Define Nootropics: What Is and What Is Not.

Define Nootropics:

In broad term, nootropics are substances with the potential ability of enhancing the functionality of the brain in various capacities. The main aim of taking nootropics is to improve the functionality of the brain, and as such nootropics are considered “smart drugs” and the term cognitive enhancers is often used interchangeably in defining nootropics.

Although the above definition is very broad, this article would go into specifics about what nootropics are and what they are not.

Nootropics can come in various forms, either as a drug, as a supplement, herbs or in any other form you can possible think of. As long as the potential benefit of what you’re taking is to improve the functionality of the brain, then it falls into the category of what we call nootropics. Coffee is a nootropics substance as well.

Nootropics are known to improve seven (7) major functionalities of the brain; memory, executive function, attention span, motor skills, information processing, perception and language. However, most nootropics in the market are incapable of improving the brain in all these functionality. Most tend to focus on two or three functionality at a time.

With various rave and big pharmaceutical companies pushing smart pills adverts on the web and offline, it’s very easy to get confused on what the real nootropics mean, what they do and most importantly where to get them. This article would answer most of these questions.

Benefits Of Nootropics:

Everybody wants to be smarter, everybody wants an edge ahead of others. As mentioned earlier, when I was defining nootropics; I defined it as “any substance” that is capable of improving the functionality of the brain. I also went further in listing out the seven (7) most important functionalities in which nootropics are known to affect.

This section of the article would pick those functionality one after the other and discuss them in relative to the benefits of nootropics.

#1. Nootropics Improves Memory:

We all want to remember stuffs in details. We want to remember things without struggling. We want to remember names, address, phone number, what we studied the other night, our dreams, name it! A larger percentage of the criteria used by the modern society in judging human intelligence is how memorable such an individual is.

The key to great memory is by increasing the connection between the neurons that stores the memory. Scientifically, this is called plasticity. The more frequent you retrieve the information from your brain, the easier it is to remember it every time you try to recall (tricky huh?). In fact, the science behind it is that, we recall things from the last time we remember them.

A larger percentage of nootropics work on the memory is by improving the connection between the neurons in the brain. This is done through the stimulation of brain cells to secrete more brain chemical known as neurotransmitters.

These neurotransmitters carry messages from one neuron to the other thus improving neuroplasticity.

#2. Nootropics Improves Attention Span:

One of our greatest undoing in this generation is our short attention span. The inability to focus on something for a very long time is the reason why we miss lots of opportunity, and more importantly why we make poor and uninformed decision.

Nootropics are known to greatly increase the attention span of the brain. This explains why physicians would usually prescribe such drugs to people with attention disorder. If you would like to increase your attention span, then popping a pill of nootropics wouldn’t be a bad idea.

This comes handy, especially for those that are into creative work, and students as well. Since the generally attention span for a average individual is twenty (20) minutes.

#3. Nootropics Improves Information Processing:

It’s easy to make perfect decision when you’re able to see the entire details from different perspective. When your visual and spatial processing ability is top notch, then making good decision would be as easy as it could get.

Nootropics are known to improve spatial working memory. Which is the ability to store an information temporarily until a certain task is completed. This ability gives room for various mental manipulation within the shortest time frame.

Other benefits of nootropics includes:

#4. Improved Motorskills

#5. Improved Executive functions of the brain

#6. Improved Learning abilities

#7. Reduced Brain Stress Hormone

Types Of Nootropics:

Nootropics is define as “any” substance that is capable of improving the brain functionality in some certain capacity.

Nootropics can come in form of drugs or supplements. There are natural supplements as well, example of which includes, fish oil, gingko biloba extract, all naturally occurring antioxidant and a wide varieties of others.

Nootropics Side Effect:

There is a misconception I would like to clear out as far as the use of term is concerned. I mentioned earlier that the term nootropics and cognitive enhancers are often used interchangeably. However, there is a clear difference between the two, and this is the appropriate section to clear out this misconception.

All nootropics are known to perform cognitive enhancing function, but not all cognitive enhancers are nootropics. The difference between the two lies in the perceived side effect.

The term nootropics is generally reserved for cognitive enhancers with very minimal or no side effect whatsoever (at least that the initial definition of nootropics). This term has been abused over the years, and as such people now call cognitive enhancers nootropics as long as they can improve certain brain function, without giving consideration to possible side effects.

Nootropics generally have no side effect on the brain. But Cognitive enhancer does. However, there is no clear distinct between nootropics and cognitive enhancers as of today because the market is flooded with various products and no standard body is responsible for regulating them.

What this implies is that, new drugs called “nootropics” might have their own side effects, which is why it is very important to seek physician opinion or at the very least read other users review before committing to long term use of certain cognitive enhancers.

What You Don’t Know About Zinc Supplements.

Here is a comprehensive guide of the zinc supplement.

This post contains information about zinc as an important part of our body system and zinc supplements which provide solutions to deficiencies.

It’s a good thing that they are mostly called supplements and not enhancers. If the manufacturers called them enhancers most people might need a little more convincing. Don’t expect sci-fi movie type of developments in your system, you would be disappointed.

The scope of zinc supplements goes beyond a particular brand or for a particular use. To clarify that, let's see what zinc really is, and how it works as a supplement.

Zinc as a mineral:

Zinc was discovered in 1764 in its pure metallic form. Wit the advent of technological advancement, it is now employed in various segments of our industrial and commercial activities.

Right now, it sounds like some mined metal found in the depths of the earth, but it's not all that. It's actually an important ingredient responsible for the proper functionality of our body system.

Zinc is also referred to as an essential trace element, meaning that we need little amounts for our health. It’s just as abundant as iron in our body system and probably does just as much to improve our bodily functions.

Like other vitamins, it plays a very important series of roles in our body’s health. You do not want to run low on this, trust me.

You’ve probably heard about zinc deficiency before, and if you’ve not, symptoms include stunted growth, low insulin levels, generalized hair loss, rough and dry skin, slowed wound healing. Diarrhea, loss of appetite, among other symptoms. Experts have also linked zinc deficiency with intestinal disorders which interfere with food absorption, kidney failure, and other chronic diseases.

That wasn’t meant to scare us into racing to our doctors to check our zinc levels but I think that paints the general idea of how important this element isto our body.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, I think you might be curious about one or two medical conditions you’ve been battling with for a while, and probably trying to link them to zinc deficiency. Well, that is not for you to decide.

It's good to go for medical check-ups from time to time. However, if after your visit to the clinic you’ve found out that your zinc levels are low, don’t panic. That’s what zinc supplements are for.

Zinc supplements

Literally, supplements help make up for losses. These losses may be related to vision, fertility, fighting viruses, immune system, dental plague, sexual health, kidney, resistance to harsh weather conditions, among others.

Zinc can become deficient in the body through quite a number of ways, including through sweats, so this doesn't leave anyone out.

However, these losses do not occur in all humans, at least not in the same way. In this post, they will be categorized into children, men, and women health.

Zinc supplements for kids

Kids are very fragile, not just because the term “kids” sounds fragile, but when you consider the anatomy of young humans, you'll know not to make a mess of it. Their bones haven’t fully developed, even other parts of their bodies especially in females are still dominant, and needs enough time and care to blossom.

Zinc is a micronutrient which plays important roles in the immune, reproductive and nervous systems of children, which basically are all of the body parts.

Seeing as the human body can't produce this nutrient, we best consider zinc supplement for kids to avoid the effects of deficiencies on their growth.

Research has shown that an average of 1 out of 58 deaths of children between the ages 1 to 5, is caused by zinc deficiencies. This might not sound like a lot, but personal involvement would change your orientation about that.

