Nootropics are also known as brain supplements because of their ability to enhance the functionality of brain by relieving it of stress and also stimulating or inhibiting the secretion of various neurochemicals.
Mood can also be altered through the use of nootropics.
Some nootropics are capable of improving the mood from a state of depression to a happy mood, while some are capable of getting rid of anxiety.
Whatever the case may be, it’s been proven that nootropics can help in treating mood swing. This article would analyze each possible mood, and how nootropics can be used effectively in mood management.
In the broadest term, nootropics are natural supplements that are capable of stimulating or inhibiting the brain cells from secretion of various neurochemicals.
In this case, we are interested in nootropics that are capable of stimulating the secretion of neurochemicals that are responsible for mood control in the central nervous system.
For the purpose of this article, these neurotransmitters would be grouped into two, based on their function in the brain. While some are categorized as inhibitory neurotransmitter, others are excitatory neurotransmitters.
Just as the name implies; the neurotransmitters in this category plays inhibitory roles of “calming” the brain cells down. Gamma Amino Butyric (GABA) and Serotonin are the major neurotransmitters in this category.
A low level of GABA and Serotonin in the central nervous system is often associated with anxiety disorder.
Since the major role of these inhibitory neurotransmitters is to literally “calm” the neurons down as a compensation from stress or excessive usage. It’s understandable when anxiety disorder sets in due to their deficiency.
GABA functions by regulating the amount of excitatory neurotransmitters in the central nervous system.
Having too much of it in the central nervous system is not a good thing either, it may result into brain fog and unwanted sluggishness simply because the brain does not see the need to be “quick”.
Serotonin is considered one of the most important neurotransmitters in the body, it’s function span across the central nervous system and the digestive system. In the CNS, serotonin is responsible for sleep regulation, happiness, and other forms of mood control. It's hormonal component is melatonin.
In people suffering from clinical depression, their cerebrospinal fluid has been shown to contain a relatively low level of serotonin, which is an indication that serotonin plays an important role in regulation of mood.
The number of neurotransmitters in this group significantly outweighs that of inhibitory neurotransmitters. As the name implies, these neurochemicals “excites” the brain cells. The literally put the brain cell on fire, to function as actively as they can. Deficiency of these neurotransmitter has been linked to various forms of mood disorder.
Have you even seen a movie where the actor is injected with adrenaline and he suddenly gets pumped up, running several kilometers even with few gunshot wounds? Purely fiction; but that’s how adrenaline works in a sense.
Adrenaline is also known as epinephrine and it is belongs to the group of excitatory neurotransmitters. Low level of this neurotransmitter has been associated with loss of focus and fatigue. While it’s excess has been linked to various anxiety disorders, insomnia and attention disorder.
Glutamate is another major excitatory disorder. It’s major role is in memory and learning function. It’s been shown that increased level of glutamate beyond the body’s tolerable amount can result into death of brain cells.
Glutamate imbalance has also been implicated in various neurodegenerative disorder; high level of glutamate is associated with depression. Autistic patients are also known to have a significantly high level of glutamate.
L-Theanine is an amino acid similar in structure to glutamate and it is widely used in treatment of anxiety.
Norepinephrine is another significant excitatory neurotransmitter. It’s function is a little bit dynamic as compared to other neurotransmitter. It’s mode of release determines what type of function it would perform.
A sudden massive release of norepinephrine plays a role in fight or flight decision in cases of danger. When this mode of norepinephrine release is constant, then it results into hyperactivity.
I am not sure exactly where to list the next neurotransmitter because it function both as excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter.
Dopamine plays critical role in various body systems. Depending upon it’s site of action, it can play either inhibitory role or excitatory role. Elevated level of dopamine has been linked to maniac episodes, delusions and pyschosis.
While low level of dopamine on the other hand is linked to depression, low self esteem and lack of motivation.
It also plays a role in memory function and it’s the chief neurotransmitter in the brain reward system, which explains why the neurotransmitter is often associated with addiction and motivation.
Histamine is another excitatory neurotransmitter, not the most popular, but it also play a role in mood regulation and other expression of emotion.
High level of histamine is associated with OCD and depression, while low level is often associated with lack of motivation, and fatigue.
Although there are several other neurotransmitters that plays supporting role in controlling the mood, the ones listed above are the key players, and their low level of high level is significantly noticeable.
But here is our recommendation for each type of mood:
Best Nootropics for Anxiety
Best Nootropics For Depression: