Please note that this is my personal daily stack and is experimental. I'm still regularly adjusting doses to optimize benefits and minimize side effects. Also, please forgive the implicit confirmation bias in my choice of references. They are not intended to provide a comprehensive explanation of why to choose these particular supplements and are included here for convenience in your research. Many of the purported benefits from these supplements are from in vivo animal studies (rats in particular), or are in vitro ("test tube") results. Questions, comments, and suggestions are welcomed.
Why nerve growth factor (NGF) is important to overall mental health: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nerve_growth_factor#Clinical_significance
and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain-derived_neurotrophic_factor#Function
Mitochondria helps generate over 90% of the energy our body uses, and creating new mitochondria means more potential energy. The highest concentrations of mitochondria are in the heart and brain.
I preferably take N-Acetyl Semax Amidate, Modafinil, ALCAR (and any other amino acids), Teacrine, and Probiotics on an empty stomach first upon waking. Otherwise I always take my full Stack doses with meals containing fat. Taking over 20 supplements, mostly in powdered form, is a time consuming process which takes about 30 minutes per day if the doses are not stored pre-measured.
Before I made my own capsules, I use a method called "parachuting" with rice paper to avoid tasting the powder supplements (particularly Alpha Lipoic Acid). It's really simple - buy rice paper (used to make spring rolls, found in asian food section), wet both sides of a sheet, lay it flat on a plate, cut it in half with a butterknife, dump your mixed powders in the center of each half, roll them up like little burritos, and swallow them whole.
Sugar is limited to lowest possible. Research has shown that high sugar diets (along with high fat diets and lack of essential fatty acids) decrease BDNF, neuronal plasticity, and learning.*
Possible Future Supplements to Research:
N-Acetyl Selank Amidate // N-Acetyl Epitalon Amidate // NSI-189 // PRL-8-53 // Nicotine (Vapor) // Armodafinil // Baicalin // Sarcosine // Pramiracetam // Coluracetam // Pregnenolone // Dihexa // Prebiotics // Emoxypine Succinate
Supplements I've tried and don't include in the Stack at this time:
Picamilon // Sulbutiamine // Piracetam // Aniracetam // Selegiline // 5-HTP // SAMe // Vinpocetine // Melatonin // N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine // L-Theanine // N-Acetyl Cysteine // Tianeptine // Adrafinil // Galantamine // Huperzine-A // Phenylethylamine HCL // Octopamine HCL // Ginkgo Biloba (allergy) // Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Rosea (tried both same time, had allergic skin reaction & discontinued)
Exercise - "Regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory, thinking skills" http://goo.gl/vn2tNQ
Exercise - "Role of exercise-induced BDNF production in the regulation of energy homeostasis" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19748969
Magnesium L-threonate - "Magnesium L-threonate prevents and restores memory deficits..." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24077207
Magnesium - "...protects cognitive functions and synaptic plasticity in streptozotocin-induced sporadic Alzheimer's model." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25268773
Magnesium - "Antidepressant-like activity of Mg in the olfactory bulbectomy model is associated with the AMPA/BDNF pathway." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25027582
Alpha Lipoic Acid - "...mitochondrial nutrient alpha-lipoic acid on improving age-associated mitochondrial and cognitive dysfunction..." http://goo.gl/Xje575
Evening Primrose Oil - "The Depression Cure: The 6-step Program to Beat Depression Without Drugs" page 80, https://goo.gl/4Iz4n0
Idebenone - "Oral administration of idebenone, a stimulator of NGF synthesis, recovers reduced NGF content in aged rat brain." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8309637
Idebenone - "Border between natural product and drug: Comparison of the related benzoquinones idebenone and coenzyme Q10" http://goo.gl/n2MssH
Inositol - "Controlled trials of inositol in psychiatry." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9169302
Probiotics - "Role of probiotics as memory enhancer" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3696313/#ref5
Shilajit - "CoQ10 Plus Shilajit - Dramatic Synergy Boosts Energy and Protects Mitochondria" http://goo.gl/XI1Kyt
Coconut Oil - "Medium Chain Triglycerides (coconut fat) increase cognitive performance in Alzheimer's disease." http://goo.gl/JRU8Fz
Phosphatydilserine - "An open trial of plant-source derived phosphatydilserine for treatment of age-related cognitive decline." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11201936
Pyrroloquinoline Quinone - "Enhanced rat sciatic nerve regeneration through silicon tubes filled with pyrroloquinoline quinone." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15915445
Noopept - "Noopept stimulates the expression of NGF and BDNF in rat hippocampus." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19240853
Lion's Mane Mushroom - "Nerve growth factor-inducing activity of Hericium erinaceus in 1321N1 human astrocytoma cells." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18758067
Lion's Mane Mushroom - "...increases catecholamine and nerve growth factor content in the central..." http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0271531705001041
Fish Oil - "...the role of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in cognitive development and neurological disorders." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17012979
Fish Oil (DHA) - "DHA dietary supplementation enhances the effects of exercise on synaptic plasticity and cognition" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3208643/
