Arms Race Nutrition CLARITY: The Good-Mood Zen Nootropic

Wants, desires, commitments, distractions — our lives are filled with endless demands, as our day-to-day oscillates between tasks to do and persistent interruptions. In a fast-paced and highly-virtual environment, there’s a premium value on the ability to stay focused on important tasks and remove distractions so that we can stay happy and calm.

Arms Race Clarity

Some supplements support mood while some support focus. Arms Race Clarity does both.

Arms Race Nutrition (ARN) has been around for a couple of years now. The company, which is the brainchild of uber-popular bodybuilder and fitness influencer, Julian Smith, launched in 2019. Under the tutelage of Doug Miller, pro bodybuilder and CEO of Core Nutritionals, and Kenton Engel, an experienced and well-respected supplement formulator, Smith has turned ARN into more than another “influencer brand”. In addition to a variety of well-formulated, high-quality supplements, ARN is home to Clarity, a unique nootropic that aims to optimize mental focus and well-being.

Come Clarity: A powerful nootropic that boosts mood

Arms Race Clarity is different from other nootropic formulas on the market. Some of them tackle focus and others claim to be mood-boosters. The versatile ingredients in Clarity allow it to do both. This bilateral approach makes Clarity more of a feel-good brain health supplement. It’s capable of improving cognitive functioning and well-being. Furthermore, it hones in on the mental well-being component more than most.

In this post, we’ll dive into Clarity’s formula, honing in on what each of its seven ingredients bring to the nootropic’s overall effect. Before we get to that, make sure you’re signed up for Arms Race Nutrition news and deal alerts so that you can stay up-to-date with what Smith and the team have going on.

Arms Race Nutrition Clarity – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

Get Price Alerts

No spam, no scams.

Disclosure: PricePlow relies on pricing from stores with which we have a business relationship. We work hard to keep pricing current, but you may find a better offer.

Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

Before going further, it’s important to disclaim that this supplement should not be mixed with mood-altering pharmaceutical drugs of any kind, especially SSRIs. Clarity is extremely powerful, and contains a high dose of St. John’s Wort, which acts similarly to many of these drugs. Combining them may lead to undesired effects.

As always, contact your doctor before beginning any supplement program, especially if on prescription drugs.

Arms Race Clarity Ingredients

We’ll discuss Smith and ARN in more detail soon, but let’s get right to the ingredients. Each container of Clarity contains 28 total servings, each consisting of four capsules. If you choose to take all four caps (split in two caps, twice per day), here’s what that full daily dose delivers:

  • St. John’s Wort Extract (Hypericum Perforatum) (Aerial) (0.3% Hypericin) – 900mg

    Arms Race Nutrition Clarity Ingredients

    Arms Race Nutrition Clarity Ingredients — we’ve never seen a nootropic like this!

    St. John’s wort (SJW), also referred to by its botanical name Hypericum perforatum, is one of the more well-known psychoactive herbs in supplements. A member of the Hypericaceae family of plants, SJW has been used for centuries as a means of improving mood, with modern science providing insight on how the plant may be able to do so.

    SJW contains four compounds: hypericin, pseudohypericin, hyperforin, and adhyperforin.[1-3]

    Initial assessments led scientists to believe hypericin was the main bioactive behind the plant’s effects, but more recent studies suggest that hyperforin may actually play a more important role.[4] This phytochemical activates nonselective cation channels in neurons, which increases cellular sodium uptake. Higher levels of sodium uptake are positively correlated with inhibited serotonin uptake[2] (serotonin is a key neurotransmitter in the brain that, among other things, regulates mood, anxiety, and levels of depression). Inhibiting its uptake in the brain is an action that many antidepressant medications (called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs) facilitate.

    St. John's Wort

    This plant has a tremendous effect on mood. Image courtesy Wikimedia

    In addition to inhibiting serotonin uptake, hyperforin also reduces the uptake of other important neurotransmitters, according to a study published in a 1998 edition of Life Sciences, such as:

    • Dopamine – regulates cognitive function, motor control, motivation, and reward. Proper functioning of the dopaminergic system is also crucial to reducing neurodegenerative disease risk.[5]
    • Noradrenaline – regulates the body’s fight-or-flight response, increasing alertness and focus.[6]
    • Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) – modulates synaptic transmission, promotes neural development, and prevents sleeplessness and depression.[7]
    • L-Glutamate – one of the most abundant free amino acids in the brain, glutamate is essential for cognitive functioning and neural signaling.[8]

    This multi-target effect on key cognitive messengers has led scientists to suggest that SJW holds potential in treating symptoms of depression and anxiety.

    St. John’s Wort meta analysis with 29 studies

    In a 2008 review published by Cochrane Library, researchers assessed 29 studies in which SJW was used to treat severe depression. This meta-analysis included both placebo-controlled and comparison procedures — 18 of the included studies had placebo groups, while 17 compared SJW to commonly-used antidepressants.

