Best nootropics for depression-2022

Best Nootropics for Major Depressive Disorder

David Tomen
David Tomen
16 minute read

Best nootropics for major depressive disorder

Nootropic forums and blogs often describe depression as a neurotransmitter imbalance in the brain. And then offer suggestions on various nootropics for major depressive disorder or drugs to help lift your mood and reduce depression.

But this simplistic view of depression misses the complexity of this disease.

Recent research has shown that depression can have many possible causes. Including out of whack mood regulation by your brain, genetic problems, stressful events or living conditions, prescription medications or other medical problems causing cognitive impairments.

It’s true that neurotransmitters are involved in the process that contributes to depression. But it’s usually not a matter of one neurotransmitter being too low or another too high.

Here’s the thing. You have several neurotransmitter systems, amino acids, hormones and other neurochemicals working both inside and outside neurons.

The interaction of these neurochemical reactions make up a highly dynamic system that contributes to your mood. And how you perceive and experience life.

With this level of complexity, you may have similar symptoms of depression to the person next to you. But the issues in your brain and body may be completely different. So what works best for someone else experiencing your symptoms may not be best option for you.

And this is why we often say in the nootropic community that Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV) when describing a particular nootropic supplement. And how it feels.

In this article you’ll discover other possible causes contributing to your depression. How to recognize them. How to use nootropic supplements to test different possible causes so you can narrow down what may be causing your depression.

And I’ll share some nootropic supplement suggestions that may help relieve your depression symptoms for a better quality of life.

Depression and Neurogenesis

It turns out that brain cell signaling, neurogenesis and the function of neuronal circuits may play a more important role in depression than simply the levels of serotonin or dopamine.

For example, researchers in Munich studied 24 women who had a history of depression. And on average, their hippocampus was 9 – 13% smaller in the depressed women compared to healthy women. And the more bouts of depression a woman had, their hippocampus was even smaller compared to less depressed women in the study.[i]Best nootropics for mood enhancement

We know that stress can play a role in depression and on your central nervous system. And research has shown that stress can suppress neurogenesis. Which would account for the smaller hippocampus in these women.

We also know that Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), a naturally occurring protein in your brain, is critical for preventing apoptosis (brain cell death), is required for the growth of new neurons (neurogenesis) and the growth and maintenance of synapses.

Please check out my article on “13 Nootropics to Boost BDNF”. Increasing BDNF is one way to combat depression. Below I’ll share a list of nootropics for you to try some of which also help to increase levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) among other benefits for a healthy brain.

If you’ve ever tried antidepressants for alleviating depressive symptoms, you know that it often takes weeks to feel any benefit. Scientists have a theory that the value of some of these medications may be in generating new neurons (neurogenesis), strengthening neuron connections, and improving brain cell signaling. Which often takes time before you can feel the result.

So now researchers speculate that new medications could be developed to specifically promote neurogenesis. As it turns out, we already have this ability with several natural nootropic supplements.

Depression and Neurotransmitters

We know that neurotransmitter dysfunction is not the only cause of depression. But we can’t discount their importance either.

Neurons are designed to communicate with each other. When a neuron is activated, it passes an ‘action potential’, which is a tiny electrical signal, down its axon to the axon terminal (synapse).  Neurotransmitters are stored in synaptic vesicles.

The action potential (electrical signal) releases certain neurotransmitters into the synapse. Which then sends it over to a synapse on a dendrite connected to the receiving neuron. As the concentration of neurotransmitters rise in the synapse, they bind to receptors embedded in the membranes of the two neurons.

This release of a neurotransmitter from one neuron can activate or inhibit the second neuron. Once the first neuron has released a certain amount of neurotransmitter molecules, a feedback mechanism instructs the transmitting neuron to stop releasing neurotransmitter molecules and begin bringing them back into the 1st neuron. This process is called reuptake.

In those who are severely depressed or manic, this fine-tuned system of neuro-signaling can go out of whack. Either too much or too little of the neurotransmitter is released.

Or if the reuptake is overly efficient and mops up too many neurotransmitter molecules before they have a chance to bind to receptors. It can have a significant impact on mood.

The primary neurotransmitters that can play a role in depression include:

Each one of these neurotransmitters can be boosted, or their reuptake affected by nootropic supplements (listed below).


Depressive Symptoms and Prescription Medication

Depression can result as a side effect of certain prescription drugs. These drugs can include antimicrobials, antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, heart and blood pressure drugs, hormones, insomnia drugs, tranquilizers, antacids, narcotic pain drugs and more.

