My Current Supplement Experiments

Outlined below are all of the supplements/nootropics that I am currently experimenting with.

Under each supplement there’s a few brief sections describing;

  • What is this supplement?
  • What are its mechanisms of action/What can you expect from it?
  • The use cases I’m testing as part of my experiment
  • The doses I’m testing
  • How often I plan to use said supplement

This page will be updated weekly to include any new supplements, reviews, or update my experiences with a certain compound. If there’s anything you’d like to see included here that is not currently, feel free to reach out on X.

Nootropics:
4-DMA-7,8-DHF
Pregnenolone
Uridine Monophopsphate
Alpha GPC
Cognance
Saffron Extract
Lions’s Mane
Polygala Tenufolia
Agmatine Sulfate
L-Tyrosine

Sleep Supplements:
Magnolia Bark Extract
Lemon Balm Extract
Magnesium Threonate

Supplements:
None Currently

My completed Supplement Reviews

Nootropics

By nootropic, I’m referring to anything taken for short-term mental enhancement.

4-DMA-7,8-DHF

What is it?
A more potent synthetic version of 7,8-DHF, a naturally occurring flavone molecule.

Mechanism of Action
4-DMA-7,8-DHF functions as a TrkB agonist. This is the same receptor that BDNF binds to and activates.

As a result, this should boost overall cognition, focus, and memory.

Use Cases I’m Testing
I will be using this as a general cognitive enhancer, observing its effects on me short-term.

Doses I’m Testing
I plan to only use one capsule (10mg)at a time, as this appears to be a very potent compound. I’ll also only take this sublingually to enhance absorption.

How Often I’m Taking
I will take 4-DMA 1-2 times per week throughout my testing phase with it. It’s worth noting that its preferred by some to take this first thing in the morning as it can disturb sleep if taken late into the day

Pregnenolone

What is it?
Pregnenolone is a precursor to the steroid hormones and neurosteroids.

Mechanism of Action
As a steroid hormone precursor, supplementing with pregnenolone can increase synthesis of testosterone and allopregnenolone downstream. Allopregnenolone is a potent GABAA positive modulator, which plays a large role in controlling neuronal excitability.

Pregnenolone itself also acts as a neurosteroid, positively modulating the NMDA glutamate receptor and activating the sigma-1 receptor. This can support learning and neuroplasiticty, as well as promoting a nootropic effect.

Use Cases I’m Testing
I’m currently planning to test pregnenolone primarily as a nootropic, but also before bed. My main focus will be on it as a nootropic though.

Doses I’m Testing
I will only be testing 5mg taken sublingually. Taking large doses of pregnenolone has the potential to decrease steroidogenesis, which is never a good thing. Low doses seem to enhance it by providing more substrate for their synthesis without shutting down endogenous production.

How Often I’m Taking
I will take pregenolone 1-2 times per week throughout the course of my testing with it, however I do plan to run a short “cycle” in the future where I take it every day.

Alpha GPC

What is it?
Alpha-Glycerylphosphorylcholine (Alpha GPC) is a form of choline that is both produced endogenously and is found in food. It can also be synthesized and turned into a powder which can be taken in large quantities as a nootropic.

Mechanism of Action
Alpha GPC not only provides more choline to the brain, but also induces the release of acetylcholine. This gives it a great nootropic effect.

Acetylcholine is involved in focus, attention, memory, and overall arousal in the brain. So, increasing it should provide a boost in those areas.

Use Cases I’m Testing
I plan to test this as a general nootropic, a cognitive performance enhancer. Especially if I’m having a hard time focusing or need to try and learn something new.

Doses I’m Testing
I’m currently unsure of the doses I will use for this. I’m planning to start at the lowest dose for the product I have (150mg) and titrate up to find my optimal dose.

How Often I’m Taking
I will be taking Alpha GPC 1-2 times a week throughout the course of my testing phase.

Uridine Monophosphate

What is it?
Uridine monophosphate is a nucleotide base (in RNA) attached to a single phosphate group.

Mechanism of Action
Uridine is thought to benefit the structure of cell membranes by acting as a substrate for the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine (PC).

PC is an important part of the cell membrane of neurons. Therefore, Uridine may support cognitive function through the building and maintenance of these cell membranes, as well as supporting neurotransmission mood generally.