    St. John's Wort Benefits

    With this much research behind it, it’s nearly impossible to dispute St. John’s Wort’s effects on mood.[9]

    The researchers found that not only did SJW lower symptoms of depression compared to placebo, but it was just as effective as some standard antidepressants (tricyclic, tetracyclic, and certain SSRIs).[9] Furthermore, they also saw a lower participant dropout rate in patient groups given SJW, due to the herb having fewer adverse side-effects than antidepressant pharmaceuticals.[9]

    This 2008 review was updated in a 2017 edition of the Journal of Affective Disorders, with researchers assessing 27 clinical trials in which patients were treated with SJW. They reached similar conclusions — SJW induced effects on par with SSRIs, both in direct response and symptom remission, while having a lower patient dropout rate.[10] Patients treated with SJW also decreased their scores on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) by, on average, 6.8% compared to baseline.[10] The team that conducted this review concluded that SJW could be used as an efficacious means to treat mild-to-moderate depression.[10]

    Be careful of potential interactions with pharmaceuticals

    Due to how SJW is metabolized in the body, it can actually conflict with pharmaceutical medications, recreational drugs, and other nootropic herbs and supplements. In combination, serotonin syndrome becomes a high risk, and this should not be taken lightly. Seek your doctor’s consent before beginning supplementation.

    Cytochrome P450 (CYP) is a hemeprotein that breaks down drugs and other substances in the body.[11] The various enzymes in this pathway metabolize SJW, removing it from the bloodstream and allowing its psychoactive effects to take hold. Therein lies the issue — SJW encourages the production of the CYP enzymes which, when taken alongside pharmaceutical drugs, decreases plasma concentrations.[12] Essentially, when taken simultaneously, SJW can reduce the potency of other medications.[12]

    Clarity Nootropic

    Use responsibly and feel the Clarity

    Taking SJW alongside other substances such as illicit drugs that inhibit serotonin reuptake can be problematic, too. Serotonin syndrome is a potentially life-threatening issue caused by the overstimulation of serotonin receptors, leading to altered mental status and neuromuscular abnormalities.[13] While keeping serotonin circulating in the body is generally beneficial, particularly in instances of anxiety and depression, as with most things, too much of it can be detrimental.

    Before supplementing with SJW, make sure you take stock of other medications and supplements you’re currently using — including any recreational drug you may use, even if it’s only once in a while. If their purposes or effects overlap with SJW, you should not bring this potent herb into the fold.

    Research has yet to pin down a clinical dosage of SJW, but a lot of literature refers to daily doses between 500 milligrams and 1,800 milligrams. Clarity delivers 900 milligrams of a standardized SJW extract, sitting neatly within that commonly-used range. At an efficacious dose, this inclusion should bring the potent antidepressant-like effects of SJW, helping you maintain a positive mood and cognitive state.

  • Gingko Biloba Extract (Leaf) (Min. 22% Glycosides and 6% Terpene Lactones) – 600mg

    A medicinal plant with roots in traditional Chinese medicine, Gingko biloba is one of the most widely-used herbal supplements. This plant has anecdotally been used to “benefit the brain”, according to botanist Peter Del Trdici, with additional applications relating to vasodilation and blood circulation.[14] Though it contains numerous compounds, including strong antioxidants, research has credited the plant’s concentrations of terpene lactones (such as bilobalide) and glycosides (mainly ginkgolides A, B, and C) for much of its biological action.[15-17]

    Ginkgo Biloba Leaves

    The wondrous ginkgo biloba leaves always come into play when talking about memory supplements

    In a 2005 study published in Phytomedicine, researchers found that ginkgo extracts can be used to inhibit platelet-activating factor (PAF)-induced aggregation of thrombocytes.[18] Because PAF modulates airway constriction and platelet aggregation, the scientists first identified this effect as a means of improving circulation.[18] However, PAF is also a neuromodulator — it increases presynaptic glutamate release, assisting in long-term potentiation (LTP) and memory enhancement.[19]

    Enhanced neurotransmission

    The cognitive effects of ginkgo are most prominent in its impact on neurotransmitter concentrations. In a 2010 British Journal of Pharmacology study, scientists administered a daily dose of a standardized ginkgo extract to mice for 14 days and measured its effect on monoamine levels. Though they found that a single, acute dose had virtually no effect, they did see an increase in dopamine and noradrenaline levels in the prefrontal cortex after 14 days.[20]

    Research has also suggested serotonergic action, but only in specific circumstances. In a 1994 study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, chronic ingestion of ginkgo significantly improved 5-HT1A receptor function in aging mice.[21] Considering that the function of these key serotonin receptors declines with age, this mediation suggests improved serotonin uptake in older individuals. Gingko may also enhance 5-HT1A function in younger brains, as well, though research suggests such effects may only be present in the face of stress-induced 5-HT1A desensitization.[22]

    Improved 5-HT1A sensitivity is also known to increase acetylcholine release in the brain.[23] Acetylcholine, sometimes called “the learning neurotransmitter”, regulates various bodily processes, including cognitive health, memory, and motor function. Action on these neural receptors allows gingko to modulate multiple neurotransmitters.