Basically, the effects of zinc deficiencies in kids include diarrhea especially in malnourished children, regular headaches, nausea, among others. Zinc supplements for kids have been known to counter these effects and give such kids a healthier chance at life.

Too much consumption for kids is just as dangerous, so make sure that you get a licensedprescription before administering zinc supplements to your kids. Also, before you resolve to zinc supplement for your kids, make your that they are well nourished because healthy feeding has a long way to go in children’s growth.

Zinc Supplements for men


As adults, the male anatomy in relation to zinc levels is quite different. As you might have heard, it mostly affects fertility. Zinc can be referred to as a testosterone supplement for men. And to us men, that’s pretty important to our survival.

According to research, zinc is pretty important to everyone, but men need it more.

Basically, zinc is responsible for the bioactivities that supplement the testosterone synthesis. In layman terms, it improves the erectile function, sperm count and motility, sex drive and solves most of the sex-related issues that men have been faced with.

However, one major misconception is that only sex freaks or those who are still looking to have more kids are the only ones concerned with this.

Here’s a fact! Even if you're planning on being a eunuch,it's still very important that you supplement your zinc levels as it has everything to do with your health.

As explained earlier, the major bad news caused by low zinc levels and inevitable high prolactin is called male hypogonadism, which is a medical term used to explain the condition where the body does not make enough testosterone.

Some of the problems caused by low zinc levels in adult males include;

  • · Low male sex hormones,
  • · Infertility and depleted sex drive
  • · Erectile dysfunction
  • · Inability to grow a beard,
  • · Constant fatigue,
  • Loss of muscle strength, etc


Zinc Supplement for Women

For women, you have to consider your health as well as your fertility and the product of your fertility – your kids. You wouldn’t possibly expect women who are zinc deficient to give birth to healthy babies.

Seeing as zinc deficiency in babies is the most dangerous, and might be the line between their life and death, you might want to look into that to be on the safer side.

On a personal level, the effects of zinc deficiency are just as that in men. However, apart from their hormones, they also need zinc supplements to avoid osteoporosis, especially for those who have gone through menopause.

Before menopause, women have more estrogen (sex hormone) than men. However, this changes after menopause, and then they begin to experience bone loss and osteoporosis. Zinc supplements can help solve this problem.

Apart from these, the effects of zinc deficiencies in women and men are pretty much the same.

BENEFITS OF ZINC SUPPLEMENTS

  • Decreased rate of age-related chronic disease
  • Quicker wound healing
  • Diarrhea treatment especially in kids
  • Regulation of immune functions
  • Proper growth
  • Fertility in adults
  • Memory enhancement and improved cognitive functionality, etc

Side Effects

As much as zinc supplements sound like the savior of the entire human race from death and diseases, it has its own side effects too.

However, being a natural element that it is, the side effects can’t be due to manufacturer’s error, so there’s only one way to go about it. Overdosing on zinc supplements is the only way to get side effects from it, and surprisingly, the effects of too much zinc intake are almost the same as overdosing on it.

The effects may vary from commonly occurring to rare conditions.

Natural Zinc Supplements:

Apart from zinc supplements, zinc can also be found in foods. Hence, zinc-fortified foods can be referred to as natural zinc supplements. Some of the best natural zinc supplement sources include; sea foods, grain cereals, dairy products, animal meat, fish, nuts, beans, among others.

Since the zinc supplements in these foods cannot be quantified, ill have you know that the average adequate zinc intake per day is about 10 to 15 milligrams.

However, vegetarians may need a lot more than the recommended intake of zinc because it's not really as much in plant foods as it is in meat and other non-vegetarian means.

Best zinc supplements Reviews

When it comes to edible products, the rules are more direct. The things to look out for before purchasing zinc supplements or any other drug for that matter include;

The value you get for the price you are about to pay. Compare this with other products in that category and their cost. This would ensure that you get the best deals.

Reviews and feedback from users. These users have used the drugs. Their comments are more real and experienced than what is written on the bottle or sachet cover. These feedbacks cover its bioavailability, how easy the doses are, the ingredient quality and amount, and even other considerable options.

Publicity is everything. Conduct a more thorough research on the reputation of the company. Customer reviews can help with that too.

Stay safe!

If after ingesting enough zinc supplemented foods regularly, you still have azinc deficiency, you should seriously consider taking one of these reviewed best zinc supplements.

1.Nature’s bounty Chelated Zinc Supplement :

Zinc supplements work for the same purpose, to level up the zinc level in the body. The difference between their outputs, however, lie in the ingredients used. Nature’s bounty Chelated Zinc uses the chelated amino acid form of Zinc gluconate which is a quite popular zinc supplement recipe.

It’s easily absorbed by the body, blends well with the body system and by so doing regulates the zinc level in yourbody, keeping you safe from zinc deficiency related threats.

Nature's bounty Chelated Zinc supplement is produced in the form of chelated Zinc gluconate which is designed to support your healthy immune system.

Per dose, you get about 50milligrammes of zinc. This might sound a little bit high as compared to thelimit set for zinc intake by licensed health care practitioner, but it has been ensured that it would be as efficient as it should without causing more damage to the body system.

It is suitable for vegetarians, which is an added bonus, and comes in bottles containing 50 caplets of zinc supplements.

2. Nature made Zinc:

Nature made Zinc supplement is quite similar to Nature’s bounty chelated zinc supplement in many ways including the use of zinc gluconate as the key ingredient. It also blends well with the body system and begins zinc regulation of the body soon after use.

Its effect has a lot of advantage on the endocrine system as well as the immune system functioning, giving users optimal benefits of their health restoration.

However, the major difference is that it comes in doses of 30milligrammes, which is quite less and safer for consumption. It is also suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Also, it comes in packs of 100 capsules. This is quite impressive because the price ranges are the same, and you can probably use this for twice as long and get the same effect of zinc level restoration.

3. Source Naturals OptiZinc:

The Source Naturals OptiZincbrand are quite generous in their marketing of zinc supplements. It comes in bottles of 240 doses of 30miligrams of zinc. With this brand, you can travel for months without having to worry about getting a refill.

One additional advantage is that the source Naturals OptiZinc doesn’t just function as a zinc supplement. It also provides 300microgrammes of Copper in the form of Copper Sebacate. Also, the major zinc source is provided in the form of zincMonomethionine.

The combination has a reasonable level of bioavailability and support enzymatic functions to help repair cells in the body while it also regulates the zinc level in the body. This surely qualifies to top the best zinc supplements in the market.

4.  Solaray Zinc copper:

These products just keep getting better. The Solaray Zinc copper supplement was brilliantly manufactured to combine Zinc, copper and iodine supplements in the form of Zinc amino acid chelate, copper, and iodine from kelp.

The combo helps regulate zinc levels in the body while it makes up for copper deficiency, which in turn prevents you from excessive zinc consumption and then provides thyroid support from the iodine to increase your metabolic rate.

Solaray Zinc copper supplement serves a dose of 50milligrammes of copper blended with 2 milligrams of copper and 53 micrograms of iodine in packs containing 100 capsules.

It’s suitable for Vegetarians as well as vegans

5. Jarrowsformula zinc balance:

The presence of copper in zinc supplements open doors for more health benefits and more value for your money. Jarrows formula zinc balance really balances the scale while it prevents both zinc and copper deficiencies, ensuring that you have a regulated mineral level.

The zinc and copper contents are in the form of zinc Monomethionineand copper gluconate respectively with 30miligrams of zinc and 1miligram of copper per dose. A hundred capsules of these supplements are in each bottle, giving you a supply lasting about three months.