We know from experience that many of these prescription drugs may be replaced by safer, natural nootropic supplements.

But I am NOT encouraging you to stop using whatever meds you’re currently on. Without consulting with your doctor first. I am encouraging you to learn about and possibly try safer alternatives that often do the job just as well and will enhance your brain health.

CAUTION: many nootropic supplements are contraindicated with prescription SSRIs, MAOIs, tricyclics, and others that work on the same neurotransmitter system. Combining any of these ‘natural’ nootropic supplements with the wrong drug can do serious harm. Including ending your life. Please, please read the Side Effects section of each nootropic review here on Nootropics Expert®. And if in doubt please ask me and consult with your doctor before trying a nootropic if you are using any of these prescription meds.

Depression and Stress

Nearly all of us experience stressful events. And while not every one of us who faces stress develops depressive disorders or other mental disorders. Stress however often does play an important role in depression.

Depending on how sensitive you are to stress, along with messed up neurochemistry and even genetics. A perfect storm of any or all of these influencing factors can lead to depression.

So, please read my extended article on “Best Nootropics for Anxiety” which includes several nootropic supplements that may help you deal with and conquer stress and even boosts your mental performance.


Recommended Nootropics for Depression and Enhance Cognitive Performance

If you are currently being treated for depression. Or suspect you may be dealing with undiagnosed depression. And are looking for a more natural, safer way to treat your symptoms. Nootropics may be the answer.

You’re not alone looking for a natural alternative to drugs that often often associated with a host of side effects. Research in the United States and other countries show that significant numbers of people use ‘alternative medicine’ to treat their depression.

Researchers conducted a survey of more than 3,000 women in the USA to find out how many turned to alternative medicine for depression. Of the 220 women who said they had been officially diagnosed with depression, 54% said they used alternative medicine to treat their symptoms.[ii]

We have found that the following list of nootropics work well for different types and causes of depression.

As I mentioned before, your mileage may vary. What works for me may not work for you. Wise and careful experimentation is critical to finding a safer alternative for treating your depression.