    Defends cognitive health

    Ginkgo Biloba Dopamine Noradrenaline

    Animal models show that ginkgo biloba increases dopamine and noradrenaline levels over time,[20] an interesting effect not commonly discussed.

    Much of the human research surrounding gingko is focused on individuals battling cognitive decline, particularly related to old age. In a 2016 review published in Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry, researchers from Beijing University of Chinese Medicine assessed 21 trials in which the plant was used to treat cognitive impairment and/or Alzheimer’s disease. They concluded that gingko supplementation could be beneficial if used in conjunction with conventional medicine, though the researchers did cite inconsistencies and small sample size issues in many instances.[24]

    Another review, published in 2018 in International Psychogeriatrics, assessed four trials lasting between 22 and 24 weeks treating patients with dementia with a daily 240-milligram dose of ginkgo. Their pooled analysis displayed a significant improvement in dementia symptoms in treatment groups compared to placebo groups.[25] While the precise mechanisms underlying these results weren’t studied, ginkgo’s ability to improve blood flow and increase neurotransmission is believed to play a role.

    Reduces symptoms of anxiety

    Arms Race Clarity Benefits

    Calm. Focus. Mood. Wellness. Clarity.

    In a 2007 study published in the Journal Psychiatric Research, scientists tested gingko as a means of reducing symptoms of anxiety. In a randomized, double-blind trial, 107 volunteers with anxiety or adjustment disorder were treated with either 240 milligrams or 480 milligrams of a standardized ginkgo extract or placebo daily for four weeks. They found that scores in the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HAM-A) significantly decreased in both ginkgo groups, citing an overall dose-dependent effect.[26] It’s worth noting that two weeks into the study, no significant differences were reported between the three groups — only at the four-week mark did the low and high-dose ginkgo groups separate from the placebo group.

    A high dose in Clarity!

    Most literature uses a daily dose between 120 and 240 milligrams of a ginkgo extract, standardized to 22 to 27% glycosides and 5 to 7% terpene lactones.[17] Clarity by ARN includes 600 milligrams, which is toward the higher end of common research-tested doses. As such, it delivers more than enough to leverage the neurologic action of this long-used plant.

  • Mucuna Pruriens Extract (Seed) (50% L-Dopa) – 500mg

    Mucuna Pruriens is popular for its dopamine and growth hormone boosting properties. Courtesy Wikimedia

    Mucuna pruriens, also known as velvet bean, is a plant from the Fabaceae species that grows in various parts of India, Africa, and Caribbean Islands.[27] The plant’s leaves hold powerful antioxidant properties and have been used as therapeutic treatment for different ailments.[27] However, it’s the seeds that grow from Mucuna pruriens that warrant its inclusion in a product like Clarity.

    Mucuna pruriens seeds contain multiple bioactive compounds, with levodopa (L-dopa) chief among them.[28] L-dopa is a non-protein amino acid that operates as a direct precursor to dopamine. L-dopa consumption effectively raises levels of this key neurotransmitter, and is efficient at doing so thanks to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier.[28]

    This dopaminergic action has led to science studying Mucuna seed extract in applications that address dopamine-function disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease. In a 2004 study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, researchers treated eight volunteers who had Parkinson’s with short-term L-dopa administration. Two separate, yet equal, means of daily L-dopa supplementation were explored — 15 to 30 grams of Mucuna beans (yielding roughly 500 to 1,000 milligrams of L-dopa) and a standardized extract containing 200 milligrams of L-dopa and 50 milligrams of carbidopa. They found that both Mucuna beans and the L-dopa extract were equally effective in attenuating symptoms of Parkinson’s.[29]

    ARN purposely chose 50% L-Dopa

    L-DOPA Dopamine

    L-DOPA first raises plasma L-DOPA levels… and then comes the dopamine burst! Amongst other things (like feeling good), this even helps fight prolactin (dopamine and prolactin have a competing pathway).

    Because Mucuna seeds are roughly 5% L-dopa by weight, ARN wisely chose a standardized extract with a strong L-dopa content. That being said, they couldn’t go too high, as that risks two things.

    First, the rest of the extract contains other bioactives, including carbidopa. This compound inhibits dopamine decarboxylase, the enzyme that metabolizes dopamine.[30] Carbidopa works synergistically with L-dopa — the former facilitates the activity of the neurotransmitter that the latter supplies, prolonging its effects. Increasing L-dopa concentrations risks losing carbidopa content, which could hinder the extract’s overall effectiveness.

    The second reason has to do with product compliance. L-dopa extracts above 60% must be pharmaceutical-grade — a potency that elevates the extract from supplements to a higher jurisdiction. In order to include L-dopa here, Clarity must remain beneath that threshold.

    At 500 milligrams, a dose that yields 250 milligrams of L-dopa, Clarity supplies an effective amount of the dopamine-increasing ingredient.