Calcium Supplements: The Only Guide You Need.

Not sure if you need calcium supplements? Read this guide first!

Just like any other nutritional element, calcium is an important part of our daily nutrition and its role in maintaining a good health cannot be overemphasized.

Calcium is the most abundant element in the body. It’s the major component of important structures in the body. Calcium constitutes a large percentage of bone composition, calcium in the form of hydroxyapatite makes up about 70% of the bone mass, while about 20% of the calcium in the body can be found in the teeth. In all, about 90% of the calcium component is found in the teeth and the bony framework of the body.

Other calcium in the body play critical role in various physiological processes and are not found in structural forms. More would be written on the benefits and role of calcium in the later part of this article.

Since the deficiency of calcium has been associated with various diseases, both in young children and in older people, especially women above the menopausal age. It’s important for those with this deficiency to find a way of making up for the lacked calcium, and this is where calcium supplements comes into play.

Under normal circumstances, the calcium component of the food we eat on daily basis contains enough amount of calcium to keep our body in good condition. The recommended daily allowance of calcium intake for adult is between 1000-1300 mg/day, while that of children is between 200-700mg per day, depending on their age.

This quantity of calcium should normally be present in the regular food we take on daily basis, however research shows that about one-third of Americans are not getting enough calcium in their diet. This is probably due to the fact that, some people are selectively vegans, some are allergic to diary food which is one of the common source of calcium in the diet, while some are suffering from lactose intolerance.

What this implies is that, for every three hundred (300) Americans you select at random, about one hundred (100) of them are suffering from the deficiency of calcium. This set of people could benefit greatly from the use of calcium supplements.

Although, a section of this article would examine in details, what the deficiency of calcium is, but here are few diseases associated with calcium deficiency in the body system; osteoporosis, rickets, poor blood clotting, etc.

On the other hand, it should be noted that everything with a profound merit usually has its own side effect. This is to point out that although calcium is good for the body and its deficiency might pose potential risk to the overall well-being, excess consumption of calcium has its own demerit as well.

Consuming too much of calcium makes it difficult for the body to metabolize it effectively. Since the body needs Vitamin D to conveniently metabolize calcium, it’s important to ensure that the intake of calcium supplements is balanced with that of Vitamin D.

Benefits of calcium supplements

Are calcium supplements effective? Do calcium supplements work?

In the initial part of this post, I mentioned the fact that, for those that are not vegan, and those not allergic to milk, soy milk and other common source of calcium in nutrition, then they have no need for taking calcium supplements.

But if the doctor recommends calcium supplements, or you’re allergic to most food that provides calcium in the nutrition, then calcium supplements would be highly beneficial for you. Vegans would also benefit from the usage of calcium supplements because a larger percentage of the food consumed by vegans lack calcium.

Since the function of calcium supplements is to serve as replacement or therapy for the deficiency of calcium in the body. Then the benefits of calcium supplements would equal the benefit of calcium in the body system.

Bone Health:

Osteoporosis is a very common disease among women of menopausal age. The cause of this disease is often attributed to the depletion in the calcium component of the bone. What this implies is that, the usage of calcium supplement would reduce the risk of osteoporosis and other disorder related to calcium deficiency in the body.

Neurotransmitter Release:

The brain controls various system of the body by the release of substance called neurotransmitter. These neurotransmitters are very crucial in the mediation of the action of the brain on local organ.

Calcium is important in the release of these neurotransmitters in local organs.

Deficiency of calcium has been associated with disorder of muscle contraction and disorder. According to this research, calcium has also been implicated in the transmission of information between neurons across the synaptic gap.

Enzyme and Hormone Function:

Calcium ion, just like every other nutritional metals, play an important role in the production of various enzymes and hormones for the body usage.

When the level of calcium in the blood stream is low, the body would eventually reach out to the bones to withdraw some calcium for the formation of these hormones and enzymes.

Continued withdrawal of calcium from the bone would affect the bone health and result into easy fracture of bone under little stress.

Taking calcium supplements in cases of calcium deficiency would prevent the occurrence of such incidence.

Healthy Teeth:

For kids and teens, the amount of calcium in the body determines how strong their teeth would be. Because calcium plays a vital role in ensuring strong gum that hold the teeth in place throughout life.

When teethes are firmly held by the gum, then bacterial would not be able to invest the gum and as a result the teeth would remain sturdy throughout life.

The intake of calcium at the appropriate dosage is beneficial in this regards, especially for kids and teen, in such a way, they would grow a naturally strong teeth and gum.

Blood Pressure Control:

Various studies have been conducted to examine the effect of calcium on the human blood pressure.

While the result of those research are not definitive enough to conclude that calcium alone can help control blood pressure, the research shows that calcium alongside fruits and vegetables are capable of regulating the blood pressure in human beings.

Weight Management:

This study, and this study shows that increased calcium intake can help reduce weight gain and also lower body weight over time.

Prevention Of Colon Cancer:

Calcium has been show to play an important role in the reduction of the occurrence of colon cancer. Calcium supplements and calcium from other dietary source generally plays a protective role in the occurrence of colon cancer.

Cardiovascular Disease:

According to research by the institute of medicine, it’s been shown that calcium plays a role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, by getting rid of cholesterol in the body system, through excretion of lipids and reduced absorption of lipids. (It should be noted that taking calcium without Vitamin D might increase the risk of cardiovascular disease)

Having examine some of the benefits of calcium supplements, then it’s appropriate to look into various types of calcium supplements that are available in the market, and which one if appropriate for use.

Types of calcium supplements


The major difference between the calcium supplements available in the market is the amount of elemental calcium present in the supplements. What this means is that, calcium supplements is usually not just made up of calcium, but rather, it’s made up of calcium alongside other compounds.

The common types of calcium supplements are:

Calcium Carbonate:

This calcium supplement has the highest amount of elemental calcium of all the calcium supplements. About 40% elemental calcium, however, it’s been shown to have low bioavailability, such that the amount of calcium that is eventually absorbed by the body from calcium carbonate in-take is considerably low. It is however, the most common type of calcium supplement in market, and it’s the cheapest of all the calcium supplements.

Calcium Citrate:

The elemental calcium present in calcium citrate is about 20%, which is significantly low when compared to calcium carbonate. However, the bioavailability of calcium citrate is higher than that of calcium carbonate because of its acidic nature, making it easier to absorb along the gastrointestinal tract.

Calcium Gluconate:

This type of calcium supplement is known to have low level of elemental calcium in it, about 9%. What this means is that, you would have to get a large dose of calcium gluconate before getting enough of the calcium your body requires.

Calcium Lactate:

The bioavailability of this type of calcium supplement is not particularly high. The elemental calcium present in calcium lactate is about 13%. It’s not a very common type of calcium supplement.

There are also liquid calcium supplements that perform the same function like the tablet form with the difference being their solubility in water. Calcium Citrate Malate is an example of water soluble calcium. It’s made up of calcium found in citric acid and malic acid. Because of its solubility in water, the bioavailability is considerably high.

Depending on the manufacturer, there are other forms of calcium combined with some other important element. Example of which are; calcium and magnesium supplement combined in a single tablet. There are also calcium and vitamin D supplements tablet.

Calcium supplements for kids:

If your child is not getting enough calcium, then it’s important to find a way of supplementing their calcium intake.

Some kids might choose not to take foods that contain calcium, which would result into its deficiency in their body since they are not getting enough calcium from the food they are eating.

Some are allergic to diary products why some due to lactose intolerance would generally avoid milk and other natural source dietary calcium. In cases like this; it’s important to get them calcium supplements, or better consult with your doctor and talk with him or her about possible diet adjustment that would favor your kids calcium intake.