Curcumin - "Synergistic anti-inflammatory effects of low doses of curcumin in combination with polyunsaturated fatty acids" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19744468
Curcumin - "...protects against glutamate excitotoxicity in rat cerebral cortical neurons by increasing BDNF level and..." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18420184
Piperine - "Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9619120
Piperine - "...increases the plasma levels of coenzyme Q10 following oral supplementation." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10715596
Piperine - "Antidepressant like effects of piperine in chronic mild stress treated mice and its possible mechanisms." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17289085
Vitamin D - "Vitamin D and cognitive function." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22536767
Vitamin D - "...D3 Induction of Nerve Growth Factor in L929 Mouse Fibroblasts..." http://press.endocrine.org/doi/full/10.1210/endo.138.1.4858
DMAE - "New insights on dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) features as a free radical scavenger." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22300295?dopt=AbstractPlus
DMAE - "All About Supplements: DMAE" http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2004/11/aas/Page-01
Acetyl-L-Carnitine - "Effect of acetyl-L-carnitine on forebrain cholinergic neurons of developing rats." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1849696
Polygala Tenuifolia - Summery article via Examine.com http://examine.com/supplements/polygala-tenuifolia/
Codonopsis - "...and its metabolite echinocystic acid ameliorate scopolamine-induced memory and learning deficits in mice." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23079229
Codonopsis - "...potentiate neurite outgrowth induced by nerve growth factor in PC12 cells." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12956941
Polygonatum - "Protective effects of Chinese nourishing kidney herbs on neurons of striatal neurons..." http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-ZLXZ201103033.htm
Uridine - "...a membrane phosphatide precursor, increases acetylcholine level and release in striatum of aged rat" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17184749
Uridine - "Chronic uridine modulates the stimulant-induced release of dopamine" http://ebm.rsmjournals.com/content/204/1/49.abstract
Uridine - "Combined uridine and choline administration improves cognitive deficits in spontaneously hypertensive rats." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12737935
Uridine - "...increases potassium-evoked dopamine release and promotes neurite outgrowth in aged rats." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16055952
Modafinil - "Cognitive enhancing effects of modafinil in healthy volunteers." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12417966
Adrafinil - "Adrafinil: A Novel Vigilance Promoting Agent" http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1527-3458.1999.tb00100.x/pdf
Zinc - "Increased nerve growth factor by zinc supplementation..." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17330505
Vitamin A - "Nerve growth factor and retinoic acid interactions in the control of small cell lung cancer proliferation" http://www.eje-online.org/content/147/3/371.full.pdf
Green Tea - "Green Tea Polyphenols Potentiate the Action of Nerve Growth Factor to Induce Neuritogenesis..." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2965808/
Ginkgo - "Antidepressant natural flavonols modulate BDNF and beta amyloid in neurons and hippocampus..." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2838959/
Ginkgo - "Effects of extract of ginkgo biloba on learning and memory ability and NGF and NT-3 expression in diabetic rats." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23252308
Ginkgo - "Ginkgo biloba extract, EGb761, increases synaptosomal uptake of 5-hydroxytryptamine: in-vitro and ex-vivo studies." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1361545
Ginkgo - "The dose-dependent cognitive effects of acute administration of Ginkgo biloba to healthy young volunteers." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11026748
Ginkgo - "...cognitive performance following single doses of 120 mg Ginkgo biloba extract administered to healthy young..." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17902186
Vitamin B12 - "...on brain docosahexaenoic acid, brain derived neurotrophic factor, and cognitive performance..." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26249019
Vitamin B12 - "Screening for vitamin B-12 and folate deficiency in older persons" http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/77/5/1241.full
Ashitaba - "...Discover Compounds Enhancing in Vivo Production of Nerve Growth Factor" http://www.evaluategroup.com/Universal/View.aspx?type=Story&id=133111
Semax - Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semax
Semax - "...Synthetic Peptides Based on Natural Regulatory Peptides" http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=40560#.U9VYWfldVWg
Sugar - "A high-fat, refined sugar diet reduces hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor, neuronal plasticity, and learning." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12088740
Nardosinone Jatamansi - "Nardosinone, a novel enhancer of nerve growth factor in neurite outgrowth..." http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304394099006291
03/03/16: Updated supplements with start/end dates. Added supplements to "Previously Taken" section.
01/22/16: Began testing Pramiracetam at 400mg occasionally (1-2/week). Reduced Nardosinone Jatamansi from 500mg to 300mg. Increased Curcumin from 400mg to 500mg. Decreased Modafinil from 50mg to 25mg.
01/06/16: Added Nardosinone Jatamansi at 500mg. Decreased N-Acetyl Semax Amidate to 500mcg. Resuming taking regular stack after 10 days of only taking N-Acetyl Semax Amidate 500mcg. Began testing "Bulletproof Coffee" (coffee with grass-fed butter and coconut oil) upon waking.
12/11/15: Began testing Lion's Mane Mushroom 2g x 1/day.