  • Bacopa Monnieri Extract (Whole Plant) (50% Bacosides) – 400mg

    Bacopa monnieri is another herb with a long history as a therapeutic aid. Its roots lie in Ayurvedic medicine, where its been used to treat various ailments and illnesses, including those related to cognition.[31] Science has identified potent nootropic compounds within Bacopa called bacosides, which are bioactive saponins credited for much of Bacopa’s effects. These saponins regulate antioxidant enzymes and neurotransmitter levels — such as acetylcholine, dopamine, GABA, and serotonin — in the body.[32,33]

    Bacopa helps alleviate stress and anxiety by significantly reducing cortisol levels in the body.[34]

    Research revolving around the mechanisms in which bacosides operate support the notion that Bacopa is a “memory booster”. In addition to their modulation of antioxidants and neurotransmitters, bacosides also regenerate synapses and improve synaptic communication.[35,36] They also increase protein kinase activity in the hippocampus.[36] These two actions explain much of the herb’s memory-related properties.

    In a 2013 review from Rejuvenation Research, scientists assessed the overall cognitive benefits of Bacopa. Citing various in vitro and in vivo publications, they concluded that Bacopa extracts could effectively reduce oxidative damage, enhance neurotransmission, and improve memory and cognitive function in healthy individuals.[33]

    Not only is Bacopa capable of reducing stress and anxiety via neurotransmitter modulation, but it heightens cognitive function, too. This makes it a savvy addition to a product like Clarity, which provides a potent 400 milligram dose that’s standardized to 50% bacosides.

  • L-Theanine – 200mg

    L-Theanine Tea

    L-Theanine comes from tea leaves, and if you’re adding caffeine to your morning Clarity dose, it pairs very well with caffeine offset any potential anxiety.

    Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea alongside other bioactives like caffeine and catechins. Though all three of these constituents have some level of a psychoactive effect, theanine deviates from the other two in that it modulates neurotransmission and regulates levels of dopamine, serotonin, glycine, and GABA in the central nervous system.[37]

    Theanine is typically leveraged for its relaxing yet non-sedating action. In a 1999 review published in Trends in Food Science & Technology, scientists measured brain-wave activity following theanine administration. At doses between 50 and 200 milligrams, they found that theanine increased alpha-wave activity in the occipital and parietal regions of the brain less than 40 minutes after ingestion.[38] Alpha waves are generally used as a marker of relaxation, representing a calm, focused headspace.[38,39]

    These effects have relevance in treating symptoms of stress and anxiety. In a 2011 edition of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, researchers gathered 60 patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and administered a 400-milligram daily dose of theanine in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled manner. After eight weeks of treatment, those given theanine displayed significantly reduced levels of anxiety and positive psychopathology scores compared to placebo.[40]

    Theanine-induced calming could be beneficial at night…

    Though theanine doesn’t have a sedative effect, achieving a level of calm in the evening could help improve sleep. In a 2011 double-blind placebo-controlled study published in Alternative Medicine Review, a 400-milligram daily dose of theanine improved sleep quality and efficiency in young males diagnosed with ADHD.[41] Interestingly, theanine was administered in two separate doses — 200 milligrams in the morning and 200 milligrams after school.[41]

    Though taking theanine helped improve sleep, two things warrant highlighting here. First, the test group is highly specific and, two, treatment wasn’t actually taken before bed. The mechanisms at play here make sense — being in a more relaxed state makes it easier to fall asleep. But we’re going to hold out for more research before fully buying in. Clarity isn’t a “sleep supplement” that must be taken before bed anyway, but if it leads to better sleep later on, that could lead to better days moving forward, so this is worth mentioning to us.

    Arms Race Nutrition Clarity

    Come Clarity

    Clarity delivers the clinical dosage of 200 milligrams, which should be more than enough to further enhance neurotransmitter regulation and help you chill out.

  • Valerian Extract (Valeriana Officinalis) (Root) (1% Valerenic Acids) – 200mg

    Valerian is native to the Valerianacea family of plants and has been traditionally used as an anxiolytic tea across multiple cultures.[42] Valerian root is rich in antioxidants and other bioactives, though its most known for its content of valerenic acid.[43] Valerenic acid has been shown to stimulate GABA receptors,[44,45] leading to relaxation and lessened signs of stress and anxiety.[45]

    Human research on the root struggles to show the fruits of this neurological benefit, however. Research fails to see significant improvements in symptoms of anxiety or in sleep quality.[46-48] However, a 2011 study from the Journal of Complementary & Integrative Medicine did see a daily 750-milligram dose of valerian root extract taken for eight weeks decrease symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).[49]

    The GABAergic action cannot be ignored here, but the lack of compelling human research does hurt this inclusion, despite some anecdotal benefits in terms of sleep. But Clarity includes multiple other neurotransmitter-boosting ingredients and doesn’t rely heavily on valerian root at all. At 200 milligrams, this inclusion looks to contribute to the relaxation brought on by theanine and the other calm-inducing ingredients on this label.

