.
[31:01] Ashley James: Okay, three times a day. What introduced me to NAC, my son before we figured out why he was having this constant runny nose, stuffy nose then occasional asthma and he’s so healthy, eats so clean, “What’s going on?” and we finally found our naturopathic pediatrician that he has allergies. To dust mites then he has about seven food allergies just odd foods like garlic which is in everything. It’s really hard to avoid garlic obviously he does a lot of meals at home of garlic, oats, dairy, and fish. Just pretty much all the fish he’s allergic to. If he’s exposed to garlic for example. He’ll have stuffy nose. If it’s garlic and then he goes and plays at a friend’s house and he’s exposed to more dust mites, it’s kind of a one-two punch his histamine goes through the roof and he can get into a bit of asthma or his nose becomes completely clogged and so our naturopath said for him to take NAC every day. That NAC in large doses causes mucus to become more fluid and so if you have a stuffy nose, then by taking it, it’ll drain the nose. At one point I had a head cold and I just took NAC all day long. I couldn’t believe it. It was so wonderful. It just drained the area and also the added benefit that it’s a wonderful support for our anti-oxidant system in the body. I have seen positive results from this supplement.
[32:43] David Tomen: It’s one of my favorite supplements. Anti-inflammatory as a free radical scavenger. It’s just NAC is good stuff. Get some.
[32:56] Ashley James: On your website, do you sell it? Do you have links to your favorite brand?
[33:03] David Tomen: For some, I started to do that. I don’t think that I did it for NAC. I use Doctor’s Best.
[33:15] Ashley James: Okay, great. I just buy it straight from my naturopath. They branded themselves so I don’t know who makes it but I trust my naturopath but Doctor’s Best is a good brand.
[33:30] David Tomen: You’ll know that if it’s working if you’re getting results from it you know that it’s a good supplement.
[33:34] Ashley James: Yes, we’re getting results so I’m happy with it. If you don’t get any results from NAC then change brands.
[33:41] David Tomen: Exactly. [Laughter]
[33:34] Ashley James: Awesome.
[33:46] David Tomen: The next thing that we should talk about is synapses and brain aging.
[33:51] Ashley James: Before we do, can you explain for those who don’t know the synapses? Can you give people the basic understating of why the synapses is important?
[34:03] David Tomen: I call it an empty space but it’s not really an empty space between neurons. When neurons fire they send electrical signals across the synaptic cleft to the neuron next door. It’s like the joint between neurons. The communication junction between neurons.
[34:28] Ashley James: It’s like the cell tower between the two cellphones.
[34:32] David Tomen: Kind of like that, yes. Synapses they wear out. For example, when they did autopsies on Alzheimer’s patients, they found that there was a profound decrease in synapse numbers in brain regions involving learning and memory. Same thing with Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease. The reduction of number of synapses in your brain could be part of the cause for brain shrinkage as we get older as well. Now you seen these stories of how your brain shrinks as you get older. One of the reasons is you’re losing synapses. Our brain loses 5% of its weight per decade after the age 40, part of that is synapse loss. When you start losing synapses of they’re break and they don’t work, your brain signaling starts breaking down. That’s how our brain works. It’s by signaling between neurons and when it can’t signal anymore, you’re in big trouble. We know that we can increase the number of synapses it’s called synaptogenesis. The growth of new synapses by increasing brain-derived nootropic factor. I wrote a separate post on 13 different nootropics that I identified to boost BDNF or Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. One neuroscientist called it miracle growth for the brain.
[36:15] Ashley James: [Laughter] Sign me up.
[36:19] David Tomen: Right? You can boost BDNF with Ashwagandha. Ashwagandha is been used before thousands of years but recent researches have shown that Ashwagandha helps regenerate axons and dendrites in synapses.
[36:39] Ashley James: Fascinating. I love Ashwagandha because it is so nice and tonifying for the adrenals. I know it from that angle. You know, from the brain angle.
[36:51] David Tomen: It’s a very, very powerful supplement.
[36:54] Ashley James: Would you recommend it someone just to drink it as a tea all day long? Take it in a capsule form? How much Ashwagandha would be beneficial?
[37:05] David Tomen: 250 – 500 mg a day. Probably the easiest way to make sure that you’re getting the exact doses by taking capsules. But again, there is usually it’s typically Ashwagandha extract and the ayurvedic pharmacopeia of India recommends 3 – 6 g daily of standard ground Ashwagandha powder but we typically buy an extract that’s 45% with anilides. If it’s 45% with anilides, it depends what we want to do. For arthritis, 250 – 500 mg. For antioxidant production, 100 mg. For immunity, 100 – 200 mg. For sexual performance, 250 – 500 mg. It depends on what you want to use it for. If you’re going to take 500 mg you divide the dose up to 250 mg in the morning and then 250 mg in early afternoon.
[38:11] Ashley James: Is this something you take with food or without food?
[38:13] David Tomen: It doesn’t matter with Ashwagandha.
[38:17] Ashley James: So you can’t take it with your food?
[38:21] David Tomen: You can take it with your food. It’s better to find an extract from a reputable company because you know what’s on the labels is actually what’s on the capsule and preferably there’s no other ingredient listed on the label either and certified organic is even better.
[38:41] Ashley James: Right. Especially if it’s an extract since it’s like a concentrate you don’t want concentrated pesticides in your supplement.
[38:49] David Tomen: Or heavy metals or herbicides. Ashwagandha is good for restoring synapses. Artichoke extract is a natural PDE4 inhibitor that supports the secondary messenger cyclic adenosine monophosphate or cAMP. cAMP helps stimulate the productions of CREB which stands for cAMP response element-binding protein. That CREB is a protein that’s needed for new neuron and synapse growth. I know that sounds a little complicated.
[39:29] Ashley James: No, like it. It sounds delicious. I love artichoke. Could I just eat artichokes all day or is this really strong concentrate?
[39:38] David Tomen: Artichoke extract is preferable. Artichoke extract because it increases CREB. It also enhances long-term potentiation. Long-term potentiation is what’s behind the encoding of long term memory. Recommended dosage is 400 mg a day, I’m sorry 900 mg a day.
[40:06] Ashley James: Do we divide that up? Or just?
[40:08] David Tomen: Preferably, yes. Most of these supplements, when you get into higher dosages like that it’s preferable to divide them up into two or three. Which is generally easy to do because you can get artichoke extract for example 300 mg taken three times a day.
[40:25] Ashley James: Right. I’ve never heard of artichoke extract. I’ve never considered an artichoke as an herb or medicinal plant. So it’s very cool.