Use Cases I’m Testing
I plan to test Uridine as a nootropic, and also stacked with choline and omega-3 fatty acids since there is evidence to support that the 3 of these in concert have a great impact on cognition.

I will also test Uridine as a sleep aid.

Doses I’m Testing
I will use 250 or 500mg, whichever I decide is most effective for me.

How Often I’m Taking
I will take uridine 1-2 times per week throughout my testing phase

Cognance

What is it?
Cognance is a patented extract of the popular herbal nootropic and adaptogen, Bacopa Monnieri. What makes this Bacopa product unique though is the high concentration of Ebelin Lactone, something that’s present in Bacopa normally, but in very low amounts.

As a result, you get the regular benefits that come with Bacopa supplements as well as the unique effects that come with a high concentration of Ebelin Lactone. It’s easily the most unique nootropic I’ve ever used.

Mechanism of Action
Bacopa Monnieri: Exact mechanisms are still being studied, but Bacopa seems to positively affect the serotonergic and cholinergic systems in the brain

Ebelin Lactone: 5HT2A and M1 positive allosteric modulation

With the high concentration of Ebelin Lactone, Cognance results in a near instant boost in mood and overall cognition. The 5HT2A receptor is the primary target of micro-dosing, so positive modulation of this receptor provides a subtle mental clarity and “sensory enhanced state” that lasts about an hour in my experience.

Use Cases I’m Testing
I’m testing Cognance as a general mood/focus enhancer. No specific use cases, but I’m mostly taking in the morning before work. However, my day to day in lab varies greatly so I get to experience this in a lot of different scenarios.

The effects of this supplement, in particular the mood and sensory enhancements, are subtle and also subjective. Because of this, I’m planning to do a blinded test where a 3rd party will randomly select Cognance or Huperzine-A and I’ll see if I can tell which one I’ve taken. Huperzine is acting as a ‘control’ for me.

I will also test it before sleep. It’s not a “sleep supplement”, but because of its mechanisms I want to try it before bed.

Doses I’m Testing
100-200mg, though I’ll try 300mg once or twice just to test. The effects at 100-200mg are more than enough.

I’ll do my blinded tests with 100 and 200mg.

How Often I’m Taking
During my testing period I will limit use to 2 times per week to maintain novelty.

Bacopa Monnieri seems to be safe for long term consumption, but I will likely limit my uses in the future to a few times a week to maintain sensitivity to the sensory enhancements this supplement provides.

Saffron Extract

What is it?
Saffron is most well known as a spice, one of the most expensive in the world at that. However, due to the assortment of bioactive compounds in it, saffron has substantial effects on cognition and mood.

Mechanism of Action
Saffron has a wide range of effects, but most notable is its ability to increase levels of monoamines (serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine) in the brain. This is likely due to reuptake inhibition caused by the two main ingredients in a potent Saffron extract, Crocins and Safranals. Crocins is also a weak Monoamine Oxidase inhibitor, boosting levels of monoamines even further.

High quantities of these actives are imperative to a saffron supplement being actually efficacious, so I highly recommend the one I’ve been using.

The mechanisms in saffron combine for it to excel at boosting mood and even have antidepressant effects. It may even lower appetite (doesn’t seem to for me, but requires more testing).

Use Cases I’m Testing
For me, Saffron is a potent mood booster, but when taken alone the results aren’t conducive to focus or doing deep work. As a result, I’m limiting my use to times when I want a mood boost and don’t plan on doing any focus intensive activities. This is mainly at night to wind down, or before a social event.

The effects come off as more serotonergic to me than the other monoamines, but results may differ between individuals. Some report this as being a tool for focus as well. In my experience it’s not, but everyone’s neurochemistry is different.

I personally see this being most effective when taken alongside other nootropics that boost focus and productivity, but I need to test that down the line. For now, strictly mood enhancement (which it is very effective at).

Doses I’m Testing
I’m planning to test 30-120mg (each capsule I have is 30mg), however 60mg seems to be extremely effective so far.

How Often I’m Taking
I will take Saffron 2 times a week during my testing phase to maintain novelty to it while I observe its effects on me at various doses.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom Extract

What is it?
Lion’s Mane is a mushroom and popular nootropic well known for its cognitive enhancing and neuroplasticity boosting effects. The one I’m specifically using is a 1:1 extract of the fruiting body that provides the naturally occurring ratio of active compounds in this mushroom.