But remember, that calcium is very essential for kids and teens so as to get a strong bone and good strong teeth.

Taking Calcium Supplements:


How much calcium should I take?

Even though calcium is considered less toxic as compared to other metals, it’s still very important to take the right amount of calcium in the appropriate manner in other to maintain a proper balance in the body’s calcium level.

There are no special guides on how to take calcium supplements, other than following the right calcium supplements dosage (Check Below) and taking the supplement alongside vitamin D. Because Vitamin D is responsible for the absorption of calcium into the blood stream, it’s important to strike a balance in the consumption of vitamin D and calcium supplements.

The best way to take calcium supplements is to do so in the morning after meal and spread out the dosage across the rest of the day. What this means is that, if you are to take 1000mg of calcium as an adult daily, you can split the intake into two; which is about 500mg in the morning and the remaining 500mg is the evening. The reason for this is to ensure maximum absorbability of the calcium supplements.

There are varieties of calcium component, ranging from liquid, to powder, tablet and chewable calcium supplements; your choice depends mainly on your discretion. If you generally don’t like swallowing tablets, you might opt for the chewable form of calcium supplement.

Recommended Daily Allowance Of Calcium:

The data below represents the recommended daily value of calcium intake.

Age

Male

Female

Pregnant

Lactating

0–6 months*

200 mg

200 mg

 

 

7–12 months*

260 mg

260 mg

 

 

1–3 years

700 mg

700 mg

 

 

4–8 years

1,000 mg

1,000 mg

 

 

 9–13 years

1,300 mg

1,300 mg

 

 

14–18 years

1,300 mg

1,300 mg

1,300 mg

1,300 mg

19–50 years

1,000 mg

1,000 mg

1,000 mg

1,000 mg

51–70 years

1,000 mg

1,200 mg

 

 

71+ years

1,200 mg

1,200 mg

 

 

 

Check here for complete details on adequate intake on NIH website.

 

In taking calcium supplements, let’s say you’re 20 years old, and you are taking calcium carbonate supplement which has 40% elemental calcium. If you take 1000mg of calcium carbonate, it means you’re getting only 400mg of calcium (because it has 40% elemental calcium) from the dosage, which means you would have to take about 2000mg of calcium carbonate to get the rough estimate of the RDA.

NB: The above paragraph is just a theoretical explanation of the difference between various types of calcium supplements and it’s proposed dosage. PLEASE CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL BEFORE USAGE.

Calcium supplements side effects

Right from the beginning of this article, I have been reiterating that, it’s best if you can source the calcium needed by your body from the food you take rather than taking supplements. But if for one reason or the other, there is a need to supplement your diet intake, then it’s important that you do so within the normal limit and not consume too much of calcium supplements.

Hypercalcemia is the term giving to excessive presence of calcium in the blood stream. This condition has been associated with various cardiovascular diseases, as it has been show to distort the homeostatic control of blood calcium level.

In extremely rare condition, hypercalcemia might also result into calcification of soft tissue. Calcification is the conversion of soft tissue to hard tissue through the addition of calcium.

High intake of calcium both in natural food and in supplements can cause constipation, and disrupt the absorption of other important minerals in the body. Some studies have also linked high intake of calcium supplements with kidney stone disease.

Best Calcium Supplement

The best calcium supplement is the variety with high elemental calcium and high bioavailability.

Absolute Truth About Cognitive Enhancers: The Good, Bad and Ugly.

Have you seen the movie titled “Limitless”? It’s a movie about the use of cognitive enhancers and how they can make people smarter and do more with their brain within the shortest time frame. Just like any other movie, the main purpose is to entertain viewers and not really educate them on the use of cognitive enhancers.

Nevertheless, movies like this have sparked various discussions about the possibility of such drugs in real life, what if everybody can be as smart as the lead character in that movie? What if we can all think in various perspectives simultaneously, what if there is a drug that can get us to be more alert, focused and calm? What is there is a drug that can really make us super smart?

… Well, there is! In fact, there are several drugs in the market, created specifically for such purpose; they are called cognitive enhancers, or nootropics. Although the two terms are used interchangeably, they have slightly different meaning, but for the sake of clarity, I would use the term “cognitive enhancers” all through this article.

Before we delve into what specific drug does and how you can take advantage of them to become smarter, let us look into what cognitive enhancement is all about.

What Is Cognitive Enhancement?

As the most advanced vertebrate on planet earth, humans are known to be smarter and faster. The reason for this is attributed to evolution of the brain and other anatomical structures of the body. The basic explanation to human smartness lies in our cognition; which is the way we see, understand and react to our environment.

There are about seven (7) cognitive abilities; attention, memory, motor skills, language, visual and spatial processing, perception and executive function.

Let’s take a look at few examples of what cognitive ability means before we move on to what cognitive enhancement is all about….

The first one is an example of cognitive ability in the motor skills category:

Remember when you were learning how to drive? When you would put all your attention on the wheels, the rate at which you’re pumping the gas, the gear, the steering, the side mirrors and every other necessary things. As time goes on, you begin to get better at driving, and you can do some other stuffs while driving (for instance answering a phone call), over time, you discover that, you just drive without even thinking about it. At that particular point in time, your brain is performing a cognitive function based on previous knowledge and experience.

Another typical example is cognitive ability in the language category:

When you’re learning a new language, or let’s say when you’re learning a computer program. In the inception, all your focus would be on the syntax, the models and other necessary stuffs. But as you gain proficiency, you discover that you can speak the language with less effort as compared to when you started learning.

Your brain can look at a very minute detail, make connection with several other events that is slightly related to the details, and invariably make sense of it. That is the peak of cognitive functioning.

Cognitive enhancement on the other hand, is the things you can do to improve these cognitive abilities.

Since they are not static throughout life, they tend to be at their peak during adulthood and begin to depreciate with further age advancement; they can as well be improved with the use of cognitive enhancers and a well-tailored lifestyle.

Cognitive enhancement is the conscious effort we make to improve our attention span, our memory and recall ability, our perception skills, our information processing skills as well as our executive function ability, which involves, decision-making, theory of mind, flexibility and others.

Improving these skills through cognitive enhancement would definitely increase our productivity. This would lead to the next section of the article, where the word “cognitive enhancers” is explained in the simplest of term.

What are Cognitive Enhancers?

In broad term, cognitive enhancers (can also be referred to as nootropics) are drugs that improve any of the cognitive abilities listed earlier in this article.

Although, the above definition is very limited, because there are several other ways of improving cognitive abilities without the use of drugs or supplements (much of which will be discussed in the later part of the post). In this post, the main focus is on cognitive enhancers that are taken as drugs or supplement.

This drug comes in different varieties and a larger percentage of them has been shown to play significant role in improving some or all of the listed cognitive skills. Before the recent development of new cognitive enhancers, caffeine is the most popular stimulant used for cognitive enhancement, it is gradually being replaced by more potent nootropics.

In the past, the use of cognitive enhancers is common among those with medical condition such as ADHD and ADD, however the use of new modern, over the counter cognitive enhancers is now prevalent, even in healthy individual.

The reason for this is not far-fetched. We generally want to be more focused, we want to increase our productivity and gain more from the limited time we have.

How Do Cognitive Enhancer Work?

  • Increasing Blood Supply To Brain: 
  • The brain consumes about 20% of the total body energy, meaning it consumes more energy than other organs of the body. The higher the amount of energy reaching the brain, the faster it works.

    You can liken this to the regular fuel consumption in a car, when you want to increase the speed at which you’re moving, you would have to shift to a higher gear, then pump more gas using the throttle.