[40:36] David Tomen: It is. The next one is a very, very powerful supplement and that’s Berberine. Berberine increases glucagon-like peptide or GLP-1. This is peptide hormone plays a critical role in controlling diabetes but it’s also involved in cognition, learning, and neuroprotection. Studies have shown that when you enhance GLP-1, it enhances synaptic plasticity. It also reduces the aggregation of amyloid-β protein and Tau. Berberine can help prevent Alzheimer’s. I actually use it for insulin resistance.
[41:27] Ashley James: How much Berberine is good to take and can we take it with food or without food?
[41:33] David Tomen: You can take it with food. How much do I take? I’m trying to remember what’s on the bottle. The recommended dose is between 900 – 1,500 mg a day. I think I might use 500 mg. I’m taking that three times a day. I found that once I started taking it when I got my labs back, they were normal.
[41:57] Ashley James: Nice. You mentioned diabetes and I think that’s really important to touch on is that there seemed that even if you don’t diabetes, you have just pre-diabetes or your blood sugar is not optimal. Even just having not optimal blood sugars, so your blood sugars high sometimes but not enough to consider diabetes, even that is enough to do damage to the brain. They’re finding that they can do brain scans and see that your brain has significantly aged and lost vasculature significantly because of unregulated high blood sugar. It’s like when a disease is painful, like arthritis, it gets a softer buts to take action and do something about it but when it’s silent like high blood pressure or having unregulated blood sugar, sometimes we’re not aware of the symptoms, right? There’s no pain so we’re not motivated to do something about it. Here the motivator is if we don’t have really good blood sugar then it is destroying our brain and many other parts of our body that we don’t see but high blood sugar causes damage to the circulatory system across the board and inflammation, especially to the brain. They’re seeing that even just pre-diabetes is enough to do a lot of damage to the brain. People with full-blown diabetes especially if they’ve had periods of unregulated high blood sugar that the brain is very negatively affected and ages very quickly in that state. Berberine wonderful recommendation.
[44:05] David Tomen: One of the drugs that are the primary the most popular drug that most doctors prescribe for pre-diabetes is Metformin. Berberine in clinical trials has been found to be as good as Metformin for diabetes.
[44:27] Ashley James: They tried to put me on Metformin. I was type-2 diabetic and I reversed it with naturopathic medicine and that’s one of the reasons why I do this podcast. They tried to put me on metformin and it made me so sick. I’m so thankful that I experienced every single side effect that it has. One of my friends actually went on metformin and it caused her to be in and out of the hospital for a year with acute pancreatitis. She was only able to drink broth for an entire year and it made her so sick. It made me sick but I would not have to live in a hospital but I experienced all the symptoms and decided to get off of it and decided to look for the more natural route. A lot of times people are put on Metformin even preventively like, “You’re pre-diabetic. Let’s get you a Metformin now so we can prevent you from going further.” I love that you’re pointing out that Berberine can be more effective and also much less side effects.
[45:34] David Tomen: Far, far for your side effects. The only side effect that I came across was long-term use of Berberine can affect muscle protein synthesis and cause muscle atrophy. If you’re worried about muscle loss either don’t use Berberine or exercise a little bit.
[45:54] Ashley James: There you go, or use it short term.
[45:58] David Tomen: Use it short term but it is a very, very potent supplement. Moving on, Berberine, Forskolin. Forskolin is the only known nootropic supplement to naturally and directly boost cAMP which is Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate.
[46:20] Ashley James: Can you spell that? Forskolin?
[46:22] David Tomen: F-O-R-S-K-O-L-I-N. Forskolin. We already talked about this with artichoke extract. cAMP directly stimulates the production of CREB which is the protein needed for new neuron and synapse growth and CREB enhances long-term potentiation. Either from artichoke extract or forskolin.
[46:57] Ashley James: So they would do one or the other?
[47:00] David Tomen: One or the other. For Forskolin, 125 – 250 mg a day. Another one that’s very effective for synapses is Vitamin B8, Inositol. Inositol which is naturally not really a vitamin they found out but Inositol acts as a “secondary messenger” that facilitates communication between brain cells. Lower than normal levels of Myo-inositol in middle-aged adults can signal the initial stages of cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. My wife uses inositol actually for lipido. Myo-inositol is pretty amazing supplements for whole bunch of different reasons but it will help you grow on your synapses. It helps boosts serotonin and dopamine in your brain, dopamine. And serotonin receptor sensitivity. It improves the effectiveness of serotonin glutamate and dopamine. Myo-inositol effects MRNA, which regulates cell volume. Phosphatidylinositol signaling pathways control signals inside and outside our brain cells. Inositol plays a role in DNA repair, long-term potentiation. It’s a component of brain cell membranes that regulates cell metabolism and cellular energy consumption.
[48:42] Ashley James: Is this something that’s normally in just a multi B vitamin or should we take it separately?
[48:51] David Tomen: This one you need to take in separately because it’s not in most B supplements and you want to look specifically for Myo-inositol. It’s M-Y-O dash Inositol.
[49:07] Ashley James: Is this something that we can take on an empty stomach or with food?
[49:12] David Tomen: You can take this on either one. Empty stomach or on food. This is a pretty amazing supplement actually. It’s one of those unsung supplements that most people don’t know about. It makes it easier for you to fall asleep but it doesn’t knock you out like sleep meds do. It increases serotonin, dopamine receptors densities so that you can think faster and your memory is better.
[49:42] Ashley James: Sign me up.
[49:44] David Tomen: Yes. Inositol is great for social occasions because anxiety levels decrease. Inositol outperformed Prozac at reducing panic attacks in one clinical study.
[49:59] Ashley James: Wow.
[50:00] David Tomen: Wasn’t that amazing?
[50:01] Ashley James: It is amazing. Now, are there foods that we can increase to get this?
[50:08] David Tomen: Not that on amounts that we need it. If we need it.
[50:17] Ashley James: We want the concentration if we want to prevent panic attacks for example?
[50:22] David Tomen: Yes.
[50:23] Ashley James: Right.
[50:24] David Tomen: If you want to avoid Prozac but you still need the help, try out Inositol. The nice thing about Inositol is that you can use it with an anti-depressant. A lot of supplements you can’t because you’ll get into big trouble but Myo-Inositol is not a problem. Actually it helps, it seems to improve, it helps make your anti-depressant meds work better.