  • NeuroFactor Whole Coffee Fruit Extract (Coffee Arabica) (Fruit) – 100mg

    Arms Race Clarity

    The excellently-branded Arms Race Nutrition calls its customer base the “Arms Dealers”

    We typically see NeuroFactor, a whole coffee fruit extract from FutureCeuticals, in pre-workouts and other energy-promoting formulas. This ingredient can boost mental energy, focus, and cognition, which makes it a fitting inclusion in those kinds of products. So, what exactly is it doing here alongside a bunch of neurotransmission and calming agents?

    Well, NeuroFactor also raises brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels. BDNF is a neuroprotective molecule that facilitates learning and memory formation and is associated with higher levels of cognition.[50] Enhancing BDNF levels promotes neuron differentiation, specifically in cases in which neurotoxicity and neurological degradation are present.[50,51]

    Despite initially looking like it’s out of place, a clinical 100 milligram dose of NeuroFactor actually rounds out Clarity quite nicely. While many of the ingredients in this product facilitate neurotransmitter production and/or reception as a means toward boosting brain function and health, NeuroFactor takes a different route. BDNF both boosts cognition and protects the brain. Thus, NeuroFactor operates on the two fronts Clarity aims to hit, making it an excellent addition.

Stack With Other Arms Race Nutrition Products!

On top of Clarity, Arms Race Nutrition offers a variety of other products, including multiple pre-workouts, an amino acid formula, and a potent thermogenic. The brand also has two health-promoting supplements, which, alongside Clarity, can form a strong health and wellness stack:

ARN Stabilize Clarity

Stack Stabilize with Clarity for even more health benefits!

  • Stabilize supports optimal and healthy hormone levels. This product contains four components (including two standardized ingredients) that work in synergy to promote healthy hormone production and all that comes with it — such as decreased stress levels and improved sleep, two benefits that overlap with Clarity. You can find our ingredient analysis of Stabilize on the PricePlow Blog post linked above.
  • Elemental is ARN’s multivitamin and joint health formula, combining numerous vitamins and minerals with ingredients that support joint health and reduce inflammation in one product.

Also known as the “Maintain The Gains Stack”, these three products cover the bases of overall health and wellness. Elemental lays the foundation, supporting various internal mechanisms and joint function. Stabilize works to optimize hormone levels. And rounding out the group, Clarity sets its sights on the brain, promoting overall function and wellness. Talk about a well-rounded, fully-encompassing health stack!

Why Use Clarity? Look at People Like Julian Smith!

To further drive home how influential this formula could be, allow us to put the importance of maintaining prime cognitive functioning and mental well-being into context by using the experiences of ARN CEO Julian Smith himself!

Julian Smith Limes

Keeping it light, Julian Smith harnesses life’s limes and makes limeade

Smith originally started weight training in order to build strength for athletics, but his passion for the weight room escalated. He turned to bodybuilding, taking the stage for the first time at age of 19. Smith experienced a lot in his bodybuilding career — in addition to competition wins, he also dealt with a scary hormonal situation as a result of a misinformed, misled supplement recommendation early on. His success ultimately led to sponsorships, partnerships, and a massive social media presence.

Now in 2021, Smith runs his own supplement company, clothing company, gym, and online training program called The Daily Pump. He also has over a million followers on Instagram, representative of the online presence that helped him reach even higher levels of success.

As you can see, Smith is a busy guy — in addition to running multiple companies/platforms, he’s also a husband and father to two sons. He must balance all of these responsibilities and still find time to train. Make no mistake — despite how easy Smith makes it look, this is incredibly difficult… especially when fighting to maintain mental fortitude and wellness.

Juggling business ventures, family life, and fitness goals demands serious dedication, effort, and mental energy. It can also be extremely taxing on mental wellness, too — even more so if social media, which can be overwhelming and anxiety-provoking for some people, is a large part of your day-to-day life. Managing so many responsibilities is tough work, but there are multiple things you can do to help. If you have the main boxes checked — lifestyle, nutrition, mental health, etc. — something like Clarity can be one such means of aid.

Smith is able to find stability amongst all of the responsibilities pulling him in different directions and has been quite successful in doing so. He knows the importance of staying focused on the important things in life and balancing multiple commitments while keeping a healthy headspace. In Clarity, his brand provides consumers with a product that can help them do the same.

Find Focus and Calm With Clarity

Arms Race Nutrition

Are you an Arms Dealer yet?

Arms Race Nutrition prides itself on blending old-school dedication with modern science to deliver a strong line of supplements for driven, committed individuals, such as those behind the brand. Julian Smith found his success through an incredible amount of grit and determination, launching multiple business ventures while growing his online presence and making gains in the gym. Doug Miller, Kenton Engel, and the rest of the team at Core Nutritionals and ‘Merica Labz share these traits, as well.