    Now, let’s imagine you have a full gas tank, and that your gear and other stuffs are functioning very well. However, the fuel pump is not doing well, or the fuel pipe from the tank to the engine is very narrow, you would agree with me that the speed of your car would not be high. No matter how hard you press the pump, the car won’t run fast, because the fuel is not just getting to the engine!

    This is exactly what happens when the supply of blood to the brain is limited by one or more factor. Because the blood carries nutrient and oxygen throughout the body system, any area of the body that does not get enough blood will suffer malnutrition.

    One of the ways in which cognitive enhancer works is by increasing the blood supply to the brain, and by so doing, the amount of energy and nutrient in the brain is high, and the neurons functions is at its peak.

  • Getting Rid Of Free Radicals:
  • Some cognitive enhancer works by getting rid of free radicals and as such keeping the brain cells (neurons) healthy.

    Free radicals are notorious waste products of the oxygen we breathe into our body. When air (which contains oxygen and other atmospheric element) is inhaled, the oxygen is metabolized and other waste product is exhaled. However, some ions such as O- and H+ remains in the body system. These ions are capable of combining with nitrogen or even other ions to form what is known as reactive species.

    These reactive species have damaging effect on the cell structure. When there are numerous free radicals in the brain cell, it begins to affect their cell structure and consequently their functionality. Taking note that brain cells do not undergo mitosis (breakdown and renewal) like other cells of the body. What this means is that, any damage to the brain cell is long lasting.

    Although the body has it’s own antioxidant system that automatically get rid of all the reactive species, in most cases, the antioxidant can only do so much, and further help is needed by the supplementing the available antioxidant in other to avoid stressing out the brain cell.

    Some cognitive enhancers function as free radicals, they basically work as scavengers of free radicals. They move around in the brain cell to mop out free radicals. Other cognitive enhancers in this category work by stimulating the production of the body antioxidant enzymes, that way, the brain has enough antioxidative enzymes to get rid of the free radicals.

    Caffeine is a good example of cognitive enhancers that falls into this category. They are known as antioxidative agent or antioxidant because they are capable of mopping up free radicals and as well stimulating the production of more antioxidant enzymes.

    Some other naturally occurring nootropics contains amino acid that act as precursor for several neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that transmits messages from one neuron to the other. For effective brain functioning, there must be adequate supply of neurotransmitters within the brain cells.

    Another means by which cognitive enhancers increase the functionality of the brain is by balancing the neurotransmitters in the brain and getting rid of stress hormones in the brain… Stress hormone such as cortisol amidst others.

Who Should Use Cognitive Enhancers?

Cognitive enhancers is not just for unhealthy people with brain medical condition. Traditionally, most cognitive enhancing drugs were developed to cater for the needs of those suffering from mental disorder such as ADD, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson disease, et.c.

But the use of cognitive enhancer has grown beyond that. Healthy people now take cognitive enhancer for various reasons. As a matter of fact, a larger percentage of silicon valley executive take one form of cognitive enhancing drug or the other.

Checking through the benefits of cognitive enhancers, you would agree with me that virtually everybody could benefit from its usage. But for the sake of clarity and specificity, let’s take a look at the category of people that would benefit immensely from using cognitive enhancing drugs.

Students:

This is arguably the largest percentage of those taking cognitive enhancers. In a recent study in Germany, it was shown that about 30% of college student in Germany take one form of cognitive enhancing drug or the other. I believe if the same study is conducted in US and other European country, the result would not be contrary.

Students can benefit greatly from the use of cognitive enhancers, especially when it comes to staying focused and alert. The use of cognitive enhancers can improve reasoning ability. In fact, in some cases, cognitive enhancers are also called “smart drugs” or “smart pill”, this terms is usually used amidst students.

Executives/Entrepreneurs:

One of the benefits of cognitive enhancer is to enhance the executive function of the brain, which includes decision-making, inferential thinking and theory of mind. In simplest term, what this means is that, people with enhanced executive functioning of the brain can easily make decision based on provided information.

They don’t just think from a single perspective, they tend to see issues from various perspective, weigh-in on the supposed end result of each perspective and eventually make their decision from that. You would agree with me that such ability or skill is needed for company executives and entrepreneurs.

Athletes:

The most important skills needed in physical sport is the ability to manipulate your body at will. This all depends on the motor skills coordination. Since cognitive enhancers are known to enhance motor skills, and it’s not against the rule of competition to take them, then athletes can enjoy the benefit of these smart pills.

ADD/ADHD Patients:

People with attention disorder can greatly benefit from the use of cognitive enhancers. Most of the cognitive enhancing drugs in the market are known to increase the ability to focus on a particular thing for a longer period of time. Since ADD/ADHD patients usually have problem with focusing and paying attention, then cognitive enhancer is considered a good fit for such medical condition.

For those suffering from attention disorder, it is advised that you consult your doctor before taking any medication. He/she is in best position to prescribe the right medication to address your current state of health.

Seniors/Aged People:

As we grow old, we tend to lose certain skills and ability. It’s a normal physiological effect associated with ageing. To keep your brain cell alive and at uttermost functionality, aged people can benefit from the use of cognitive enhancers.

Frankly, anybody can benefit from the use of cognitive enhancing drug. Since it as potent effect on the functioning of the brain, and using them won’t make you dull or less smart, then why not take them if there is a need to.

Various Methods Of Achieving Cognitive Enhancement?

Earlier in this article, I noted that there are several means by which the cognitive functions of the brain can be enhanced. This section of the article would explore various methods by which cognitive enhancement can be achieved, towards the end, I would specifically state the best method of cognitive enhancement.

  • Brain Training
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • supplements
  • Enhancers

Before the advent of smart pills, this is probably the most common means of enhancing the cognitive functions of the brain. Brain training involves taking up mentally strengthening activities such as planning Sudoku, chess and other type of games. Although this method usually have little impact on the brain cognitive functioning, but it’s considered more effective in younger children, once the game or activity is mastered, then such brain training serves no purpose than entertainment.

Best Method Of Cognitive Enhancement?

Having listed various methods of cognitive enhancement, it’s only fair to be specific on which of them is the best method for improving the brain’s cognitive functions.

Looking at the methods listed above, you would agree with me that, each of them has a specific focus, take for instance, brain training is only effecting in improving the theory of mind, meditation is only effective for focusing, etc…

The only exception to this is exercise and cognitive enhancers. While exercise is a very good way to improve cognitive functioning of the brain, it should be noted that it is not as effective as the use of cognitive enhancers.

In a nutshell, the use of cognitive enhancers is the best method of improving cognitive functioning of the brain. Their effect is known to last longer than that of exercise, they’re not stressful to use and not time consuming as the case is with exercises.

List of cognitive enhancers

Although there are handful of cognitive enhancers in the market, only a fraction of them are known to be as effective as advertised. The reason being that, the market is not regulated, and there are no specified standard for the production of cognitive enhancers (I hope this changes in the nearest future).

This list consist of few specific product based on research conducted on amazon. It is not in any way the “holy grail” of cognitive enhancers. But I have done my possible best to careful select products with good reviews based on users comment, pricing and company’s reputation.

    • Citicoline Supplements
    • NeuroEnhance Natural Brain Function Booster Supplement for Memory, Focus, Mental Clarity & Cognitive Function Enhanced Ginkgo Biloba
    • Himazol Natural Anxiety and Stress Supplement Promotes Mental Well-Being And Cognitive Support.
    • Alpha GPC Choline Supplement.
    • Memory & Thought Support - Cognitive Nutrition & Mental Performance Enhancer - w/ Ginkgo Biloba, Asian Ginseng, Gotu Kola, Vitamins B12 & E
    • Nature's Wellness Memory Mind Matrix Dietary Supplement
    • Nootropics Brain Function & Memory Booster.
    • Ciltep Nootropic Stack
    • Neuro-Peak
    • Neurolon

Any Adverse Effect?