[50:51] Ashley James: Now I know that you take on clients that you just coach people and a lot of people will come to you because they’re on anti-depressants or they’re are other ends and they want to take in supplements but they don’t know what’s going to negatively effects them. We talked about this a little bit in episode 362 that most doctors have no training around, I meant the doctors would prescribe you with an anti-depressant but they don’t really know about the supplements and the herbs and what would be good and not good to take. This is just not in the real house. Can a listener get an appointment with you if they are on medication and they want to know if these nootropics would be okay? Do you have that level of research under your belt?
[51:49] David Tomen: Yes. I have been that. I have been doing consulting several times a week since I started about a year ago. It’s turning out to be pretty popular. If you’re using to this internationally, we’ll do it over Skype. If you’re in the United States or Canada we can do it over Skype or just over the phone but I do have power sessions or one hour sessions. Typically, the initial consultation is an hour because there’s so much to cover but if somebody’s dealing with depression for example and are on anti-depressants and want to get off or just want to start nootropics but don’t know where to start because it could be dangerous to combine some of this stuff, I’ll walk you through all that.
[52:30] Ashley James: Right because you’ve looked at all the studies so you’re basing it all on the science which I really appreciate.
[52:38] David Tomen: Yes. You can get yourself into loads and loads of trouble using some of these supplements.
[52:43] Ashley James: Right. If you’re on medication. If a listener is is not on any medication, they’re free to take these supplements, you’ve given us the doses at very safe levels?
[52:55] David Tomen: Yes.
[52:57] Ashley James: Excellent. I take it that none of these supplements would contradict the other ones. They will complement.
[53:06] David Tomen: You can take all of those at the same time for these particular thing for synapses then you’re fine. Included in this lesson, we still have more to go here so we’re going to have to move on but I also have to help synapse growth, magnesium, Pterostilbene, Uridine Monophosphate. Those all help restore synapse growth. The next thing I’d like to talk about Ashley is, Alzheimer’s and dementia and brain aging because it’s a growing problem. In the case of Alzheimer’s for example, they’re looking for drugs that inhibit amyloid b protein intel production. Nobody has been able to come up with the secret sauce yet with whatever drug that prevents Alzheimer’s but there are supplements you can take to help prevent it from happening. For example, Huperzine-A. Boosts neuron resistance to beta-amyloid–induced dysfunction that could lead to diseases like Alzheimer’s. Beta-amyloid affects ATP levels in mitochondria. Huperzine-A protects against this damage. Huperzine-A is 200 micrograms per day once every third day. You can’t use the supplements every day. Another great one for preventing B-Amyloid aggregation is Resveratrol because Resveratrol activates AMPK, which reduces levels of Amyloid-beta deposits in the cerebral cortex. It prevents β-amyloid aggregation by scavenging oxygen free radicals, which induces protective enzymes such as heme oxygenase. Which prevents the build-up of deposits causing Alzheimer’s. Resveratrol, depending on what you’re using it for 20 – 250 mg a day. Piracetam. We haven’t talked much about the Piracetams or the Racetams but Piracetam was the very first nootropic ever invented. It was invented back in 1962. I believe it was. It’s used as a prescription drug in many places around the world to treat things like brain aging, brain injuries, dementia and Alzheimer’s. Several studies show that Piracetam enhances ATP production. Mitochondria membranes and neuroid outgrow in neurons. One study the researches shows Piracetam is able to repair mitochondria in those with mild Alzheimer’s and return their cellular function back to normal. Which is a very big deal. Piracetam you have to know how to dose it. They don’t call it a dietary supplement in the United States but you can buy it as a supplement they call it a research compound. It’s not something that you can buy in like Amazon but there’s a few companies that sell it online like Nootropics Depot for example. Dosage is usually 4,000 mg a day divided into three doses but you have to take it with Alpha GPC or CBP choline because it boosts the use of acetylcholine in your brain and if you don’t take it with acetylcholine supplement, you’ll get a headache.
[56:51] Ashley James: Why don’t they just include it?
[56:57] David Tomen: That’s a very good question. [Laughter] I don’t know.
[57:00] Ashley James: They’re selling something that an uninformed person would get a headache every time they took the supplement. You think that they’d want to prevent that.
[57:08] David Tomen: The thing is that the uninformed person doesn’t buy something like Piracetam. Right? Because you have to search this out and find it. It’s actually called nootropil when it’s sold as a drug in some countries but here you just look for Piracetam. It was invented by Dr. Corneliu Giurgea. He was the one who coined the term nootropic in 1973.
[57:41] Ashley James: I’m going to put it out there. I think you should work with a really good company in private label supplement and just take all these wonderful nutrients and make some kind of multi-nootropic and you should sell that because I would buy that.
[58:02] David Tomen: You know it will probably be better to make individual stacks to treat depending on what you’re trying to treat. That’s a whole other conversation. Several people have suggested that I do it. It’s just starting a supplement company, it’s an undertaking.
[58:20] Ashley James: I bet. Yes. We’re all rooting for you.
[58:28] David Tomen: Thank you. St. John’s Wort. Research shows that St. John’s Wort extract decreases oxidative stress. It prevents neurotoxicity. It controls inflammation. And maybe an effective treatment for oxidative stress-related neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. St John’s Wort is easy to get but you have to be very careful with St. John’s Wort because it’s not something you combine with SSRI or you can get yourself into a load of trouble. If you’re not taking any anti-depressants or anti-anxiety drugs, St. John’s Wort is a fantastic option. 900 – 1,800 mg a day. The research shows that it has effective for anxiety and depression as prescription drugs. But we have the side benefit that it could possibly prevent Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Turmeric. Curcumin, which is the most active compound in turmeric, may help macrophages clear the amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin is something that we can do an entire podcast on because it does so many different things but just to sum it up, studies show that curcumin binds to amyloid-beta proteins found in Alzheimer’s disease and blocks its self-assembly. Studies show that heavy metals can induce Amyloid-beta aggregation that is concentrated in Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin, by interaction with heavy metals such as cadmium and lead, prevents the neurotoxicity caused by these metals.
[01:00:25] Ashley James: Really? Oh, that’s cool. Does it cross the blood-brain barrier?
[01:00:31] David Tomen: It does. It just needs a little help. They found that they could boost the bioavailability of curcumin or turmeric by 2,000% by using it with Piperine.