  1. Aniracetam – A member of the racetam-family of nootropics, Aniracetam works with dopamine D2 and D3 receptors in your brain. And desensitizes AMPA (glutamate) receptors which can help control glutamate toxicity.Aniracetam is one of the most effective antidepressants I’ve even tried. And its effects on dopamine in your brain can have a profound effect on anxiety symptoms as well.
  2. Bacopa Monnieri – One of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. Bacopa Monnieri has been used for millennia to relieve anxiety, fatigue, restore energy and boost concentration.This adaptogen has been shown in clinical studies to work as well for depression as benzodiazepines and tricyclic antidepressants.[iii]
  3. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)CoQ10 contributes to your cell’s natural source of energy. Producing ATP in your mitochondria by taking fat and converting it into usable energy. CoQ10 preserves brain function, helps fight mental illness and migraines.Major depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are now being recognized as having mitochondrial dysfunction in common. With higher oxidative stress levels.[iv] Studies show that 1,200 mg per day of CoQ10 in bipolar adults experienced a significant reduction in depression.[v]
  4. 5-HTPI do NOT recommend using 5-HTP for treating depression. But only include it here since it is marketed as a “natural antidepressant”.This amino acid is naturally produced in your body. And synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan which you get from food. 5-HTP is the precursor needed to produce the ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitter serotonin. But a summary published in the Alternative Medicine Review noted a lack of evidence for ‘loading’ precursors to treat depression.[vi] Combining 5-HTP with SSRI’s, Tricyclics or MAOI’s will cause Serotonin Syndrome which can be deadly.
  5. Ginkgo Biloba – This tree native to China has been used for thousands of years to boost mental alertness, improve cerebral circulation and for better overall brain function. Many have found Ginkgo Biloba to be very effective for reducing anxiety and stress. And for boosting mood.1,570 men and women in England participated in a study using 120 mg of Ginkgo Biloba extract daily for 4, 6, and 10 months. Those who used Gingko Biloba the longest experienced the most improvement improvements for anxiety, depression, energy, drowsiness, sadness and happiness.[vii]
  6. Iodine – Did you know that iodine deficient populations are up to 13.5 IQ points less than those with optimal iodine levels in their system?[viii] Since iodine has largely been removed from table salt in some countries, it has been suggested that iodine deficiency is epidemic. Particularly in countries like the United States.Iodine is essential to thyroid health and the production of thyroid hormones. Nearly every tissue in your body relies on thyroid hormones for healthy function. Not enough iodine can result in hypothyroidism. Negatively affecting acetylcholine synthesis in your brain. Affecting cognition, learning and memory, recall and mood.
  7. Kava Kava is native to the South Pacific. And the islanders use kava for its sedative effects. Kava can help reduce anxiety and depression. Unlike benzodiazepines, Kava does not impair cognitive function. In fact, studies show that not only will Kava improve mood. It may also boost cognitive function as well.[ix]
  8. Lion’s Mane Mushroom – Also called the “smart mushroom”, Lion’s Mane boosts brain nerve growth factor which increases neurogenesis. Lion’s Mane can help improve focus and attention, boost thinking and processing speed, repair brain cells, and help relieve anxiety and depression.Women in Japan received Lion’s Mane-laced cookies for 4 weeks during a clinical trial. The researchers found that Lion’s Mane reduced anxiety and depression in these women during the trial.[x]
  9. Magnesium – Lack of adequate magnesium can result in brain fog, anxiety and depression. Plasticity of neuron synapses is affected by having enough magnesium in brain cells.A study was conducted with 5,708 people in Norway. The aim of the study was to examine the association between magnesium intake and depression and anxiety. The researchers found that low magnesium intake is related to depression.[xi]
  10. Mucuna Pruriens (L-DOPA)L-DOPA is synthesized from the amino acid tyrosine in your body. And is a precursor to the formation of dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine in your brain.Mucuna Pruriens has been used in Ayurveda medicine since 1500 B.C. For treating things like snakebite, intestinal problems, sexual issues and melancholy mood. Research shows that supplementing with L-DOPA extracted from Mucuna Pruriens can be a great natural antidepressant if you are low in dopamine.[xii]
  11. N-Acetyl L-Cysteine (NAC)NAC is an amino acid that regulates the amount of glutamate and dopamine in your brain. It helps restore dysfunctional dopamine receptors. And is a precursor to Glutathione which is your master antioxidant needed to reduce free radicals and oxidative stressA study with 75 subjects with bipolar disorder were given 1 gram of NAC twice daily for 24 weeks. Treatment with NAC resulted in a significant improvement with depression in these patients.[xiii]
  12. N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT) – NALT is a highly bioavailable form of the amino acid L-Tyrosine. Your brain uses tyrosine to produce dopamine and norepinephrine. Dopamine is involved in libido, memory, focus, goal-oriented concentration, is a mood elevator and antidepressant.If you are ADHD, or have other issues with low dopamine, supplementing with NALT or L-Tyrosine may help improve your memory, boost your IQ, and relieve depression. I highly recommend NALT or L-Tyrosine for anyone using stimulants like Adderall or Ritalin for treating ADHD.
