Welcome to another blog post for the weekly nootropic ingredient spotlight series.
Today we are taking a look at Bacopa Monnieri, a classic brain health nootropic that has been used for 1000's of years, and a hero ingredient in our Enhance Nootropic.
What is Synapsa™ Bacopa Monnieri?
Bacopa or Brahmi is a herb native to the wetlands of southern and Eastern India, Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia and America.
Bacopa has been used for 1000's of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as well as traditional Indian and eastern medicine, or what's known as Ayurveda. The herb was allegedly used by ancient Vedic scholars to memorize lengthy sacred hymns and scripture.
Bacopa contains numerous compounds called Bacosides which contribute to its potent, memory and brain enhancing effects.
Bacopa is one of few very well studied nootropic compounds. For this reason, it is one of our flagship ingredients in our daily neurovitamin, Enhance.
Be weary, however, anecdotally some users report to have reduced feelings of motivation after consuming Bacopa. This may be due to the fact that some standardized extracts contain higher amounts of Serotonin Active Bacopa Glycosides (SABG’s) which may contribute to higher serotonin and thus give a more calming effect.
Synapsa Bacopa however, is able to somewhat counter this effect as it is not standardised to SABG's, unlike other extracts available on the market. Synapsa, also known as CDRI-08 or KeenMind, is a standardized extract of Bacopa monnieri developed by the Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI) in India and distributed by PLT Health Solutions.
Synapsa is a Bacopa extract that is standardised to 55% Bacosides, and aims to preserve all the constituents and natural compounds as you would see in normal Bacopa Monnieri.
Synapsa Bacopa is typically taken over a period of 4-12 weeks, at a dose of 300mg per day to provide its potent memory and brain health effects.
How does Synapsa Bacopa work (Mechanisms of action)?
Synapsa Bacopa, like many other natural herbal nootropics, contains many constituent compounds, such as Bacosides, that determine its effect in the brain and in the body.
These natural constituents act through many pathways to exert its potent effect.
- anti-oxidant neuroprotection (via redox and enzyme induction)
- acetylcholinesterase inhibition and/or choline acetyltransferase activation
- β-amyloid reduction
- increased cerebral blood flow
- neurotransmitter modulation (acetylcholine [ACh], 5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT], dopamine [DA])
Unlike certain drugs and pharmaceuticals that may target just one pathway quite strongly, Bacopa tends to act more weakly through a wide variety of pathways.
Due to this, Bacopa tends to produce much less side effects, and can actually support the brain over the long term via its neuroprotective properties.
Effects & Research for Synapsa Bacopa Monnieri
There has been over 30 years of documented, scientific evidence which show that Bacopa, and in particular Synapsa, can support cognitive function, memory and brain health.
This includes 7 foundational clinical trials, and 6 targeted, randomized, double blind placebo controlled trials.
The effects that can be experienced when using Synapsa Bacopa, include:
- Improved working memory and memory consolidation
- Faster information processing
- Improved rate of learning
- Increased multi tasking ability
- Improved neuroprotective properties
Stough, 2001 showed a statistically significant improvement in speed of visual information processing, learning rate and memory consolidation in subjects 18-60 years of age consuming 300 mg/day Synapsa. A statistically significant reduction in the rate of forgetting was also observed.
Roodenrys, 2002 conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled 12-week trial that demonstrated a significant effect of Synapsa (300mg/d) on the retention of new information by participants 40-65 years of age.
Stough, 2008 conducted a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled 90-day study with 62 participants, ages 18-60, consuming 300 mg/day. Synapsa showed a statistically significant improvement in working memory, visual information processing (sustained attention) and accuracy in complex cognitive tasks.
Downey, 2012 studied two different doses (320 mg/640 mg) in a study on sustained cognitive performance, examining the acute (short term) effect of Synapsa in healthy adult subjects. Significantly improved performance was seen in faster information processing and improved decision-making time in a multitasking environment.