[01:00:45] Ashley James: Right. Adding the black pepper. That’s the only reason why I have black pepper at the house, it’s to boost my curry. [Laughter]
[01:00:58] David Tomen: I actually use Bioperine on it. I’ve got a separate Bioperine supplement that I use for certain supplements to boost their availability. Now, let’s talk about vascular dementia and cerebral circulation. Your chances of developing white matter lesions and strokes and dementia increases as you age. If your family has a history of these types of diseases, your chances are even higher for this happening. White matter lesions are damage to the white matter in your brain and the primary cause seems to be bad blood circulation. Blood vessel damages associated with high blood pressure and small vessel disease would put you at a greater risk for stroke and other problems. Dementia and vascular dementia seems to be related. Both types are associated with a host of brain problems including increased risk of Alzheimer’s, stroke, disorder of the blood-brain barrier and arterial sclerosis. Research shows that problems with cerebral blood follow and white matter lesions in other associated brain cellular changes begin in mid-life. So like around 40. It’s never too early to start using some of this stuff. How do we boost cerebral circulation? We can do that with cat’s claw. Cat’s claw is a South American vine. That’s a very potent anti-inflammatory, it’s antioxidant effects that support DNA repair, immune function and normal cell division. Cat’s Claw has been shown in clinical studies to protect the brain from damage from stroke. Recommended dosage of Cat’s Claw standardized extract is 250 – 350 mg a day. Forskolin, which we already talked about, also helps boost cerebral circulation. Gingko Biloba, which we already talked about, also increases cerebral blood flow because it increases nitric oxide. Oat straw increases blood flow through several different mechanisms of action. It contains the amino acid arginine, which synthesizes to create nitric oxide. Nitric oxide dilates blood vessels allowing blood to flow easier. There are also, they’re hard to pronounce but they’re certain bioactive compounds that are unique to oats that has been shown to enhance nitric oxide production in human smooth muscle cells. It suppresses the inflammatory cytokines that work in combination with increased nitric oxide, which increases blood flow. Recommended dosage for Oat Straw extract is 800 – 1,600 mg a day. Another good one that we haven’t talked about is Pine Bark Extract. Pine Bark Extract as a nootropic is used primarily to increase cerebral blood flow. It does it by increasing nitric oxide in your brain. Resveratrol. Did we talked about resveratrol, yes?
[01:04:28] Ashley James: You had mentioned it briefly.
[01:04:32] David Tomen: Some speculate that resveratrol found in red wine accounts for the French paradox which you know how the French can dine on baguettes and cheese and pate and pastries and they still don’t put on weight and they live longer. They think it’s because part of the reason is that Resveratrol increases cerebral circulation. Recommended dosage is 20 – 250 mg a day. One of my favorite supplements is Vinpocetine, which they’re trying to make illegal in the United States. You can’t buy it on Amazon anymore.
[01:05:15] Ashley James: Okay, explain what’s going on? What’s the controversy around it?
[01:05:19] David Tomen: Because somebody claims that back in 1983, they put a patent on it, so they want to sell it as a drug. It’s actually sold as a drug in several countries around the world. It’s just that it’s available for the last three decades or so as a dietary supplement. You can still get it from Life Extension and Swanson still makes it and a couple of other supplement companies but Amazon refuses to sell it.
[01:05:47] Ashley James: What is it?
[01:05:48] David Tomen: It’s a semi-synthetic derivative of vincamine, an alkaloid derived from the lesser periwinkle plant.
[01:05:58] Ashley James: I remember you talking about this a little bit on our last interview.
[01:06:02] David Tomen: Yes. It inhibits an enzyme called PDE1 it also reduces calcium levels in brain cells. When both of these are elevated smooth muscle in blood vessels contract, narrowing the diameter of blood vessels. Vinpocetine helps turn this around. I can actually feel Vinpocetine when I use it and I miss it when I don’t have it. I feel better. You know what I did yesterday, I went to see the doctor and I have a little problem with my blood pressure. I need to keep it under control and I was afraid going to the doctor that I was going to be like 150 something over 80 something and she tested it, my blood pressure was 138/69, I think.
[01:06:57] Ashley James: Very cool. It’s the second number is more important.
[01:07:00] David Tomen: Yes. You know how I did that?
[01:07:02] Ashley James: With the Vinpocetine?
[01:07:04] David Tomen: Yes. Just before I went to the doctor.
[01:07:08] Ashley James: The first number which was definitely high but that could absolutely be just from the stress of being in the doctor’s office.
[01:07:16] David Tomen: They’ve actually shown that. That your blood pressure increases when you’re at the doctor’s office. Vinpocetine really works. I love it. All you need is 10 mg three times a day. 10 mg before you go to the doctor. Vitamin B3 or Niacin, which most people know about, helps increase nitric oxide and helps blood flow in your entire body and cerebral circulation. Niacin does a whole bunch of other stuff too but right now, we’re just talking about increasing cerebral circulation so niacin does that. Vitamin B6 is needed to regulate homocysteine. High homocysteine levels are linked to inflammation that can lead to blood vessel damage and possible plaque buildup leading to heart attack or stroke. Vitamin B12 or methylcobalamin is essential for the synthesis of DNA, RNA and neurotransmitters, the maintenance of myelin sheaths and red blood cell formation. You actually need vitamin B6 and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) to keep your homocysteine levels down. That’s my story on preventing Alzheimer’s. It’s not a sure thing but there are certain things that you can do to really increase your chances of it not happening.
[01:08:56] Ashley James: In terms of diet, what is a good diet for supporting brain health?
[01:09:04] David Tomen: I just did a video on that and I just published it this morning. In this video, there are 11 essential nutrients that we normally get from food and you need each one of these nutrients every single day for either two or three meals to maintain decent brain health and they include things like carbohydrates and potassium and sodium and check out that video on YouTube. I just published it. A normal brain-healthy diet is going to be healthy fats. You need carbohydrates but reducing the amount of or you want complex carbohydrates rather than simple carbohydrates.
[01:09:55] Ashley James: So don’t do flour-based foods. Eat the sweet potato. Don’t eat the bread. Don’t eat the pasta, go have some legumes.
[01:10:05] David Tomen: I actually stopped eating things like pasta and bread. I just feel better. A lot of things changed. Of course, fruits and vegetables.
[01:10:18] Ashley James: Excellent. So whole foods plant-based diet would definitely support brain health.
[01:10:22] David Tomen: And healthy fats. Like grass-fed red meat provides all kinds of vitamins and minerals that your body needs. The other thing that happens with aging is neurotransmitter starts to decline and this is the last we’re going to talk about when it comes to aging. Studies show that the dopamine and serotonin levels decline as we age. Dopamine levels begin to decline by around 10% per decade starting in your early 20’s. That leads to declines in cognitive and motor performance. In other words, you don’t think as fast as you once did and you don’t move as fast either because you got less dopamine. Serotonin and brain-derived neurotrophic factor also decline with age. The enzyme monoamine oxidase increases with age, which degrades serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. The more monoamine oxidase, the more increases, the more you experience the negative effects on memory, mood, and behavior. As a matter of fact Monoamine oxidase inhibitors have long been used to treat behavior disorders including depression. Now we have several natural nootropic options for increasing neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin and for reducing or inhibiting Monoamine oxidase. Aniracetam is a fat-soluble ampakine nootropic that is well known in the nootropics community, it’s one of my favorite nootropics. It’s a fantastic anxiolytic.