  13. Nefiracetam – One of the newer members of the racetam-family of nootropics, Nefiracetam is used clinically to treat and prevent seizures, severe depression and has shown neuroprotective qualities.The structure of Nefiracetam is similar to the other great racetam antidepressant Aniracetam. Researchers at the University of Iowa did a trial with 159 stroke patients with major depression. The study concluded that Nefiracetam produced a significant improvement in the most severely depressed patients.[xiv]
  14. Noopept – This peptide-derived nootropic related to the racetam-family is much more potent than Piracetam. But its mechanism of action in your brain is similar to other racetams.Noopept stimulates dopamine, nicotinic and serotonin receptors. It boosts cognition, memory, logical thinking, reflexes and mood.[xv] Noopept increases Alpha brain waves and Beta brain waves. Increasing relaxation. Alpha brain waves increase relaxation and the Beta brain waves assist with your state of alertness and mental clarity. Both of these combined can move you into super-learning, flow states and joy.
  15. Phenylalanine – This amino acid is a precursor to tyrosine in your brain. Tyrosine helps in the synthesis of dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.One study was done with 23 patients diagnosed with depression who had not responded to standard antidepressants. They were given 50 or 100 mg of Phenylalanine daily for 15 days. The researchers found that Phenylalanine completely improved mood in 17 of the patients. Within 13 days of the 15-day trial.[xvi]
  16. Rhodiola RoseaRhodiola Rosea activates AMPA receptors in your brain. Which can decrease depression and stress-related mood swings, reduces fatigue, stimulates energy and alertness, boosts cognition, and motivation.A clinical trial with 57 patients diagnosed with depression were given Rhodiola Rosea extract, sertraline (Zoloft®), or a placebo for 12 weeks. The study found that Rhodiola Rosea was slightly less effective than sertraline for depression. But produced far fewer side effects and was better tolerated.[xvii]
  17. SAM-eSAM-e is the naturally occurring amino acid methionine bound to an ATP molecule. It helps in the process of cell division and repair, and the generation of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and melatonin. Which is why it’s considered a potent nootropic.SAM-e is used to boost mood, relieve depression, improve energy levels and reduce symptoms of fibromyalgia. 20 healthy volunteers took part in a study receiving infusions of 800 mg of SAM-e or a placebo for 7 days. EEG mapping during the study identified SAM-e as an antidepressant. Targeting brain regions crucial in the therapeutic efficacy of antidepressants.[xviii]
  18. St. John’s wort – This herb has traditionally been used for mood disorders and wound healing. Today it’s used mostly as a treatment for anxiety, depression and stress.St. John’s wort works like prescription SSRI’s by preventing the reuptake of serotonin in your brain. But please read the precautions for using this nootropic in the extended article. Before trying it as a nootropic supplement to treat your depression.
  19. Sulbutiamine – Sulbutiamine is a synthesized version of Vitamin B1 (thiamine) which easily crosses the blood-brain barrier. As a nootropic, it’s used to boost mood, memory and motivation.A study at the University of Wales Swansea in the UK worked with 120 young adult females. Study participants took either a placebo or 50 mg thiamine for 2 months. Mood, memory and reaction times were monitored before and after taking the tablets. 2 months after supplementing with thiamine, participants were more clearheaded, felt more composed and energetic, reaction times improved, and mood was better.[xix]
  20. Tryptophan – This essential amino acid is a precursor to serotonin, melatonin and niacin (Vitamin B3) in your body. Adding tryptophan to your stack can help boost your serotonin levels. And should help with anxiety, ADHD, depression, insomnia, memory loss, pain and eating disorders.
  21. TurmericTurmeric is one of the main spices in curries. In parts of India where curries are eaten most often, Alzheimer’s disease is extremely rare. This spice (and its extract called curcumin) has a unique ability to reduce inflammation common to Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and brain tumors.A study conducted in India looked at the efficacy and safety of using curcumin, the main active ingredient found in turmeric, for treating major depression.60 depressed patients took either 20 mg of Prozac®, 1000 mg of curcumin, or a combination of both daily for 6 weeks. The best response during the trial was with patients using the combination. And the researchers concluded that curcumin could be used as an effective and safe treatment for patients with major depression.
  22. Uridine Monophosphate – This precursor to Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) provides instructions from your DNA to help create memory by facilitating connections between brain neurons (synapses).Uridine supplementation as a nootropic uplifts and stabilizes mood, is anti-stress, helps Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), is anti-anxiety and helps modulate and normalize dopamine release.[xx]
  23. Vitamin B6Vitamin B6 helps your brain make serotonin, norepinephrine and melatonin. The activated form of Vitamin B6 called P-5-P is particularly effective in boosting serotonin and GABA in your brain.For depression, look for a P-5-P supplement or a B-Complex formula that uses P-5-P.
  24. Vitamin B12 – This B-vitamin plays a key role in the efficient conversion of carbohydrates to glucose which contributes to cellular fuel production (ATP). It helps your body convert fatty acids into energy.Supplementing with Vitamin B12 can help lower anxiety, and elevate alertness, cognition, energy, vision, elevate mood and relieve insomnia. No more mood swings!