Mechanism of Action
The main desirable effect of Lion’s Mane is its ability to increase levels of growth factors in the brain (BDNF, NGF) to promote neurogenesis and plasticity.

This mechanism also gives this mushroom its cognitive enhancing effects and antidepressant potential.

Use Cases I’m Testing
I’m planning to test this as a nootropic, taking once a day and observing the short term effects on me. In the future, I may try taking it every day to see the long-term effects of boosting neurogenesis.

Doses I’m Testing
I will likely test from 500-2000mg in 500mg steps. I may go higher than that, but that may not be needed. My preliminary test tells me that 1000mg is effective, but I will try higher doses to see if there’s a notable difference.

How Often I’m Taking
I plan to take Lion’s Mane 1-2 times a week to maintain novelty to the compound throughout my initial testing phase with it.

Polygala Tenuifolia Extract

What is it?
Polygala is a flowering plant that has a history of use in Traditional Chinese medicine. It’s well known for its multitude of effects in the brain. Specifically, I’m using an extract that has a higher concentration of active ingredients.

Mechanism of Action
As mentioned above, Polygala has a wide range of effects including but not limited to:
– MAO inhibition
– NMDA receptor antagonism
– Inhibition of Dopamine, Norepinephrine, and Serotonin reuptake
– Increases BDNF and NGF

All of these combine to make this herb a potent nootropic that supports enhanced mood, memory, focus, and energy.

Use Cases I’m Testing
I’m planning to test Polygala as a general nootropic, taking it for an overall enhanced mental state. Based on anecdotal reports I will be trying this with multiple doses spread out through the day, and before sleep as well.

Doses I’m Testing
The main dose I plan to test is 100mg, though I will likely try 200-300mg. The dose I see being most useful is 100mg taken 2-3x per day though.

How Often I’m Taking
Throughout my testing phase I will take Polygala 2 times per week to maintain novelty to it, though it can likely be taken most days at low doses.

Agmatine Sulfate

What is it?
Agmatine Sulfate is an amino acid derived from L-arginine. It is a naturally occurring compound in the body, and functions as a neurotransmitter/neuromodulator in the brain.

Mechanism of Action
Agmatine’s primary nootropic mechanisms lie with the NMDA glutamate receptor and various serotonin receptors.

It has an antagonistic effect on the NMDA receptor by binding non-competitively (to a different site than glutamate and glycine). This mechanism likely contributes to Agmatine’s antidepressant and neuroprotective effects.

Agmatine seems to have effects on various serotonin receptor subtypes (5TH-1A/B, 5HT-2A/C), a mechanism that would heavily contribute to its antidepressant effects.

It also has direct inhibitory effects on nNOS (neuroprotective), increases nitric oxide throughout the body (enhances blood flow), and various other mechanisms that make this a promising supplement.

Use Cases I’m Testing
I’m planning to test Agmatine as a nootropic, taking it one or two times throughout the day and observing its effects on me.

I’ll also likely test it before bed due to its NMDA receptor antagonizing effects.

Doses I’m Testing
I’ll test from 250-1000mg taken at one time, and the same doses once in the morning and once at night in the same day

How Often I’m Taking
2-3 times a week to maintain novelty to the compound throughout my testing period.

L-Tyrosine

What is it?
Tyrosine is an amino acid and precursor to the catecholemine neurotransmitters. This synthesis pathway goes as follows:

Tyrosine → Dopa → Dopamine → Norepinephrine → Epinephrine

Mechanism of Action
Tyrosine’s mechanism is to provide more precursor to neurons that are producing dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.

On its own supplementing tryosine may not be that helpful since this pathway is heavily regulated by the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase, which converts tyrosine into dopa. This is the rate limiting step and its very slow, limiting how much tyrosine can actually be converted into these neurotransmitters.

Use Cases I’m Testing
Despite not being entirely useful on its own (unless you’re tyrosine deficient), I have plans for this supplement.

My idea is to pair tyrosine with other nootropics that positively influence the release or activity of the catecholamine neurotransmitters.

Although tyrosine hydroxylase is inherently slow, it can be unregulated in times of need, such as when stores of a neurotransmitter are low. Therefore, by providing these neurons with more precursor they can keep up production and release of dopamine and norepinephrine when you’re altering their systems in one way or another.