[01:12:10] Ashley James: What does that mean?
[01:12:11] David Tomen: It means it’s anti-anxiety. It helps reduce anxiety and depression and fear and increase sociability. Clinical studies show that Aniracetam affects dopamine, acetylcholine, and serotonin receptors in your brain. The recommended dosage is 1,500 mg per day. Taken in two 750 mg doses, which is what I do. You’ve got to take it with a healthy fat like coconut oil and you have to take it with a good choline supplement like Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline because it –
[01:12:49] Ashley James: Why don’t they sell it in coconut oil with the choline?
[01:12:53] David Tomen: Because the Racetams are still research compounds. They’re not really sold as dietary supplements so you’re kind of like on your own when you’re using more of these “experimental supplements”.
[01:13:13] Ashley James: What is it made from?
[01:13:16] David Tomen: Aniracetam is a derivative of Piracetam and Piracetam is a derivative of GABA.
[01:13:30] Ashley James: I know that there’s lots of GABA receptors in the brain but I don’t know much about it. Do you know how do they make the supplement? Is it synthetic or is it from –
[01:13:44] David Tomen: Piracetam is a cyclic derivative of GABA and that was first invented by Dr. Giurgea back in 1962 because he was looking for a drug to treat motion sickness. I think it was motion sickness in astronauts. But he found out that it worked better for improving cognitive performance. Since then there has been probably a dozen at least Racetams invented developed off the original Piracetam that are all built around this, it’s a chemical core so if you take a look at the chemical structure of these things and you compare them side by side there’s just one little branch that’s different from the next. It’s a cyclic derivative of GABA. Aniracetam is similar to Piracetam. They have found in there has been tons and tons of studies done. It was invented by Hoffmann-La Roche. I believe in Switzerland in 1978. And it’s sold as a prescription drug it’s called Ampamet, Draganon, Memodrin, Referan, Sarpul in Europe but you can buy it as a research compound here. You can actually buy Aniracetam on Amazon.
[01:15:25] Ashley James: Just make sure you take it with coconut oil and choline.
[01:15:30] David Tomen: Choline, yes because it releases 2 – 300% more acetylcholine in your brain.
[01:15:38] Ashley James: And you don’t want to end up with the headache?
[01:15:40] David Tomen: Correct. You get a Racetam headache. DHEA which is also called the “youth hormone”. DHEA is the most abundant hormone precursor in your body and is the source of your sex hormones. DHEA levels start decline as you age starting at around your 25th birthday. This is for men and women it’s bigger problem for men than women but it’s still a problem. Higher levels of DHEA are directly related to optimal concentration, working memory, and executive function. And DHEA is a natural MAO inhibitor which improves mood and energy levels
[01:16:26] Ashley James: How much is a good dose to take?
[01:16:27] David Tomen: 25 – 50 mg a day for anyone over 18.
[01:16:33] Ashley James: That’s the DHEA?
[01:16:35] David Tomen: DHEA, yes. Now there’s controversy around this because this is a steroid hormone. See my full review in Nootropics Expert for DHEA but anybody over 18 can get away with 25 mg a day and stay out of trouble from my research. Mucuna Pruriens or L-DOPA is synthesized in your brain by the amino acid. Anyway, it makes dopamine in your brain. It’s the precursor to dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. It boosts growth hormone levels in your brain to increase the production of neurons and glia cells. L-DOPA also produces neuromelanin, which are similar to the melanin pigment in your skin. So you get a tan easier and in your brain they absorb toxic quinones, and chelate heavy metals like mercury and lead.
[01:17:43] Ashley James: What’s its name again?
[01:17:44] David Tomen: Mucuna Pruriens.
[01:17:47] Ashley James: Can you spell that?
[01:17:48] David Tomen: Yes. Mucuna is M-U-C-U-N-A new word P-R-U-R-I-E-N-S. Mucuna Pruriens is usually 98% extract. It is 250 – 500 mg a day. Very powerful to increase dopamine.
[01:18:11] Ashley James: It increases dopamine but it also helps you get a tan?
[01:18:16] David Tomen: Yes.
[01:18:18] Ashley James: That is so cool.
[01:18:20] David Tomen: They use synthetic L-DOPA to treat Parkinson’s disease. Some have found that you can naturally treat Parkinson’s using Mucuna Pruriens and not have that side effects you get from synthetic L-DOPA because synthetic L-DOPA causes problems in your periphery and all of your places other than where it’s supposed to be in your brain. You don’t have that problem with Mucun Pruriens. L-Theanine which we were talking about before we started doing this podcast. L-Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea. L-Theanine increases GABA, serotonin and dopamine levels in your brain. As well as increasing Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Nerve Growth Factor and L-Theanine is an antagonist of NMDA receptors, which can inhibit synaptic release of glutamate. Which protects your brain from over-stimulation caused by glutamate, and possible glutamate toxicity. Research has found that if L-Theanine is present in the body at the time stroke occurs, brain damage is significantly reduced. A study in China concluded there was a 40% decreased risk of stroke in those who drank green, black or jasmine teas. Isn’t that amazing?
[01:19:50] Ashley James: Oh, my gosh. How much tea you just need to drink it every day or should someone take it as a supplement if they’re concerned they’re going to have a stroke?
[01:20:00] David Tomen: If you’re concerned for stroke, 2 – 4 mg twice a day as a supplement.
[01:20:07] Ashley James: Because it’s an amino acid, you take it on an empty stomach?
[01:20:10] David Tomen: Yes, but I drink it as green tea so I drink it whether I’m eating a meal or not. It’s just I’m drinking green tea all the time. You can get pretty much as much L-Theanine as you need for a reasonable normal healthy person by drinking four or five cups of green tea per day.
[01:20:29] Ashley James: Excellent and there’s no concerns about how much caffeine that is in the green tea of you’re drinking five cups a day?
[01:20:38] David Tomen: It depends on the green tea. Usually the caffeine amount is listed on the label so check the label but it’s by a third of the caffeine that you normally get from coffee.
[01:20:57] Ashley James: Is there more L-Theanine in green tea that is like the new leaf versus the oolong which comes from the branches, right? There’s this idea that drinking the newer buds versus drinking a tea that’s made more from a plant has been around longer has different compounds in it. Does that matter?