Depressed No More

Nootropics can be a strong alternative to many antidepressant medications currently prescribed by doctors. And promoted by the Big Pharmaceutical companies.dopaminergic nootropics

But a very strong word of caution – if you are currently using any prescription antidepressant medications. Or any medication for that matter. Research each nootropic including side effects and prescription drug interactions before using them.

To finally beat depression, you must figure out the root cause of it. It is pointless to try otherwise without doing your research. Experiment with various nootropic supplements until you find what works for you.

Good luck in your search. There is hope. I know because I’ve conquered my own depression. And came out the other side better than before.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may also contain other affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

[i] Frodl T. et. Al. “Reduced hippocampal volume correlates with executive dysfunctioning in major depression” Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience 2006 Sep; 31(5): 316–325. (source)

[ii] “Alternative medicine for depression” Harvard Medical School July 1, 2007 (source)

[iii] Bhattacharya S.K., Bhattacharya A., Sairam K., “Ghosal S. Anxiolytic-antidepressant activity of Withania somnifera glycowithanolides: an experimental study.” Phytomedicine 2000 Dec;7(6):463-9. (source)

[iv] Maes M., Galecki P., Chang Y.S., Berk M. “ A review on the oxidative and nitrosative stress (O&NS) pathways in major depression and their possible contribution to the (neuro)degenerative processes in that illness.” Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. 2011 Apr 29;35(3):676-92. (source)

[v] Forester B.P., Zuo C.S., Ravichandran C., Harper D.G., Du F., Kim S., Cohen B.M., Renshaw P.F. “Coenzyme Q10 effects on creatine kinase activity and mood in geriatric bipolar depression.” Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology. 2012 Mar;25(1):43-50. (source)

[vi] Meyers S. “Use of neurotransmitter precursors for treatment of depression.” Alternative Medicine Revue. 2000 Feb;5(1):64-71. (source)

[vii] Trick L., Boyle J., Hindmarch I. “The effects of Ginkgo biloba extract (LI 1370) supplementation and discontinuation on activities of daily living and mood in free living older volunteers.” Phytotherapy Research. 2004 Jul;18(7):531-7. (source)

[viii] Qian M., Wang D., Watkins W.E., Gebski V., Yan Y.Q., Li M., Chen Z.P. “The effects of iodine on intelligence in children: a meta-analysis of studies conducted in China.” Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2005;14(1):32-42. (source)

[ix] Thompson R., Ruch W., Hasenöhrl R.U. “Enhanced cognitive performance and cheerful mood by standardized extracts of Piper methysticum (Kava-kava). Human Psychopharmacology. 2004 Jun;19(4):243-50. (source)

[x] Nagano M., Shimizu K., Kondo R., Hayashi C., Sato D., Kitagawa K., Ohnuki K. “Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake.” Biomedical Research. 2010 Aug;31(4):231-7. (source)

[xi] Jacka F.N. et. Al. “ Association between magnesium intake and depression and anxiety in community-dwelling adults: the Hordaland Health Study” Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry Volume 43, Issue 1, 2009 (source)

[xii] Rana D.G., Galani V.J. “Dopamine mediated antidepressant effect of Mucuna pruriens seeds in various experimental models of depression.” Ayu. 2014 Jan;35(1):90-7. (source)

[xiii] Berk M., Copolov D.L., Dean O., Lu K., Jeavons S, Schapkaitz I., Anderson-Hunt M., Bush A.I. “N-acetyl cysteine for depressive symptoms in bipolar disorder–a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial.” Biological Psychiatry. 2008 Sep 15;64(6):468-75 (source)

[xiv] Robinson R.G., Jorge R.E., Clarence-Smith K. “Double-blind randomized treatment of poststroke depression using nefiracetam.” Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. 2008 Spring;20(2):178-84. (source)

[xv] Gudasheva T.A., Konstantinopol’skii M.A., Ostrovskaya R.U., Seredenin S.B. “Anxiolytic activity of endogenous nootropic dipeptide cycloprolylglycine in elevated plus-maze test.” Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine. 2001 May;131(5):464-6. (source)

[xvi] Fischer E., Heller B., Nachon M., Spatz H. “Therapy of depression by phenylalanine. Preliminary note.” Arzneimittelforschung. 1975 Jan;25(1):132. (source)

[xvii] Mao J.J., Xie S.X., Zee J., Soeller I., Li QS., Rockwell K., Amsterdam J.D. “Rhodiola rosea versus sertraline for major depressive disorder: A randomized placebo-controlled trial.” Phytomedicine. 2015 Mar 15;22(3):394-9. (source)

[xviii] Saletu B., Anderer P., Di Padova C., Assandri A., Saletu-Zyhlarz G.M. “Electrophysiological neuroimaging of the central effects of S-adenosyl-L-methionine by mapping of electroencephalograms and event-related potentials and low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2002 Nov;76(5):1162S-71S (source)

[xix] Benton D., Griffiths R., Haller J. “Thiamine supplementation mood and cognitive functioning.” Psychopharmacology 1997 Jan;129(1):66-71. (source)

[xx] Powell A. “Rx for depression: ‘Mangia, mangia!’ Harvard Gazette Archives March 03, 2005 Retrieved August 9, 2016 (source)

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Join The Discussion - 318 comments

July 2, 2019

Hi David. I like the aniracetam. Gives me nice focus and mood boost. Of course, I do combine it with Alpha GPC to avoid a headache. I am intrigued with trying phenylpiracetam. I heard it gives a nice mental and physical boost too. Is this true ? Have you tried phenylpiracetam ? How do you rank it next to aniracetam ? Thank you.