12/10/15: Added Gotu Kola and began testing 1000mg x 1/day. Added section about diet. Occasionally testing Phenylethylamine HCL 300mg and/or Octopamine HCL 300mg.
12/06/15: Added N-Acetyl Semax Amidate 600mcg & Ashitaba 500mg. Increased DMAE to 350mg. Temporarily discontinuing Shilajit (supplier is out of stock).
12/02/15: Began testing N-Acetyl Semax Amidate 600mcg subcutaneous injection. Began testing Ashitaba 500mg. Temporarily reduced Modafinil frequency to 1-2x/week. Updated Alpha-GPC, Citicoline, & Uridine to 300mg doses.
11/22/15: Began testing Gotu Kola (5% Saponin) 500mg. Ordered Ashitaba & Nardosinone (Jatamansi). Resumed regular 300mg doses of Codonopsis, Polygonatum, & Polygala. Updated Alpha-GPC description to 50% concentration. Testing Alpha-GPC, Citicoline, & Uridine at 300mg each. Testing Noopept 5mg sublingual doses. Tested Huperzine-A 50 mcg once and got a moderate headache for five hours that subsided after taking Naproxen.
11/10/15: Completed making first batch of capsules containing mixed powders. Temporarily reduced Uridine, Codonopsis, Polygonatum, & Polygala to 200mg each.
10/09/15: Discontinued Ginkgo Biloba 500mg due to allergic reaction (skin hives).
10/08/15: Added Vitamin B12 at 1000mcg/1mL injection to Stack. Already had injection for last two months, just found reference to BDNF increase.
10/05/15: Added Ginkgo Biloba at 500mg and removed Galantamine 8mg from Stack. Increased Inositol from 2g to 4g.
10/02/15: Began testing Ginkgo Biloba 4:1 Extract at 500mg/day.
10/01/15: Reduced Modafinil from 75mg to 50mg (75mg was a typo - I've been taking 50mg/day since the 27th). Increased Noopept from 10mg to 15mg for testing. Updated Vitamin D, Magnesium, Uridine, Fish Oil, and Multi-Vitamin (Zinc & Vitamin A) descriptions and references for NGF and/or BDNF increases. Returned Green Tea to the Stack.
9/29/15: Reduced Vitamin D from 10000iu to 5000iu due to 20ng/mL increase in blood lab test since last year. Reduced DMAE from 300mg to 150mg.
9/27/15: Reduced Modafinil from 150mg to 75mg. Added "memory" to goal description. Updated Polygonatum description.
9/24/15: Replaced Adrafinil 600mg with Modafinil 150mg. Reduced Fish Oil intake from 10,000mg to 2,000mg due to switching to more a concentrated EPA/DHA capsule. Resumed Codonopsis intake at 300mg.
9/12/15: Temporarily discontinued acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors Codonopsis and Galantamine to test memory effects.
9/03/15: Added Multi-Vitamin called "Ultimate Man" by the Vitamin Shoppe.
9/02/15: Increased Adrafinil from 400mg to 600mg. Decreased DMAE from 400mg to 300mg. Discontinued testing N-Acetyl Cysteine.
8/27/15: Added Polygonatum 300mg, Uridine Monophosphate 500mg, additional references, and instructions. Reduced Inositol from 12g to 2g, will be very gradually titrating dose upwards to prevent gastrointestinal side-effects from reoccuring.
8/25/15: Added Polygala Tenuifolia 300mg and Codonopsis 300mg.
8/24/15: Added Cucumin 400mg, Piperine 10mg, DMAE 400mg, and Galantamine 8mg to Stack. Updated descriptions and references of several supplements.
8/23/15: Updated Stack description to include BDNF support.
8/22/15: Added Coenzyme Q10 at 100mg. Reduced Idebenone from 200mg to 100mg. Increased Alpha Lipoic Acid from 300mg to 400mg. Removed L-Theanine and Green Tea. Increased Adrafinil from 300mg to 400mg. Increased Alpha GPC & Citicoline from 150mg to 200mg. Temporarily discontinued Inositol. Began testing Codonopsis root etc.
8/13/15: Updated Idebenone to remove description as CoQ10 analog.* Ordered Curcumin, Piperine, CoQ10, Galantamine, DMAE Bitartrate, Uridine Monophosphate, Solomon's Seal Root, and Polygala Tenuifolia Root Extract for future testing. Added Teacrine to Stack at 100mg/day. Reduced Citicoline from 200mg to 150mg/day and added Alpha-GPC at 150mg/day to Stack. Reduced Inositol from 18g to 12g/day due to gastrointestinal side-effects.
8/05/15: Increased Shilajit from 200mg to 400mg/day. Decreased ALCAR from 500mg to 250mg/day. Add Adrafinil 300mg (temporary) in morning as needed for wakefulness.
8/01/15: More references and supplement details. Updated description with Stack consumption habits.
7/30/15: Added Exercise, Green Tea, additional references and supplement details.
7/29/15: Begin log of my personal supplement stack. Inclusion of notes, references, and personal experiences are a work in progress.