[01:21:27] David Tomen: It’s more about how it is steeped.
[01:21:30] Ashley James: How do we steep it?
[01:21:33] David Tomen: I actually wrote about this. Research at the University of New Castle in Australia set out to determine the optimal conditions for water extraction of healthy from green tea and they examined four different extraction methods and they learned that temperature, extraction time and ratio of water to tea and tea particles size had impacts on the extraction yield of L-Theanine from green tea. They concluded that the optimal conditions for extracting L-Theanine from green tea using water were found to be, are you ready for this? Extraction at 80°C for 30 minutes with the water to tea ratio of 20 to 1 milliliters per gram and a tea particle size of .5 to 1 milliliters.
[01:22:27] Ashley James: Okay, you’ve lost me at the water. [Laughter] 20 mg, so that’s 20 to 1 ratio of how much water?
[01:22:39] David Tomen: The water to tea ratio used to be 20 – 1 milliliters to grams.
[01:22:45] Ashley James: So milliliters to grams. Got it.
[01:22:48] David Tomen: And the tea particle size a half to one millimeter.
[01:22:54] Ashley James: Okay. I’ve been grinding my tea in a spice grinder thinking that more surface area means more flavor I guess.
[01:23:03] David Tomen: That’s not what these guys found.
[01:23:08] Ashley James: Wonderful. So steep it and do keep it at 80°c for 30 minutes or you just bring it to 8°c and leave it for 30 minutes?
[01:23:18] David Tomen: I’m thinking just bring it to 80°c then leave it for 30 minutes.
[01:23:23] Ashley James: Unless you’re cooking it. Cooking your tea. Like if you go to traditional Chinese medicine practitioner they will give you some stinky herbs to take home and cook on the stove.
[01:23:35] David Tomen: That’s water extraction. If you buy it as a supplement there is a patented version called Suntheanine. It’s L-Theanine extraction from green tea called Suntheanine so look for that.
[01:23:55] Ashley James: Right. Or you could just have fun drinking the green tea.
[01:23:57] David Tomen: Or you could just have fun drinking green tea because there’s so many different teas. You go to Wholefood’s and you look at the shelf of green teas. There’s just row after row after row to experiment. There’s got to be one in there some place that you like. If you’ve never drank tea before you don’t really care for tea there’s got to be one in there that you’ll like.
[01:24:19] Ashley James: So the supplement company that I buy all my supplements from sells a green tea blend and I’m in love with it. It tastes so good. I’ve actually got my husband loving it which is like a miracle because he does not like tea and this morning he goes, “Did you make me cup?” so he loves it. I discovered that he’s been brewing it on his own. I’m the only one who does anything in the kitchen. He’s been brewing it on his own. This is how much he likes it. I’m very happy that I found a great green tea blend. Now you give me the formula for proper L-Theanine extraction.
[01:25:02] David Tomen: My favorite is Tazo organic chai.
[01:25:34] Ashley James: You told me that right before we started and I’m going to have to get some the next time at Wholefoods. Yes, do you do anything to it or you just put it on hot water?
[01:25:16] David Tomen: Just put it on hot water. I got myself and went to Walmart. 20 bucks got this glass kettle so I can boil water in about 2 minutes and I can make it really fast and put a little bit of honey in it. It’s amazing. Anyway moving on here, we’re talking about increasing neurotransmitters. If you don’t want to use Mucuna Pruriens to increase dopamine. You can use N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine or L-Tyrosine because the dopamine pathway goes like this. It’s Phenylalanine to L-Tyrosine to L-DOPA to dopamine to norepinephrine to epinephrine. You can do it. You typically start with L-Tyrosine. L-Tyrosine is a gentler way to boost dopamine that Mucuna Pruriens that is a more direct way. N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine is just L-Tyrosine with an acetyl group added to it, which was supposed to increase the bioavailability because L-Tyrosine is amino acid. Some people find that L-Tyrosine works better for them and some find that N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine works better for them. There was actually one clinical study that showed that N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine is mostly excreted in your urine rather than getting used. I don’t find that’s the case with this body but it could be true for you. You would have to find out. If you want to try L-Tyrosine, it pays to experiment with both of those one at a time and see which one works best for you.
[01:26:57] Ashley James: How would you know if it’s working?
[01:27:00] David Tomen: Your mood changes, you’re thinking faster, and your focus is better. Your concentration is better. Because L-Tyrosine directly affects executive function which is the decision making part of your brain.
[01:27:17] Ashley James: Oh, I’ve got to give some to my son. 4-year-old’s mind.
[01:27:21] David Tomen: That one I’m not so sure because it also boosts libido. Libido, memory, focus, concentration, mood, and improves executive function, all of these things are influenced by L-tyrosine. Recommended nootropic dosage for N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine is 350 – 500 mg twice per day. I actually use 700 mg. 750 mg three times a day for managing adult ADD. It depends on if you use too much and you boost dopamine too much because it turns into norepinephrine and then epinephrine which is your fight or flight hormone. You can get irritable and jittery, that’s when you know you’ve got too much. Now we also talked about monoamine oxidase, which increases as you age. It suppresses dopamine levels in your brain so you’ve got a double whammy over here as you age. Your dopamine levels are increasing and monoamine oxidase is increasing which is further forcing down dopamine and serotonin. What we would want is we want an inhibitor of monoamine oxidase. Oat Straw is that inhibitor. There also a couple of other ones but Oat Straw works really well. So it inhibits monoamine oxidase B which increases dopamine levels. One of the problems was monoamine oxidase inhibitors is that if you inhibit both A and B you have the cheese effect. The cheese effect is if you take a monoamine oxidase that inhibits both A and B and you eat cheese, you have a severe reaction. But if you only inhibit B like with Oat Straw you don’t have a problem.
[01:29:23] Ashley James: Or just don’t eat cheese.