    David Tomen
    July 4, 2019

    Noel. I’ve tried Phenylpiracetam and do not like the way it made me feel. All you can do is try it and see if you like it. In very broad terms one is an anxiolytic and the other a stimulant.

Tara Jane
June 27, 2019

Hi David,
I was under medicated for hypothyroidism in Sept and my body took 3 months to show symptoms. Unfortunately by that time a cascade of problems had already been set in motion. It started with a massive stress response and an inability to relax. Then gut issues. In April when I was really struggling I decided to swap thyroid medications in the hope that it would recover my mood and restore T3 levels… bad mistake. It sent me into a deep depression. Before this ideal I had never experienced depression. It is debilitating. So I went back to my original medication and the deepness lifted somewhat. But I am still having a massive stress response and depression. I have cleaned up my diet and have recovered my gut health somewhat.. am walking lots to mitigate the stress response and doing yoga. I am taking a bunch of supplements but the only ones I’ve noticed make a difference are valerian and holy basil. I’ve read that might be due to adrenal fatigue and cortisol? Or GABA imbalance? I know it’s a long shot but any insight or suggestions you might have would be great.


    David Tomen
    June 29, 2019

    Tara, if you click on the “About” tab in the menu you’ll find I went through something very similar to you. And it took nearly 3 years of experimenting and healing before I felt great again.

    I suggest you get a copy of Janie Bowthorpe’s book “Stop the Thyroid Madness” ( where you’ll get the best advice for digging out of the hole you’re in. And come back to Nootropics Expert to research some of the supplements recommended in that book.

June 24, 2019

Hello David. I understand that you take Aniracetam and Sulbutiamin every day, but I am concerned about building tolerance if I take them every day. My question is that if I cycle them, what is the best “method” for cycling ? In other words, take both together for 5 consecutive days then 2 days off, or take Aniracetam on Monday, Sulbutiamin on Tuesday, Aniracetam on Wednesday, Sulbutiamin on Thursday, etc. ? BTW, why do you think it is that you are able to take them both every day without losing effectiveness ? Many people report building tolerance of Sulbutiamin especially, and I’m afraid that I will fall into that category for some reason. Thank you.

    David Tomen
    June 25, 2019

    Noel, if you are concerned about tolerance then take each of them every second day. I don’t worry about ‘tolerance’ because I’m not seeking any particular noticeable feeling like euphoria. I just want to feel good all the time. But euphoria is not sustainable long-term.

      June 27, 2019

      Hello David. I was wondering if you could clarify which of the following nootropics are water soluble and which are fat soluble ? I have been taking ALCAR and NALT with water only before breakfast on empty stomach. Then with breakfast, I take a combination of sulbutiamin, aniracetam, alpha GPC, uridine, rhodiola, phosphatidylserine, theanine, vitamin d, fish oil, and multivitamin. Am I doing this right, or do I need to change what I take with water and what I take with food ? Thank you.

        David Tomen
        June 29, 2019

        Noel, each individual review includes whether it is fat- or water-soluble. Your dosing schedule is correct.

        June 29, 2019

        Hi David. I was wondering what you think of BANG energy drink for a nice mood lift and energy ? Do you recommend any specific energy drinks ? Thank you.

        David Tomen
        July 2, 2019

        Noel, the BANG energy drinks are not to bad but some may find issues with the caffeine in it. Same with 5-hour Energy. That was likely the first “nootropic drink” and no one noticed. I certainly discounted it and never looked into it until today. Shame on me for my prejudices.

June 21, 2019

Hello David. Recently found your website and absolutely love it. I am new to nootropics, but learning so much from it to better myself. I am taking ALCAR every day in the morning with a cup of water before breakfast on an empty stomach. I take ALCAR with NALT every other day (3-4 days a week) to avoid building up Tyrosine tolerance (I heard that the brain will shut off Tyrosine if taken every day). Then, with breakfast, I will take Alpha GPC with Uridine, and Vitamin D 500, fish oil, multivitamin, and Phosphatidylserine. But I don’t take the Alpha GPC with Uridine every day. I will cycle it every other day with either Rhodiola (3% rosavins to 1% salidroside) or Sulbutiamin. I am thinking about adding Aniracetam to my cycled stack (adding Alpha GPC with it as a choline source). Am I on the right track here ? Please tell me the best way to cycle my favorite nootropics to keep long term effectiveness and avoid tolerance. Thank you so much!

