With the nootropic market exploding, the amount of spam from low-quality manufacturers we receive is mind-numbing. More often than not, the typical nootropic supplement is solely focused on increasing levels of the “learning neurotransmitter” acetylcholine.
While in theory this is good, too much acetylcholine is not. One of the reasons many report negative side effects from nootropics is that there is an imbalance between acetylcholine and other neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, etc). This leaves users feeling “brain fog”, lethargic, depressed, or worse yet, no libido! On top of that, research has shown that increased acetylcholine levels are indicative of assorted brain disease states, including Parkinson’s.
So this one works a bit differently.
Black Lion Research have developed a powerful nootropic that looks to not only boost acetylcholine levels, but also provide a proper balance of all neurotransmitters to yield superior focus, cognition, and mental health.
Nootrol is a cutting edge nootropic that perfectly balances neurotransmitters to yield greater intellect, memory, learning and brain power.
We’ve got all the info ahead, but before we get there, take a moment to check the best deal and sign up for alerts from PricePlow:
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Nootrol uses several intriguing ingredients (including several we’ve never encountered before!) to not only increase acetylcholine, but optimize levels of all the vital neurotransmitters to improve cerebral circulation, antioxidant activity and of course, focus and learning!
Proprietary Blend (1g)
Brain Factor 7
You’re not scared of bugs, are you? Hopefully not, because the very first ingredient in Nootrol is derived from silkworms!
While in the larvae stage, silkworms create an insoluble protein called silk fibroin. This protein forms the structural center of the raw silk the worms produce to build their cocoon.
Researchers have found that if you take the silk fibroin and filter, purify, and hydrolyze it (don’t ask how they figured this out…) — the resulting product offers several medicinal and therapeutic benefits, particularly in regards to brain health.
Researchers have named this purified silk fibroin Brain Factor-7 (BF-7), and the number of benefits it’s been shown to exhibit is quite staggering including enhanced memory, attention and mathematical ability in normal persons. Additionally, BF-7 acts as a neuroprotective, increases cerebral circulation, and improves attention and cognitive flexibility.
Centella asiatica is a medicinal herb widely used in parts of Asia and gaining popularity in the West. You may have encountered this herb previously under its more name — Gotu Kola.
Typically, Gotu Kola is used in the treatment of various skin conditions including leprosy, lupus, varicose ulcers, and eczema, as well as a number of other ailments such as psoriasis, diarrhea, fever, and amenorrhea. In addition to its disease fighting abilities, Gotu Kola also possess numerous brain benefits as well!
It’s been shown to reduce oxidative stress in the brain, as well as improve cognition and act as a neuroprotectant defending against the “neuron death molecule”, glutamate.[5,6]
Gotu Kola in general is just a great neurological ingredient as it helps balance acetylcholine levels in the body as well as increase dopamine and serotonin levels.
Salidroside is a glucoside (derivative of glucose) of tyrosol found in Rhodiola rosea that’s primarily included in Nootrol for the purpose of catecholamine homeostasis.
As we mentioned in the introduction, solely increasing acetylcholine at the neglect of the other transmitters isn’t an ideal recipe for better brain health and function. Salidroside helps balance neurotransmitter levels in the body by increasing norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin[7,8] which balances out the increase in acetylcholine.
Salidroside also increases brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (BDNF), nerve growth factor (NGF) and increases brain health. NGF plays a significant role in the regulation of growth, maintenance, reproduction, and survival of certain neurons.
Caffeine is the stimulant / nootropic that nearly EVERYONE is familiar with, at least on some level. It provides a moderate boost in energy and focus, as well as its own cognitive benefits. Plus, caffeine helps bolster the effectiveness of all the other nootropics in Nootrol as well.
We reached out to BLR to see if they’d be willing to disclose the dose, and in fact they have! Each capsule contains 50mg caffeine per cap — or 100mg in a 2 cap serving. Regarding the dose, here’s what BLR has to say:
“I also wanted to mention that while we do include caffeine in the product its at a very low dose. 50mg per capsule. This is about the same as a diet soda for example and a large Starbucks is about 400mg! Caffeine is a great cognitive enhancer and acutely increases dopamine but high doses are counterproductive as they cause a crash, addiction and adrenal fatigue. All of these things are highly counterproductive which makes caffeine only a positive addition if doses are kept under 100mg or so a day. More than this and people start seeing more negatives than positives. The goal with Nootrol isn’t to be a stimulant. Many users do mention feeling well rested, having more energy and being more motivated but this isnt due to a stimulant but instead its from a balance of elevated neurotransmitters. High dose stimulant use be it caffeine, adderall, modanifil etc etc carries many more negatives that positives so we keep our caffeine doses very low. Its enough to give you a small dopamine burst but not enough to keep you awake, cause a crash or any other stimulant negatives.”