[01:29:26] David Tomen: Don’t eat cheese or anything with cheese like pasta has got a little bit of cheese on it. Anything with cheese is going to cause a problem. Oat straw extract suppresses inflammatory cytokines by inhibiting nuclear factor κB activation. These Cytokines are implicated in a number of brain disorders including major depression, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Recommended dosage for Oat Straw extract is 800 – 1,600 mg a day. The final one that you really should be supplementing with this if they’re over 20, is a B complex vitamin because well, the B vitamins are arguably the most important anti-aging nootropic supplements that we’ve got available. Vitamin B1 is involved in the citric acid cycle that is used to produced adenosine triphosphate energy for your mitochondria. Vitamin B3 is a precursor to NAD and NADH which provides electrons for ATP synthesis to power your mitochondria. Niacin enhances BDNF which is involved in synaptic plasticity and axon growth for memory and overall brain health. And it stimulates the production of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid is essential for the synthesis of acetylcholine, epinephrine, and serotonin. And is at the very heart of the citric acid cycle and electron transport chain which converts nutrients from food into energy which is used to make adenosine triphosphate for mitochondria. Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine is a required for coenzyme for the synthesis of dopamine, epinephrine, GABA, melatonin, norepinephrine, and serotonin. In fact, more than 140 distinct enzyme activities in your brain and your body depend on the P-5-P version of Vitamin B6. Vitamin B9 or folate is involved in gene expression, amino acid synthesis, myelin synthesis, and is required for the synthesis of dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine and serotonin. Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) is essential for the synthesis of DNA, RNA and neurotransmitters all of them and the maintenance of myelin sheaths protecting neurons, and red blood cell formation. And vitamin B12 is also needed to regulate homocysteine. High homocysteine levels are linked to inflammation that leads to blood vessel damage and possible plaque buildup leading to heart attack or stroke. That’s why you need a good B complex.
[01:32:37] Ashley James: I totally agree with you. One of the naturopaths that trained me had a patient that the family was in the process of moving that patient into a senior care facility. They had dementia. The naturopath said, “Let’s get them on a B vitamin supplement.” because B12 deficiency can cause dementia. I think they did B12 injections at this point but totally bounced back from the dementia. The dementia was not permanent. It wasn’t chronic. It was a symptom of nutrient deficiency. Another naturopath I studied with, he mapped out 900 different diseases that cross species line all are linked to deficiencies of 90 different nutrients. 60 minerals, 12 amino acids, all the vitamins and the fatty acids that each one just missing. If you miss copper if you have too little copper. One of the diseases that people can develop is or it’s not a disease it a fatal condition if you don’t catch it in time, hernia, chronic hernia. How you know you have copper deficiency? The symptoms of it are premature gray hair because copper is also needed in the production of the pigment. It can also cause pigment lost in the skin. People who are darker skin who start t have white patches like Michael Jackson had. That is a copper deficiency. Very classic signs of it but you can also have premature wrinkles and you can have problems with the vasculature like in your legs like the veins started popping out and having pain in the veins. All of that are early warning sign of copper deficiency. Copper being something you don’t want to have too much of but if you have too little of it’s one of those nutrient the body need to produce the building blocks to keep everything together basically. It’s part of the building blocks to build the strong vasculature and it becomes weaker without it and then we eventually develop aneurysm as a result. It’s just one of those nutrients that he mapped out. He sees that we can prevent all disease. All disease with nutrients and of course, diet because diet can cause tremendous stress on our body if it’s the wrong diet. He likes to point out that if we look at the diseases and the longevity of those in the United States that if its out of the certain line, I think it’s the Mason Dickson line? Is that what it’s called? Basically in the south where fried food is should be one of the amendments according to them, they’d fry water if they could but fried food is so much more prevalent in the diet and people die 10 years earlier that those in the north or in the Pacific North West where we eat less fried food. So they see the oxidative damage by eating fried food. Even once a week is enough to harm the brain, to harm the vasculature, to take 10 years off of our life and to decrease eye sight. It goes on and on. But diet is incredibly important. So avoiding oxidative stress but also making sure the we have these 90 essential nutrients in our food and also in our supplements because it’s very hard to secure minerals now. The 60 minerals very hard to secure. I would say in addition to, you’re saying take a good multi B vitamin and I say that’s absolutely true and I would add that take a really good multi-mineral and trace mineral supplement because even if you eat lots and lots of greens, it’s very hard to secure enough minerals these days because of the farming practices. Even organic farms, it’s just difficult because they don’t re-mineralize the soil which is something they used to do and they don’t do it anymore.
[01:37:20] David Tomen: I think Ashley that there would be a lot less disease if people just took a really high quality multivitamin which typically has higher dosages than with the RDA is. They’re in a form that your body can use and not synthetic. That’s the reason why I use the Performance Lab Multi because it’s all natural, it’s grown from yeast and there’s nothing else in it. Just vitamins and minerals. And a really high quality B complex vitamin. You would see a lot of fewer cases of dementia, alzehimers, Parkinson’s, depression and anxiety and I could just go on and on and on and that is just the brain. The things is that most of the nootropics reviewed on the Nootropics Expert can be considered anti-aging supplements. You know we’ve got tons and tons of research showing that taking the right nootropic supplement can optimize your brains health and protect you from cognitive decline well into the future. Dozens and dozens of nootropic supplements to choose from. You know we’ve got amino acids and herbs, minerals and vitamins and even the Racetam family that we’re taking about. The prime mutations and combinations that enough to perfect your anti-aging nootropics stack can your brain which is kind of counter to what we’re trying to achieve right? So here’s a suggestion, choose one or two from each of the categories that we talked about in this podcast. If I can listen to the podcast again and just pick one or two supplements from each one of these categories. Go to Nootropics Expert and carefully review the full article that I’ve written to make sure that you understand what exactly the nootropic does and how it can interact with any of your prescription meds so that you can understand the possible side effects. Choose the lowest suggested dosage per each one that you choose, and start using it.
[01:39:35] Ashley James: And when would they increase the dose?
[01:39:39] David Tomen: Possibly never. Possibly, if there’s a recommended dose for just at random, a 500 – 1000 mg, so you start out with 500 mg to see how you react to it. If you feel absolutely nothing or there is no negative reaction that you might want to quick up the dose to 750 mg and see how you feel but never ever go past the maximum recommended dosage.
[01:40:13] Ashley James: Right. Yes, because we do have that feeling in the United Sates, I don’t know if it’s just a value or a personal philosophy but if a little bit is good then a lot is even better and we get into some trouble that way. Right?
[01:40:32] David Tomen: Yes, that’s absolutely the wrong thing to do. You don’t want to do that especially with stuff that’s affecting your brain.
[01:40:39] Ashley James: Just like you could eat too much celery you could kill yourself with water, you could kill yourself with healthy things. We just wanted the safe effective doses. You want people to start feeling the difference. They should feel that their moods improve, even their sleep is better. Maybe their sex drives improved, that they’re thinking clear, that they’re thinking faster. They’re going to see noticeable differences that even maybe people around them notice. It’s going to take a few months but then people will start to notice a difference in them as well after starting on a good regimen. I like that your advice of taking two from each section and just reading on your website the information and get really clear on the protocol that they’re designing or if they get confused they could reach out to you. They could book an appointment and see that you could help them to formulate their protocol.