Such levels of dedication demand putting in hard work, which can be extremely taxing on the brain. Those behind ARN know this and, thankfully, they’ve created a product that can be of use in this regard.

Clarity is delivered in this science-backed, efficacious formula that can help raise your game to levels that help you spend mental energy on the things that warrant it, not the things that are going to waste it and hurt your mood. If you need some help locking into your priorities and keeping your emotions on-point, we think Clarity is worth checking out.

Arms Race Nutrition Clarity – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

Get Price Alerts

No spam, no scams.

Disclosure: PricePlow relies on pricing from stores with which we have a business relationship. We work hard to keep pricing current, but you may find a better offer.

Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

About the Author: Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto is a research scientist and water sports athlete who founded PricePlow. He is an n=1 diet experimenter with extensive experience in supplementation and dietary modification, whose personal expertise stems from several experiments done on himself while sharing lab tests.

Mike's goal is to bridge the gap between nutritional research scientists and non-academics who seek to better their health in a system that has catastrophically failed the public.

No Comments | Posted in , | Tagged , , , , , , , , , .


  1. Brockmöller, J., et al. “Hypericin and Pseudohypericin: Pharmacokinetics and Effects on Photosensitivity in Humans.” Pharmacopsychiatry, vol. 30 Suppl 2, 1 Sept. 1997, pp. 94–101, 10.1055/s-2007-979527.
  2. Treiber, Kristina, et al. “Hyperforin Activates Nonselective Cation Channels (NSCCs).” British Journal of Pharmacology, vol. 145, no. 1, May 2005, pp. 75–83, 10.1038/sj.bjp.0706155.
  3. Tian, Jingwei, et al. “Antidepressant-like Activity of Adhyperforin, a Novel Constituent of Hypericum Perforatum L.” Scientific Reports, vol. 4, 9 July 2014, 10.1038/srep05632.
  4. Chatterjee, S.S., et al. “Hyperforin as a Possible Antidepressant Component of Hypericum Extracts.” Life Sciences, vol. 63, no. 6, July 1998, pp. 499–510, 10.1016/s0024-3205(98)00299-9.
  5. Klein, Marianne O., et al. “Dopamine: Functions, Signaling, and Association with Neurological Diseases.” Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, vol. 39, no. 1, 16 Nov. 2018, pp. 31–59, 10.1007/s10571-018-0632-3.
  6. Smith, Matthew D, and Christopher V Maani. “Norepinephrine.”, StatPearls Publishing, 23 July 2019.
  7. Ngo, Dai-Hung, and Thanh Sang Vo. “An Updated Review on Pharmaceutical Properties of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid.” Molecules, vol. 24, no. 15, 24 July 2019, p. 2678, 10.3390/molecules24152678.
  8. Zhou, Y., and N. C. Danbolt. “Glutamate as a Neurotransmitter in the Healthy Brain.” Journal of Neural Transmission, vol. 121, no. 8, 1 Mar. 2014, pp. 799–817, 10.1007/s00702-014-1180-8.
  9. Linde, Klaus, et al. “St John’s Wort for Major Depression.” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 8 Oct. 2008, 10.1002/14651858.cd000448.pub3.
  10. Ng, Qin Xiang, et al. “Clinical Use of Hypericum Perforatum (St John’s Wort) in Depression: A Meta-Analysis.” Journal of Affective Disorders, vol. 210, 2017, pp. 211–221, 10.1016/j.jad.2016.12.048.
  11. McDonnell, PharmD, BCOP, Anne M., and Cathyyen H. Dang, PharmD, BCPS. “Basic Review of the Cytochrome P450 System.” Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology, vol. 4, no. 4, 1 Aug. 2013, 10.6004/jadpro.2013.4.4.7.
  12. Russo, Emilio, et al. “Hypericum Perforatum: Pharmacokinetic, Mechanism of Action, Tolerability, and Clinical Drug-Drug Interactions.” Phytotherapy Research, vol. 28, no. 5, 30 July 2013, pp. 643–655, 10.1002/ptr.5050.
  13. Volpi-Abadie, Jacqueline, et al. “Serotonin Syndrome.” The Ochsner Journal, vol. 13, no. 4, 2013, pp. 533–40.
  14. Del Tredici, Peter. “Ginkgos and People: A Thousand Years of Interaction.” 1991,
  15. Ekman, L., et al. “Development of an Alternative Method for Determination of Terpene Lactones in Ginkgo Dry Extract.” Pharmeuropa Bio & Scientific Notes, vol. 2009, no. 1, 1 Oct. 2009, pp. 67–71.
  16. “EGb 761: Ginkgo Biloba Extract, Ginkor.” Drugs in R&D, vol. 4, no. 3, 2003, pp. 188–93, 10.2165/00126839-200304030-00009.
  17. Biber, A. “Pharmacokinetics of Ginkgo Biloba Extracts.” Pharmacopsychiatry, vol. 36, June 2003, pp. 32–37, 10.1055/s-2003-40446.