Just like any other drugs or medication, too much of it might result into unwanted deleterious effect. So far, there is no proper documentation on the adverse effect of the known cognitive enhancers. This is not to show that they won’t have an adverse effect.

Probably, in the long run when enough data has been accumulated, there would be a solid evidence to analyze the side effects of taking cognitive enhances. But as at the time of writing this article, there is a proper documentation of their side effects.

Another thing to take note is body tolerance. The more you get hung up on certain medication, the more your body builds tolerance against its effect. It is advisable to watch out for this when taking supplement based cognitive enhancers.

Best Cognitive Enhancers

I know this is the part most readers are interested in. Having considered everything that is to be known about cognitive enhancers, it’s only fair to give specific direction about which of the product is the best in market.

The selection of this product is based on their chemical constituents, users reviews, pricing, and overall effect. We are interested in supplements that is capable of improving all brain cognitive skills rather than ones with specific interest.

So here is our pick for the top 5 cognitive enhancement. Taking note that the list is not in any specific order.

#1. Neurolon - This supplement is known to improve mental sharpness, clarity, focus and memory.

#2. Neuro-Peak – It’s a natural based brain supplement, appraised for it’s potency as far as mental sharpness is concerned.

#3. Neuro-Enhance – It’s a natural herbal based supplement that aids recall, memory, concentration and focus.

#4. Ciltep Nootropic Stack – It’s potent for improving focus, memory and motivation.

#5. Vimerson Brain Health Supplement – Completely natural contents, and has great reviews for improving memory, focus and alertness.

What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Magnesium Supplement.

Magnesium Supplements: FAQ

This articles explains all you should know about magnesium supplements, I have done my best to write in the simplest of terms, and over the yes, some questions have been asked about magnesium supplements, I have compiled those questions and answered them in this section of the article.

This section serves as a summary for the entire content of the article, and if you’re in a hurry to get the details, then reading this section of the article alone would be enough.

For those that are interested in the nitty-gritty, you are welcome to read the full details immediately after the frequently asked questions.

Do magnesium supplements work?

Yes, they do work! At least a good fraction of the magnesium supplements in the market works in one capacity or the other.

It would interest you to know that about 80% of Americans are suffering from magnesium deficiency, in fact, Magnesium deficiency is currently listed as a potential risk factors for American citizens by the World Health Organization.

What this implies is that, a larger percentage of Americans are prone to the disease associated with the deficiency of Magnesium.

To think Americans are prone to various forms of disease through the deficiency of a mineral substituent (magnesium) that isn’t as expensive as what we spend on health insurance and other luxury is somewhat confusing.

Magnesium is a very important component of our body system, it plays very vital roles in the synthesis of various hormones, and complex initiation of various functions in the body system, take for instance how your heart pump blood to various part of the body, or how you body produce enough energy from the food you’ve eaten.

In the literal sense of it, Magnesium is one of the unsung heroes that keeps your body up and running all the time, and we all know what happens when the unsung heroes are eliminated. The whole system suffers their absence.

What this implies is that, when you suffer magnesium deficiency, every bit of your body system would suffer for it, starting from your nervous system, to your respiratory system, digestive system, muscular system etc…

The importance of magnesium sufficiency in the body system can really not be overemphasized. But sadly, a larger percentage of us are not getting enough of it… This isn’t because we are not eating the right food, the deficiency of Magnesium in Americans has been linked to the deficiency of the element in our soil.

Over the years, it’s been shown that, American soil has lost a larger percentage of it’s Magnesium component, due to modern mass farming and other chemical used in processing our soil for improved crop production.

Adding salt to injury is that fact that, Americans consume a lot of processed food, and these processed food have little magnesium component in them.

All these factors coupled are legitimate explanation to American susceptibility to various diseases.

If magnesium is really this important, then it is equally important that we gain it from somewhere else, if we can’t get enough from the food we eat on daily basis, and this is where magnesium supplements comes into play.

What are Magnesium Supplements?

In simplest of terms, they are artificially synthesized magnesium.

In the earlier part of the article, I wrote about how our soil lack magnesium and how our canned food has little composition of magnesium, this points to the fact that, if everything were to be in order, we should normally get the required amount of magnesium we need from the food we eat naturally.

Although there are trace amount of magnesium is some of the food we eat, fresh vegetables, nuts and other magnesium containing food (which would be discussed much later).

There is a need for magnesium supplements if an average American would take the required daily dosage of Magnesium in other to stay healthy without being prone to the disease and disorders associated with magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium supplements usually comes in the form of tablets, like the normal prescribed medication we get in the hospital, they come in various mg depending on the producing company, and they’re relatively cheap.

Having magnesium supplements within your reach means you don’t have to worry about whether you’re prone to its deficiency or not, because when you take the daily required dose of magnesium, you’re good to go about your regular activities, without worrying whether your diet contains enough magnesium or not.

What do magnesium supplements do?

Although a section of this article is dedicated to the functions and benefits of magnesium supplements, I consider it necessary to write about few of magnesium functions here and would go into details at the appropriate section of the article.

  • Magnesium acts as co-enzymes (co-factor): The body is made up of numerous complex biochemical process that result into various biochemical activities in the body.

    Take for instance, when you eat, you digestive system know that the next thing to do is to breakdown the food into semi-liquid form, then later into liquid form to make it absorbable in the body.

    Naturally, these food won’t breakdown on their own, unless they’re acted upon by the body chemicals called enzymes.

    These enzymes basically function in various systems of the body to elicit metabolism of compounds, synthesis of hormones and elimination of unwanted materials from the body. The catch however, is that these enzymes does not work alone, they require the help of co-enzymes and cofactors like Magnesium (amidst others) to perform their action.

    What this means is that, when the co-factor is deficient, it directly affects the activities of the enzymes. As at the time of writing this article, Magnesium currently serves as co-factor in over 300 enzymatic reaction in the body, and it is believed that there are hundreds more of such enzymatic reaction yet to be discovered.

  • Magnesium plays a role in nerve impulse: the nervous system mainly controls the body system, and the principal component of the nervous system is the brain, spinal cord and the nerves. The nerves are like cable wires from various part of the body back to the brain.

    Instead of having a very long wire, from let us say the tip of your finger to the brain (which would be ridiculously long), we have bunch of short wires, joined together, you can liken this connection to the electric pole on the street.

    These wires (nerves cell) transmits impulses between each other through the nerve ending. There is a very small gap between each of the nerve, which impulse has to cross to get to the next nerve…

    Magnesium plays a very crucial role in the transmission of this impulse from one nerve cell to the other…

    …So when there is deficiency of magnesium, there is every tendency that passage of information from one nerve to another is delayed, this usually results into poor reflex in cases of the muscular system

    Magnesium plays a role in detoxification, bone formation, temperature regulation and other important process necessary for body balance (homeostasis)…

    What magnesium supplements do is to fulfill role of magnesium when they can’t be sourced in our diet. Instead of suffering from the disorder associated with the lack of magnesium, magnesium supplements would take over the responsibility of magnesium and cover up for the lack of magnesium in the diet.

Do you need magnesium supplements?

Yes! You do need magnesium supplements, everybody does, as long as you’re not getting enough of it in you’re not getting enough of it in your regular diet. And as it is right now, a larger percentage of us are not getting enough of magnesium from our regular diet. This calls for a need of magnesium supplement.