Main use cases I’m looking to test:
-With caffeine (generally increases release of catecholamines)
-With Sabroxy (inhibits dopamine reuptake)
-Maybe with other nootropics like Saffron and Polygala, I’m not sure

Sabroxy is the main one I want to test, especially when splitting doses 4 hours apart. Inhibiting dopamine reuptake should deplete dopamine stores, so providing an upregulated tyrosine hydorxylase with more tyrosine should be fairly effective.

Doses I’m Testing
I’m planning to test 1 gram. I see no reason to test more or less

How Often I’m Taking
I plan to pair this with the nootropics listed above seperated by a few days to maintain novelty. This doesn’t need to be limited though.

Sleep Supplements

While I have these listed as Sleep Supplements, some may also be extremely beneficial as anti-anxiety supplements due to their mechanism of action.

Magnolia Bark Extract

What is it?
Magnolia Bark extract is an extract from the bark of Magnolia trees (shocker). While the bark itself is known to have anti-anxiety and pro-sleep effects, extracts contain high concentrations of the two primary actives found in the bark.

These two compounds of interest are Magnolol and Honokiol.

Mechanism of Action
Both Magnolol and Honokiol act as positive allosteric modulators of the GABAA receptor. They bind to these receptors at a different site than GABA, enhancing their function as opposed to directly activating them.

This mechanism increases the overall inhibitory neurotransmission in the brain, making Magnolia Bark extremely effective at decreasing anxiety and helping fall asleep.

Use Cases I’m Testing
I’ll be using Magnolia Bark before bed and on occasions when I have anxiety. It’s mechanism makes it very effective at slowing overall brain activity, so it’s incredibly useful at providing a smooth transition to sleep.

I’ll also test various doses several hours before bed just to observe the GABAergic effects that it has.

Doses I’m Testing
So far, I have tested 200 and 400mg which are more than effective for the use cases I am deploying this supplement for. However, I will likely try 600mg just to experience it once or twice.

How Often I’m Taking
I’m using Magnolia Bark extract to 1-2 times a week max through my testing phase, usually sticking to 1. Tolerance can build quickly when taking the extract, so I’m limiting my use to maintain sensitivity to it.

Once done with testing, I’ll take this supplement as needed to fall asleep or clam anxiety, but still try to stay under 2 times a week.

Lemon Balm Extract

What is it?
This is an extract of the Lemon Balm herb. Traditionally this plant could be used as a calming agent in tea, but this is an extract that concentrates the active ingredients down into a supplement form.

Mechanism of Action
Lemon Balm’s primary mechanism of action is the inhibition of GABA Transaminase, an enzyme that breaks down GABA in the brain.

Since GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, increasing its levels in the brain will have an inhibitory effect that slow neural activity.

As a result, lemon balm should be and effective sleep aid and anti-anxiety supplement.

Use cases I’m testing
My primary use case for lemon balm will be before bed, but I will also use it for excessive anxiety during the day if I see fit. My goal is to understand how potent its inhibitory effects are, then I can devise my ideal use case for it moving forward.

Doses I’m Testing
I’m initially planning to test 500-1500mg, as a way to see what dosage works best for me.

How Often I’m Taking
I plan to take this 1-2 times per week during my testing phase.

Magnesium Threonate

What is it?
This is a novel form of magnesium that allegedly crosses the blood brain barrier much better than other forms, resulting in an enhanced effect of the magnesium in the brain.

Mechanism of Action
Magnesium has too many functions to list here, but its main job in the brain is to block the NMDA glutamate receptor. It’s not a direct antagonism, but more so a regulator. Regulation of this receptor is imperative for the encoding of memories and synaptic plasticity. Therefore, this form of magnesium should be the most effective at enhancing brain function generally, but also providing the inhibitory effect its well known for.

Use Cases I’m Testing
I will be testing this primarily before bed as a sleep aid.

Doses I’m Testing
I will likely only test a full 3 capsule serving (2000mg) for my testing purposes.

How Often I’m Taking
I plan to take this 1-2 times per week during my testing phase to retain novelty to it over other forms of magnesium I’ll be using.

Supplements

By supplement, I’m referring to anything I’m using on a daily basis and observing the long-term effects of.

None currently

Nootropic reviews (links to my full reviews)

Supplement Reviews (links to my full reviews)

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