[01:41:46] David Tomen: And if you don’t like using the internet, at least use the internet to go to Nootropics Expert and buy my book. It’s called Head First. It’s almost 600 pages, it’s a manual for fixing your brain. You can use the book or you can use the website or you can book a consultation with me or you can go to YouTube and watch anyone of the almost a hundred videos I’ve got now on the YouTube channel. There are all kinds of ways to get help for your brain.
[01:42:14] Ashley James: Very cool. Before we wrap up today’s interview, I’d love to hear since you’ve been working with people, you must’ve had some feedback. Can you share some stories of success? Last time we had you, you shared your story, which was incredible I definitely recommend listeners go back and check out episode 362 with David Tomen. Hearing his story because it’s a great one. I’d love to hear, do you have any stories of success that you’d like to share with us today?
[01:42:45] David Tomen: You know there’s almost a hundred thousand people a month going through Nootropics Expert now. Where I get, the comments are coming in more and more often now. Either people will say, “I was able to manage ADHD or ADD or I was able to get off anti-depressant medication or anti-anxiety medication or I was able to get up in front of a group of people and do a presentation without panicking.” There’s just little stories like that that keep on coming out in the comments section.
[01:43:27] Ashley James: These are comments are the bottom. You have blog basically. All your articles are blog posts and at the bottom people can leave their comments. I’ve read them, they’re great. They were asking questions, you reply. So you’re saying that listeners can go there scroll down at the bottom of the article and read the comments.
[01:43:51] David Tomen: Yes and see what other people are saying, people are sharing they’ll leave a comment saying, “This is my stack now based on the stuff that you’ve suggested.” One of the most hardening things that I’m seeing now is people are getting it. People are saying, “This isn’t my stack, this is my – and this is what I’m taking in the morning. This is what I’m taking at noon and this is what I’m taking late in the afternoon. Have you got any suggestions?” Usually I would change this one thing. People are getting it now, which is just the coolest thing.
[01:44:33] Ashley James: I love that you interact with them because then those comments are there for years to come and people can even though you’re answering one person’s question, you’re actually helping thousands of people because they’re all going to go there and read your answer.
[01:44:48] David Tomen: And they’re doing that. Some of these threads are years old.
[01:44:55] Ashley James: Nice. I love it. I love that you’ve built this forum to help people. You put a lot out there. You put a lot of work into it. You give a lot for free and if someone wants the additional help of that personalized help, one on one, they could work with you and they could buy some supplements from you because you figured out some of the brands the you liked. They could also buy your book. Of course, the links to everything you do including your YouTube channel, we’re going to make sure that is in the show notes of today’s podcast. I have to commend my transcriptionist right now because the entire time I’m like, “Oh my gosh. I just have to say to my transcriptionist, as you’re transcribing this right now, I’m sending you hugs and I thank you so much for taking probably a week to transcribe this interview.” But my listeners are going to be really appreciative of the transcription because once it’s published on learntruehealth.com they can go and they can read everything that David said so they can reference. This is a very technical interview and they can reference all the wonderful supplements that David talked about. The doses and everything. Let’s just thank and commend the transcriptionist for doing a great job. Awesome. David, it was such a pleasure having you on the show toady. Is there anything you’d like to say to wrap up today’s interview? Anything left unsaid?
[01:46:34] David Tomen: Just get started. If you haven’t started doing any of these yet just please get started.
[01:46:41] Ashley James: That’s a really simple like if someone kind of overwhelmed at this point? What’s a good like just get a toe in the door or toe in the water?
[01:46:50] David Tomen: You know, take something. Take something and see if it works. There’s so much information available now on a place like Nootropics Expert. Whatever you’re dealing with, whatever it is. If it’s anxiety or depression or ADD or OCD or traumatic brain injury or PTST or whatever it is. Use the search function over on Nootropics Expert and put it on the search box.
[01:47:16] Ashley James: And if you’re not taking a great multi vitamin like a multi B, start with that. Start there.
[01:47:23] David Tomen: The Performance Lab Multi I think it is the best multi-vitamin I’ve ever used. You can find my full review on Nootropics Expert Performance Lab Wholefood multi for men and women. The B vitamins complex that it recommends is the one by Life Extension.
[01:47:42] Ashley James: That is on your website?
[01:47:45] David Tomen: I don’t think that one is on my website. You’ll find it probably in the comments section in the places but I don’t think I’ve put a link to that one there. The Life Extension has got a really, really good B complex it’s called complete bioactive something like that. The nice thing is that it uses folate instead of folic acid and methylcobalamin instead cyanocobalamin and the B vitamins are the right dosages.
[01:48:15] Ashley James: Very cool. I take a powder that turns to a liquid and I was designed my naturopath but I really enjoyed itbut I’m going to check out you’re too. I know you sell, do you sell supplements? I don’t own the company I just work as an affiliate so get a little bit of money every time somebody clicks the link and buys one of these things. I’ve got a link to the website.
[01:48:45] Ashley James: You’ll give me links so that listeners who want to make sure that you get credit for spending the time to put this out there. They want to make sure you get the credit we’ll make sure the link is in the show notes.
[01:49:00] David Tomen: Okay, thank you.
[01:49:01] Ashley James: Awesome. Very cool. Thank you so much for coming on the show. This has been wonderful.
[01:49:04] David Tomen: Thank you for having me back.
[01:49:06] Ashley James: Yes. I look forward to having you again. I think we’ve got lots of topics to explore and I really enjoy. I like interviews that bring the meat. You know what I mean? It’s funny for someone who doesn’t eat meat, I want a lot of meat in my interview. I want a lot. I want people to walk away going, “Oh my gosh, there’s so much here, there’s so much available. I’m going to get a lot out of this. It’s going to help me change my life.” I want listeners to feel that this is life-changing and you bring the meat. So thank you, for filing this interview with wonderful information and I know it’s going to help people and please listeners, let me know how this helped you. You can go ahead and email me, [email protected]. Let me know how this impacted your life or you can join our Facebook group. Learn True Health in Facebook and start a conversation in the Facebook group about this interview and whether you have questions or whether you just want to talk about it with other listeners. Let’s start a conversation in our Facebook group. David, you’re welcome to join our Facebook group as well.
[01:50:13] David Tomen: Thank you.
[01:50:13] Ashley James: Awesome. All right. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to get you back on the show.
[01:50:18] David Tomen: Let’s do it. Thank you, Ashley.
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