  18. Koch, E. “Inhibition of Platelet Activating Factor (PAF)-Induced Aggregation of Human Thrombocytes by Ginkgolides: Considerations on Possible Bleeding Complications after Oral Intake of Ginkgo Biloba Extracts.” Phytomedicine, vol. 12, no. 1-2, Jan. 2005, pp. 10–16, 10.1016/j.phymed.2004.02.002.
  19. Bazan, N. G. “The Neuromessenger Platelet-Activating Factor in Plasticity and Neurodegeneration.” Progress in Brain Research, vol. 118, 1998, pp. 281–291, 10.1016/s0079-6123(08)63215-x.
  20. Yoshitake, T, et al. “The Ginkgo Biloba Extract EGb 761 and Its Main Constituent Flavonoids and Ginkgolides Increase Extracellular Dopamine Levels in the Rat Prefrontal Cortex.” British Journal of Pharmacology, vol. 159, no. 3, 25 Jan. 2010, pp. 659–668, 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2009.00580.x.
  21. Huguet, F., et al. “Decreased Cerebral 5-HT1A Receptors during Ageing: Reversal by Ginkgo Biloba Extract (EGb 761).” The Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, vol. 46, no. 4, 1 Apr. 1994, pp. 316–318,, 10.1111/j.2042-7158.1994.tb03802.x.
  22. Bolaños-Jiménez, F., et al. “Stress-Induced 5-HT1A Receptor Desensitization: Protective Effects of Ginkgo Biloba Extract (EGb 761).” Fundamental & Clinical Pharmacology, vol. 9, no. 2, 1995, pp. 169–174,, 10.1111/j.1472-8206.1995.tb00277.x.
  23. Koyama, T., et al. “Enhancement of Cortical and Hippocampal Cholinergic Neurotransmission through 5-HT1A Receptor-Mediated Pathways by BAY X 3702 in Freely Moving Rats.” Neuroscience Letters, vol. 265, no. 1, 9 Apr. 1999, pp. 33–36, 10.1016/s0304-3940(99)00200-1.
  24. Yang, Guoyan, et al. “Ginkgo Biloba for Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.” Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 16, no. 5, 22 Oct. 2015, pp. 520–528, 10.2174/1568026615666150813143520.
  25. Savaskan, Egemen, et al. “Treatment Effects of Ginkgo Biloba Extract EGb 761 on the Spectrum of Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia: Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.” International Psychogeriatrics, vol. 30, no. 3, 21 Sept. 2017, pp. 285–293, 10.1017/s1041610217001892.
  26. Woelk, H., et al. “Ginkgo Biloba Special Extract EGb 761 in Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Adjustment Disorder with Anxious Mood: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.” Journal of Psychiatric Research, vol. 41, no. 6, Sept. 2007, pp. 472–480, 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2006.05.004.
  27. Agbafor, K. N., and N. Nwachukwu. “Phytochemical Analysis and Antioxidant Property of Leaf Extracts of Vitex Doniana and Mucuna Pruriens.” Biochemistry Research International, vol. 2011, 2011, 10.1155/2011/459839.
  28. Misra, Laxminarain, and Hildebert Wagner. “Extraction of Bioactive Principles from Mucuna Pruriens Seeds.” Indian Journal of Biochemistry & Biophysics, vol. 44, no. 1, 1 Feb. 2007, pp. 56–60.
  29. Katzenschlager, R, et al. “Mucuna Pruriens in Parkinson’s Disease: A Double Blind Clinical and Pharmacological Study.” Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, vol. 75, no. 12, 1 Dec. 2004, pp. 1672–1677, 10.1136/jnnp.2003.028761.
  30. Lieu, Christopher A., et al. “A Water Extract of Mucuna Pruriens Provides Long-Term Amelioration of Parkinsonism with Reduced Risk for Dyskinesias.” Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, vol. 16, no. 7, 1 Aug. 2010, pp. 458–465, 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2010.04.015.
  31. Singh, HK, and BN Dhawan. “Neuropsychopharmacological Effects of Ayurvedic Nootropic Bacopa Monniera Linn. (Brahmi).” Indian Journal of Pharmacology, vol. 29, no. 5, 1997, pp. 359-365.;year=1997;volume=29;issue=5;spage=359;epage=365;aulast=Singh;type=0
  32. Kumar, Navneet, et al. “Efficacy of Standardized Extract of Bacopa Monnieri (Bacognize) on Cognitive Functions of Medical Students: A Six-Week, Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : ECAM, vol. 2016, 2016, 10.1155/2016/4103423.
  33. Aguiar, Sebastian, and Thomas Borowski. “Neuropharmacological Review of the Nootropic Herb Bacopa Monnieri.” Rejuvenation Research, vol. 16, no. 4, 1 Aug. 2013, pp. 313–326, 10.1089/rej.2013.1431.
  34. Benson, Sarah, et al. “An Acute, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Cross-over Study of 320 Mg and 640 Mg Doses OfBacopa Monnieri(CDRI 08) on Multitasking Stress Reactivity and Mood.” Phytotherapy Research, vol. 28, no. 4, 21 June 2013, pp. 551–559, 10.1002/ptr.5029;