Note that the comment on soda isn’t always true – many 12oz sodas are actually around 35mg caffeine, depending on the brand.
Finally, we have Tyrosol, a phenylethanoid that is a derivative of phenethyl alcohol. Earlier we mentioned that Salidroside is a glucoside of Tyrosol, which means salidroside is basically tyrosol with a glucose molecule or a prodrug for the compound.
Basically, you can think of Tyrosol as a much stronger version of Salidroside.
As a component of rhodiola, tyrosol helps stimulate dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin and nicotinic cholinergic effects in the central nervous system (CNS). It also enhances the effects of these neurotransmitters by increasing the permeability of the blood brain barrier to precursors of dopamine and serotonin.[10,11]
Again we have more balancing of neurotransmitter levels for an ultimately more effective nootropic supplement.
On the Formula
We reached out to BLR for comment on exactly what was the thought process behind the development and creation of Nootrol:
“Nootrol is a next generation Nootropic developed with the thought that most people can benefit from increased cognitive function and that the vast majority of nootropics available today either work poorly, have limited research, or are drugs that did not pass FDA approval for use and often have nasty side effects. Whats the point of increasing focus for a few hours if you have brain fog and negative cognitive effects later on as a result. Doesn’t sound very attractive. The goal was to deliver an innovative product with new ingredients that actually worked to increase Memory, reaction time, word recall and IQ.
We worked hard searching long for potential ingredients to suit each need in this product. Many nootropics increase acetylcholine which in turn increases memory and cognitive function but this comes at a huge price. Raising acetylcholine alone, generally speaking, will reduce dopamine and serotonin which are also needed for peak brain performance and the drop in these neurotransmitters is responsible for a large portion of the negative side effects reported from nootropic use. We concluded that if we could balance these neurotransmitters we would be able to give users superior brain function without the negatives. Plus dopamine gives you drive and serotonin makes you feel overall better so increasing these gives additional benefits aside from balancing out the acetylcholine levels.
All of the ingredients play their part but there are some really exciting and new additions you might find interesting. BF7 is in my opinion the most promising new nootropic available currently. Not very well known by the public but scientists have been studying this stuff for a while and there is a wealth of human research showing that it:
-Increase IQ in normal healthy subjects. -Improve Learning -Improve Working memory -Improve attention -Increase reaction times -Is antioxidant -Reduces amyloid plaques -Reduces ROS (reactive oxygen species) -Prevents brain cell death -Improves concentration -Increases Brain circulation”
One other thing that really stuck out to us regarding the formula is how vastly different it is regarding the particular ingredients chosen. Nootrol doesn’t contain the usual frequently chosen nootropics of Alpha-GPC, Noopept, etc, so we inquired about that too:
“You might wonder why we didnt include things like noopept, bacopa, racetams etc. My honest opinion is these often carry side effects that outweigh the potential positives. Lots of these are unapproved, synthetic drugs that are not used as medications for good reasons. For starters….noopept, modanifil and racetams ARE NOT SUPPLEMENTS. They are illegally sold as such but they are in fact 100% synthetic drugs that in some cases failed safety testing for FDA approval. Many of them have harmful side effects and often times do more harm that good. Not at all a good choice in my opinion. We also have many plants and plant extracts that have nootropic effects. Some plants have fantastic potential as cognitive enhancers.
Centella asiatica, Salidroside from rhodiola and Tyrosol (from olives) are all used in Nootrol and they are exceptionally effective but some of the other plant based noots have harmful side effects. Bacopa monnieri for example has a wide range of side effects, can take months to have any positive effect and tends to make many people vomit or have severe gastrointestinal issues. Not exactly ideal. So we worked exceptionally hard during the Nootrol testing process to weed out the negative candidates and bring to you an exceptionally well balanced product that works great and has little or no side effects.”