You do not have to wait before the lack of magnesium take its toll on your body before you start taking magnesium supplements.

Although, everybody needs a sufficient dosage of magnesium, some people do need it in excess that others, which brings us to the next question…

Should you be taking magnesium supplements?

    • Yes, If you suffer from muscle cramps or muscle weakness frequently….
    1. You should be taking magnesium supplements if you suffer from insomnia with no just cause…
    1. If you get frequent sugar craving…
    • If you’re always restless…
    • If you’ve been diagnosed for osteoporosis…
    • If you’ve been diagnosed with kidney stones…
    • Those are few of the symptoms associated with deficiency of magnesium in the body.

    IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT, NOT ALL APPEARANCE OF THESE SYMPTOMS IS A RESULT OF MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY AND YOU SHOULD CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR IF THE SYMPTOMS PERSIST.

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Who should take magnesium supplements?

Frankly, roughly all Americans should be taking magnesium supplements. Although not all Americans are suffering from the deficiency of magnesium, however, a high percentage of our population is suffering from the deficiency of magnesium and you never know until the symptoms start presenting itself.

Athletes, bodybuilders, and those that are generally into fitness need more Magnesium than regular people. The reason for this being that, the use up energy more than the regular individual, and magnesium is very important in the production of ATP (Adenosine Triphospate).

Children should also take magnesium in the appropriate dosage, this is to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, and improve bone and teeth development.

Magnesium Supplements Benefit:

What are the benefits of magnesium supplements?

There is really no point in spending money on what would not benefit you either in the short run or long run. Obviously, magnesium supplements isn’t one of those things that would not benefit you.

If it has not benefit, then the World Health Organization would not deem it fit to rate it’s deficiency as a risk factor.

This section will highlight the health benefits of magnesium supplements.

#1. Healthy Heart:

In this study, 68 people with cases of heart failure, 38% of the patient showed low level of magnesium, while 72% had excess magnesium in their urine.

The largest percentage of the magnesium composition of the body is found in the heart. This isn’t a coincidence as magnesium plays a very important role alongside calcium in the maintenance of the blood pressure.

In another clinical trial to examine the importance of magnesium supplements in cases of congestive heart failure, patients suffering from severe congestive heart failure that received high dosage of magnesium orotate (about 6000mg per day for a month) had 76% survival rate as compared to those that did not receive the supplement. In the research, it was concluded that magnesium orotate (a type of magnesium supplement) may be used as adjuvant therapy in patient undergoing treatment for congestive heart failure.

According to this article, reviewed by Dr. Vogin; some of the benefits of magnesium on the heart and corresponding circulatory vessels includes; protection of the heart from exercise stress, vasodilation of the blood vessels when more blood is needed and longer exercise periods for those with heart disease.

#2. Healthy Lungs:

Magnesium is being used in treatment of various lungs diseases, such as asthma, pulmonary hypertension, allergies, etc… Magnesium helps in the relaxation of the bronchioles of the lungs, thus resulting into free passage of the air, in and out of the lungs. Low dietary magnesium has been linked to incidence and progression of asthma.

This benefit of magnesium is particularly important to asthmatic patients, because broncho-constriction has been linked to frequent asthmatic episodes in people suffering from asthma. So if you’re suffering from asthma, it’s a good thing to have magnesium supplements within your reach.

In this particular study, carried out by Dr. Kazaks of Bastyr University in Washington, to check whether magnesium can improve the lung function, fifty-five (55) asthmatic patients were used for the study, some group got 340mg of Magnesium daily for about 7 months, while some were given placebo.

At the end of the study, it was shown that there was a six (6) percent improved lung functioning in those that were taking the Magnesium, and about 20% methacholine is needed to induce bronchoconstriction (What causes asthmatic episodes in asthma patient) in those that took magnesium. That this means is that, those that took magnesium were less prone to asthmatic episodes as compared to those on the placebo.

#3. Antioxidant:

The body has a wide range of chemical that function as an antioxidant. The main role of these endogenous compounds is to get rid of free radicals and protect the body from oxidative stress.

The endogenous compounds are synthesized by some enzymes, and this is where the function of magnesium comes in. Magnesium functions by increasing the activity of gluthathione enzyme (GPx), The GPx enzyme functions by increasing the rate at which free radicals (that causes oxidative stress) is mopped up from the cell.

Read more about the antioxidant role of magnesium here, and also about its function as co-factor.

#4. Weight Loss:

If you’re trying to lose some weight, then getting magnesium supplements is a good way to go. Magnesium is known to play an important role in the digestion and absorption of food. When magnesium is deficient in the body, it becomes difficult for the gastrointestinal tract to absorb the ingested food efficient, which means little energy and nutrient is supplied to the body. As a result, you crave for more food even though you’re not getting enough from the ones you’re taking.

Magnesium plays a direct role in the synthesis of enzymes that controls food craving. According to this study, magnesium has been linked directly with insulin function, and it’s deficient directly affects the metabolism of carbohydrate in the body, resulting into excessive sugar in the blood stream and subsequently leading to diabetes and fat storage.

#5. Stress Elimination:

Magnesium is nicknames “The chill pill” because of its role in stress elimination. This research shows the importance of magnesium in recovery from depression. Read about clinical studies and analysis of magnesium as a stress eliminating substance here.

#6. Constipation Relief:

According to this study, it has been shown that constipation is associated with low intake of magnesium and low intake of water from food. So if you suffer from constipation, getting a magnesium supplement might be a good decision.

#7. Neuro-Protection:

In cases of mothers with the risk of pre-term birth, it has been shown that administration of magnesium is very effect to prevent pre-term birth. Another parallel study shows that, magnesium sulphate also help in the neuroprotection of the fetus. The study shows that the administration of magnesium greatly reduce the risk of cerebral palsy in their child.

Magnesium is used in treatment of various disease that has to do with muscle relaxation; such as seizure prevention, arrhythmia, and asthma. It’s also being considered for use as a supporting element for anesthetic agent according to this study.

#8. Lessen Pre-Menstrual Symptoms:

Magnesium deficiency has also been linked to pre-menstrual migraine. In this study, 20 subjects with menstrual migraine were evaluated, and were treated with 350mg of magnesium on daily basis, consequently for two months.

According to the result of the research, it was concluded that, a lower migraine threshold might be due to low level of magnesium, it also suggested magnesium supplementation as a further means of menstrual migraine prophylaxis.

#9. Stronger Bone:

Have you ever heard the word osteoporosis? It’s a pretty common disease of the bone. Just as the name implies, this disease manifest itself on patient bone by “eating” away the good part of their bones, thus bone loose density and becomes porous and lighter (in weight).

Osteoporosis is often seen in aged people, and the lack of magnesium (depletion of magnesium in the bone component) has been associated with this disease.

Magnesium has been implicated in the active transport of calcium and as a result of this, it’s deficiency would indirectly affect the transport of calcium across the bony component of the body and as a result affect the bone health. This review analyzed about 7 different studies, over 1,000 post-menuposal women from 12 case-control studies were analyzed.

It was concluded that postmenopausal osteoporotic women had lower level of serum magnesium than healthy controls. This indicates the importance of magnesium in forming stronger bones.

#10. Stronger Teeth:

The general knowledge is that, calcium and phosphorus are the major element necessary for stronger teeth enamel. This is why dentist would routinely advice patient to take more mile to avoid tooth decay. Recent studies have however shown that those elements taken without increased intake of magnesium would only give the patient “soft enamel” which is susceptible to decay in the long run.