  35. Stough, Con, et al. “Mechanisms, Efficacy, and Safety of Bacopa Monnieri (Brahmi) for Cognitive and Brain Enhancement.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : ECAM, vol. 2015, 2015, 10.1155/2015/717605.
  36. Russo, A., and F. Borrelli. “Bacopa Monniera, a Reputed Nootropic Plant: An Overview.” Phytomedicine, vol. 12, no. 4, Apr. 2005, pp. 305–317, 10.1016/j.phymed.2003.12.008.
  37. amada, Takashi, et al. “Theanine, R-Glutamylethylamide, Increases Neurotransmission Concentrations and Neurotrophin MRNA Levels in the Brain during Lactation.” Life Sciences, vol. 81, no. 16, 29 Sept. 2007, pp. 1247–1255, 10.1016/j.lfs.2007.08.023.
  38. Juneja, L. “L-Theanine—a Unique Amino Acid of Green Tea and Its Relaxation Effect in Humans.” Trends in Food Science & Technology, vol. 10, no. 6-7, June 1999, pp. 199–204, 10.1016/s0924-2244(99)00044-8.
  39. Posada-Quintero, Hugo F., et al. “Brain Activity Correlates with Cognitive Performance Deterioration during Sleep Deprivation.” Frontiers in Neuroscience, vol. 13, 19 Sept. 2019, 10.3389/fnins.2019.01001.
  40. Ritsner, Michael S., et al. “L-Theanine Relieves Positive, Activation, and Anxiety Symptoms in Patients with Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder: An 8-Week, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, 2-Center Study.” The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, vol. 72, no. 1, 1 Jan. 2011, pp. 34–42, 10.4088/JCP.09m05324gre.
  41. Lyon, Michael R., et al. “The Effects of L-Theanine (Suntheanine) on Objective Sleep Quality in Boys with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.” Alternative Medicine Review: A Journal of Clinical Therapeutic, vol. 16, no. 4, 1 Dec. 2011, pp. 348–354.
  42. Salter, Shanah, and Sonya Brownie. “Treating Primary Insomnia – the Efficacy of Valerian and Hops.” Australian Family Physician, vol. 39, no. 6, 1 June 2010, pp. 433–437.
  43. Navarrete, Andres, et al. “Chemical Fingerprinting of Valeriana Species: Simultaneous Determination of Valerenic Acids, Flavonoids, and Phenylpropanoids Using Liquid Chromatography with Ultraviolet Detection.” Journal of AOAC International, vol. 89, no. 1, 1 Jan. 2006, pp. 8–15.
  44. Yuan, Chun-Su, et al. “The Gamma-Aminobutyric Acidergic Effects of Valerian and Valerenic Acid on Rat Brainstem Neuronal Activity.” Anesthesia & Analgesia, Feb. 2004, pp. 353–358, 10.1213/01.ane.0000096189.70405.a5.
  45. Benke, Dietmar, et al. “GABA a Receptors as in Vivo Substrate for the Anxiolytic Action of Valerenic Acid, a Major Constituent of Valerian Root Extracts.” Neuropharmacology, vol. 56, no. 1, 1 Jan. 2009, pp. 174–181, 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2008.06.013.
  46. Andreatini, Roberto, et al. “Effect of Valepotriates (Valerian Extract) in Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study.” Phytotherapy Research: PTR, vol. 16, no. 7, 1 Nov. 2002, pp. 650–654, 10.1002/ptr.1027.
  47. Fernandez-San-Martin, M. I., et al. Effectiveness of Valerian on Insomnia: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trials., Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK), 2010.
  48. Barton, Debra L., et al. “The Use of Valeriana Officinalis (Valerian) in Improving Sleep in Patients Who Are Undergoing Treatment for Cancer: A Phase III Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Study (NCCTG Trial, N01C5).” The Journal of Supportive Oncology, vol. 9, no. 1, 1 Jan. 2011, pp. 24–31, 10.1016/j.suponc.2010.12.008.
  49. Pakseresht, Siroos, et al. “Extract of Valerian Root (Valeriana Officinalis L.) vs. Placebo in Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Randomized Double-Blind Study.” Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, vol. 8, no. 1, 11 Jan. 2011, 10.2202/1553-3840.1465.
  50. Miranda, Magdalena, et al. “Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor: A Key Molecule for Memory in the Healthy and the Pathological Brain.” Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, vol. 13, 7 Aug. 2019, 10.3389/fncel.2019.00363.
  51. Reyes-Izquierdo, Tania, et al. “Modulatory Effect of Coffee Fruit Extract on Plasma Levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Healthy Subjects.” The British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 110, no. 3, 28 Aug. 2013, pp. 420–425,10.1017/S0007114512005338.

Comments and Discussion (Powered by the PricePlow Forum)