Black Lion Research is so confident in their new product, that they even sent it out to a number of prominent users on the various forums to see how it performed.
Participants in the public trial took a battery of tests on Memory, IQ, reaction times, etc prior to taking Nootrol and reported their scores. The participants then took the Nootrol for 2 weeks and retested. 100% had increases on all scores. One tester had a 27 point increase in his IQ!
While this isn’t a true clinical trial by any means, it is pretty cool to see a brand actually do some real testing with a product to gauge its actual effectiveness.
Some numbers from the trial:
Pre “Treatment” Test Results:
Human Benchmark Tests
- Number Memory: Level 9 (50%)
- Reaction Time: Avg – 358 ms (19%)
- Verbal Memory: 44 points (70%)
- Visual Memory: Level 8, 8799 points (41%)
- Mem Trax Test: 92% correct – 0.856 mean reaction time
- Psychology Today Memory Test: 73
- General IQ Test: 108 -> finished with approximately 9 minutes left (out of 40).
After two weeks on mystery BLR noot at 1 cap bid:
Human Benchmark Tests:
- Number Memory: Level 10 (69%); +1 Level
- Reaction Time: Avg of 337 ms (24%); Improvement of 21ms
- Verbal Memory: 129 points (98%); improvement of 85 points
- Visual Memory: Level 10, Score of 12,873 (59%); +2 levels, 4074 points
- Memtrax: 96% correct, 0.668 second rxn time; +4% and 0.188 seconds
- Psychology Today Subjective Memory Questionnaire: Score of 79, 6 point improvement
- General IQ Test: 126; +18 points
We’re all for these kinds of tests, even if they’re not placebo-controlled and are done over the internet, because now you can challenge yourself to see if you get any effectiveness as well!
Consume 2 capsules whenever it’s time to get your brain kicked into gear for some heavy duty mental “lifting.”
Earlier we covered Black Lion’s Follidrone 2.0 and its primary ingredient, Ecklonia Cava, and now we have yet another supplement with another unique profile. If you’re looking for something different, you may have just found it.
As the nootropic market gets exceedingly more competitive, the need (and demand) for truly innovative and efficacious products will continue to climb. Black Lion Research has crafted quite the unique and comprehensive nootropic agent in Nootrol.
We might have to test this one out for ourselves to see how much it can boost our brains!
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- Aosaki, T, et al; “Acetylcholine-dopamine balance hypothesis in the striatum: an update”; Geriatrics & Gerontology International; July 2010; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20590830
- Gohil KJ, Patel JA, Gajjar AK. Pharmacological Review on Centella asiatica: A Potential Herbal Cure-all. Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2010;72(5):546-556. doi:10.4103/0250-474X.78519. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3116297/
- Veerendra Kumar MH, Gupta YK. Effect of Centella asiatica on cognition and oxidative stress in an intracerebroventricular streptozotocin model of Alzheimer’s disease in rats. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2003;30:336–42. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1440-1681.2003.03842.x/abstract
- Lee MK, Kim SR, Sung SH, Lim D, Kim H, Choi H, et al. Asiatic acid derivatives protect cultured cortical neurons from glutamate-induced excitotoxicity. Res Commun Mol Pathol Pharmacol. 2000;108:75–86. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11758977
- Zhao H-B, Ma H, Ha X-Q, et al. Salidroside induces rat mesenchymal stem cells to differentiate into dopaminergic neurons. Cell Biology International. 2014;38(4):462-471. doi:10.1002/cbin.10217. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4410750/
- Liu H, Lv P, Zhu Y, et al. Salidroside promotes peripheral nerve regeneration based on tissue engineering strategy using Schwann cells and PLGA: in vitro and in vivo. Sci Rep. 2017;7:39869. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep39869. http://www.nature.com/articles/srep39869.
- Panossian A, Wikman G. Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress—Protective Activity. Pharmaceuticals. 2010;3(1):188-224. doi:10.3390/ph3010188. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3991026/
- Petkov VD, Yonkov D, Mosharoff A, Kambourova T, Alova L, Petkov VV, et al. Effects of alcohol aqueous extract from Rhodiola rosea L. roots on learning and memory. Acta Physiol Pharmacol Bulg 1986; 12(1):3-16.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3751623