    David Tomen
    June 22, 2019

    Noel, you are definitely on the right track. As for tolerance, it all depends on how your brain works and what works for you. I use NALT or L-Tyrosine 3-times per day and don’t have a problem with tolerance. Because my brain is starved of dopamine.

    The key is finding what works for you and listening to your body. It will tell you when you are doing the right thing to support it.

      June 23, 2019

      David, which ones that I mentioned above can safely and effectively be taken every single day, and which ones need to be cycled ? Thanks so much.

        David Tomen
        June 23, 2019

        Noel, there is nothing that needs to be cycled in my opinion. It entirely depends on dosages and how your individual brain works. I personally do not cycle anything because I only use what my brain demands. You may find differently. Only way to know is experimenting.

        June 23, 2019

        Hi David. I have been taking ALCAR daily and it seems to give me good background focus every day. But I am really intrigued by Aniracetam and Sulbutiamin. Should I be taking both together every day, or maybe better off taking just the Aniracetam on Monday, then Sulbutiamin on Tuesday, back to Aniracetam on Wednesday, and then Sulbutiamin on Thursday, etc. ? Thank you.

        David Tomen
        June 24, 2019

        Noel, I use the daily and have for years. Just make sure you add CDP-Choline or Alpha GPC if you’re going to use Aniracetam.

May 28, 2019

David, you ARE the best! Thank you for all your help, nobody else explains everything so well, and completely as you. Thank-you-thank-you. I have fought depression all my life, shock treatments, hospitalized, with really not a lot of help until I found you. Bless you so much. Audrey

kenneth fitzpatrick
May 20, 2019

Is it safe to sulbutiamine,if you’re on Effexor antidepressant 2 daily 75mg

    David Tomen
    May 21, 2019

    Kenneth, should not be a problem depending on what you are using Effexor for. Please see the “side effects” section above.

February 17, 2019

I have been on Lexapro for 17 years. I went off it cold turkey last year and stayed off for about a year. After watching your videos on Youtube, I see that with proper experimentation, it could be possible for me to wean myself off the SSRI being careful not to take anything that could cause Serotonin Syndrome, then after I am off for a certain amount of time, introduce some nootropics that positively affect Serotonin. From what I’ve read it appears that St John’s Wort, L-Tryptophan, 5HTP, and possibly Rhodiola Rosea would have adverse reactions while tapering off SSRI’s. Nootropics that I think would be safe while tapering are Ginkgo Biloba, Lion’s Mane Mushroom and possibly Bacopa Monnieri. I have used Dr Daniel Amen’s brand called Brain and Memory Booster which contains several amino acids including NAC in addition to Vinpocetine and Huperzine. I didn’t see any ill effects while taking it along with Lexapro.
My question is, can you recommend the best nootropics to utilize over a period of a few months that won’t have any adverse reactions with the drug while tapering off ? Thank you in advance. You are a great resource in this field. Keep up the good work.

    David Tomen
    February 17, 2019

    Dan, the best thing to do is avoid anything that is contraindicated with Lexapro. Which is a potent serotonin reuptake inhibitor. So stay away from any nootropic that directly boosts serotonin. For example, L-Tryptophan or 5-HTP. And anything that is a strong modulator of serotonin or its receptors or synapses. Noopept for example seems to stimulate dopamine, nicotinic AND serotonin receptors. That’s the kind of thing to watch out for.

      April 20, 2019

      Thanks David. I’ll be sure to stay away from any of the serotonin stimulators while still on lexapro. I assume Aniracetam would be a no go as well, Correct ?

        David Tomen
        April 20, 2019

        Dan, you should be OK with Aniracetam because it does not affect serotonin. It acts on acetylcholine, and AMPA receptors which are associated with glutamate and GABA. Just make sure you use it with a choline supplement like Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline.

Scott kerpen
January 22, 2019

Hi Jonathan, I was just wondering if you tried the Lion’s mane with Zoloft? I am also thinking about it but concerned about the interaction

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