Studies have also shown that a high intake of calcium and phosphorus in the body should be complemented with an increased magnesium intake. Check out this page dedicated to the analysis of various research as regards to its importance in getting a stronger teeth. The page contains information about some studies of how resident of Deaf Smith county in Texas, have about double the amount of magnesium in their body system and how they ultimately record low teeth cavity issues and quick bone injury recovery.

#11. Headache and Migraine Relief:

Migraine and other severe forms of headache has been associated with the deficiency or low level of magnesium. It has been shown, according to this study and several others, that those suffering from migraine usually have low level of magnesium in their brain during attack episodes. In this review paper, about eleven previous research work on intravenous administration of magnesium for headache treatment was analyzed.

The review concluded that intravenous magnesium attacks and alleviate severe migraine in less than 20minutes, while oral magnesium intake completely alleviate the symptom in 24hours.

It therefore suggest that intravenous and oral administration of magnesium should be adapted as part of multimodal approach to reduced migraine.

In collaboration to the studies previously referenced, this study shows that, infusion of magnesium in patient suffering from severe migraine results into rapid and sustained relief of acute migraine.

So those that suffer frequent migraine and headache, even after getting the required rest, it might be of help to increase your magnesium intake through the use of magnesium supplements.

#12. Pre-Term Labor:

Magnesium has been shown to stop contraction of the uterus in cases of pre-term labour in pregnant women. It has also been show to serve neuroprotective function in the fetus, and also reduces the risk of cerebral palsy. This study, this study and this study supports the effectiveness of magnesium as a way of reducing risk of preterm labour.

#13. Decrease Colon Cancer Risk:

Epidemiologic studies have shown that low magnesium intake is often associated with colorectal cancer as well as other magnesium deficiency disease.

According to a study conducted in Japan, it was shown that increased in-take of Magnesium in males, greatly reduce the risk of colon cancer by 50%. About 87,000 subjects were involved in the study, and it was done for a period of eight years with regular follow-up.

The study shows that, the increased level of magnesium in-take has no significant effect on the female subject.

Another study in Imperial College London, corroborate the finds that colon cancer can be greatly reduced by increasing in-take of magnesium. The study proved that, for every 100mg increase in magnesium consumption, there is a whopping 13% decrease in the risk of colon cancer.

Magnesium supplements benefits can not be overemphasized.

Types of Magnesium Supplements:


These are various types of magnesium supplements available in the market. Most supplements are made up of magnesium chelated with other substance such as salt or amino acid. Reason for this chelation is to increase the rate of absorption of magnesium into the body system.

The good magnesium supplements are the ones with high elemental composition of magnesium and low stability constant.

Magnesium Oxide Supplements: This is the most common form of magnesium supplements. They’re cheap and are said to contain the highest amount of magnesium. However, the magnesium present in this form are not easily absorbed into the body system, with only 4% being absorb. What this means is that, if you take, let’s say you took 400mg of magnesium oxide, with just 4% of magnesium being absorbed, only 16mg of magnesium stays in your body.

In other words, you’re still prone to deficiency because you’re not getting enough due to poor absorption rate of magnesium oxide. The reason for it’s poor absorption is it’s high stability constant, making it difficult dissolve and get absorbed into the body.

Magnesium Citrate Supplements: It has a low elemental percentage of magnesium, but a reasonably high absorption rate. About 16% is bioavailable when ingested. It’s typically used to initiate bowel movement due to its characteristic feature of attracting water from the body tissue, thus initiating defecation.

Amino Acid Magnesium Chelates Supplements: As at the time of writing this, it is considered the most effective form of magnesium supplement, mainly because of it’s ability to penetrate cell membrane and delivery magnesium ion into the cell directly.

Magnesium orotate supplement is typically example of amino acid magnesium chelate, it is made up of magnesium combined with salts of orotic acid. Other types of magnesium chelate includes; magnesium glycinate, magnesium lysinate, and magnesium taurate.

Magnesium Chloride Supplements: With 12% magnesium component, it’s considered to be the most absorbable form of magnesium because of it’s zero stability constant. What this infer is that, magnesium chloride supplements are readily available for absorption into the body system as they are easily dissolved as compared to other forms of magnesium supplements.

Magnesium Sulphate Supplements: This form of magnesium supplement is mostly administered intravenously. It’s commonly called Epsom salt. The bioavailability is low as compared to other common supplements.

Magnesium Carbonate Supplements: The percentage of magnesium present in this supplement is about 35-40%, making it one of the supplements with high elemental composition of magnesium. The bioavailability of the magnesium component varies greatly, depending upon the PH in the stomach, it’s been shown to be up to 30%. Magnesium carbonate react with hydrochloric acid in the stomach to for magnesium chloride which is readily absorbed into the body system.

Magnesium Ascorbate Supplements: It’s made up of vitamin C and magnesium. Moderately absorbable into the body system.

Magnesium Hydroxide Supplements: It has a high percentage of magnesium composition, but poor absorption into the body system.

Taking Magnesium Supplements:


Now that you know the benefits of magnesium supplements and types of magnesium supplements, it’s equally important to know about taking them. To the fact that it is an extremely important element does not mean you should go on and consume it anyhow.

In this section of the article, I would talk about magnesium supplements dosage based on the recommended dietary allowance, I would as well talk about how to take magnesium supplements, and best way to take magnesium supplements.

When taking magnesium supplements, the most important thing to look out for is the bioavailability of the magnesium in the supplement form you’re taking. Because magnesium is not easily absorbed into the body system, most supplements manufacturers have created a “vehicle” for it’s transportation. What this means is that, magnesium is often chelated with either salt or amino acid for easy absorption.

The percentage of magnesium you get from supplements now depends on it’s bioavailabilty based on the type of magnesium supplement you’re taking.

First, let’s check the recommended dietary allowance of magnesium:

Children (80mg to 240mg) Teenagers (240mg to 410mg) Adult (400 to 420mg), check here for the complete data table. This will go a long way in giving you idea as regards that appropriate magnesium supplements dosage that you need. This WebMD page gives a complete breakdown of magnesium dosage based on condition being treated.

What are the best ways to take magnesium supplements?

There are three major ways of taking magnesium supplements. You can either take it orally, topically or intravenously. For home usage, oral intake and topical application of magnesium supplement is the best way as they’re considered safe and easy to administer.

It all boils down to your choice. Although there are speculations that topically administered magnesium supplements are greatly absorbed as compared to orally administered supplements. However, there is no concrete evidence to support this claim.

Best forms of magnesium supplements.

The best form of magnesium supplement are the ones with high elemental composition of magnesium and great bioavailability. Over the years, chelated magnesium supplements has been shown to fit right into this description.

Magnesium Supplements Side effects:

Generally, magnesium supplements are considered safe, when the appropriate dose is taken (Check the dosage link above). However, there are conditions that may render the usage of magnesium unsafe. Especially in cases of people with kidney problem.

It’s advisable to stay away from the use of magnesium supplements if you have kidney disease, reason being that, the kidney is responsible for elimination of excess magnesium from the body. And if the kidney isn’t function properly, there would be accumulation of magnesium in the body system.

Accumulation of magnesium may result into stomach upset, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, etc…

Best Magnesium Supplements:

In the earlier part of the post, I discussed various types of magnesium supplements and also gave some points about their elemental composition and their bioavailabilty. I concluded that the best form of magnesium supplements are the amino acid chelated magnesium supplements, they are also the best absorbed magnesium supplements and I went further in listing out the magnesium supplements that falls into this category.

This purpose of this section is to make it easy for you when making decision about the best magnesium supplements in market. I won’t write a long magnesium supplement review, what I would do is point you in the right direction of the top rated magnesium supplement.