In this weeks Nootropic Ingredient Spotlight, we are diving deep into Zembrin®.
What is Zembrin®?
Zembrin® is a patented extract of the Sceletium Tortuosum plant, or whats commonly referred to as Kanna.
There is over 300 years of documented use of this plant substance within Africa. Now there is a multitude of clinical data to really support its use as a nootropic.
Traditionally, it has been used by chewing on it over time, or used within a tea to improve wellbeing and reduce physical and emotional stress.
Zembrin has achieved the generally regarded as safe status (GRAS) within the U.S.
It has been shown to exhibit potent mood-enhancing, anxiety reducing effects and improved cognitive function.
It's described as inducing a state of "Alert Serenity" by users.
Zembrin is used at a tiny dose of just 25mg, and takes about 2 hours for it to exert its effects on the body and the brain.
How does Zembrin ® work (Mechanisms of action)?
Okay, let's look at what makes Zembrin so interesting.
Zembrin has two primary mechanisms of action within the human body:
- It acts as a natural serotonin reuptake inhibitor (5-HT receptors)
- Acts as a PDE-4 inhibitor
What does this mean exactly?
Well, serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRI's) inhibit the reuptake (re absorption) of serotonin into specific neurons in the brain, meaning more serotonin is available to improve transmission of messages between neurons.
SRI's are used predominantly as antidepressants and are also commonly used in the treatment of other psychological conditions such as anxiety disorders and eating disorders.
Don't stress though, Zembrin isn't anywhere near as potent as the SSRI drugs most people are prescribed. It's also been shown to not have addictive properties.
PDE-4 inhibition, as we discussed in our previous blog post, is the process of inhibiting Phosphodiesterase, an enzyme which breaks down cAMP in the body.
PDE-4 inhibition then is able to elevate levels of cAMP in the brain, which can lead to memory improving, wakefulness promoting, neuroprotective and potentially even have antidepresssant effects.
This unique dual mode of action of Zembrin has been proven to be safe, well tolerated, and provide effective stress relief, mood improvement and cognitive improvement in humans.
Effects & Research for Zembrin ®
The primary effects of Zembrin, as determined by clinical trials, indicates it has a positive effect on:
1. Reducing stress/anxiety
2. Improving mood
3. Increasing memory and attention
4. Providing positive changes in the brains electrical activity
A study of 16 healthy participants, taking 25mg of Zembrin, in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over design study tested the acute effects of Zembrin administration in a pharmaco-fMRI model focused on anxiety related activity in the amygdala and its connected neurocircuitry.
The participants were scanned in a perceptual load an an emotion-matching task. Amygdala reactivity was attenuated after a single 25mg dose. These results showed that Zembrin was able to attenuate the effects of threat circuitry in the human brain and its dual mode of action may have anxiolytic potential by attentuating this response.
Another study of 60 elderly participants, showed that over a period of 6 weeks, was able to induce frequency changes in the brain. Most notably, alpha1 and alpha2 spectral power in the frontal brain was increased - which indicates a greater degree of calmness and may represent decreased depressive symptoms.