Biohacking is a growing trend. Individuals seeking improved and safeguarded physical and mental health look to activities, actions, nutrition, and supplements to boost youthfulness, functioning, and energy. The “father” of biohacking, Dave Asprey, describes it as “the art and science of changing the environment around you and inside you, so you have more control over your own biology.”
Some biohackers allow algorithms to run their lives, ensuring cutting-edge input, performance, and program compliance. Some trends to watch in biohacking include high-intensity fitness training (HIIT), fitness trackers, intermittent fasting, cold, heat, light, and electrotherapies.
A significant part of these efforts relates to neuroprotection. Enhancing and protecting cognitive abilities are brain training, meditation, neurofeedback, and supplements such as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) coenzyme and nootropics.
Cell aging is inevitable, but Nootropics are smart drugs or cognitive-accentuating supplements that support and improve how your body and brain work, especially as you age.
Additionally, researchers have discovered that, along with lifestyle, diet, and genetic contributors, energy conversion in cell mitochondria (tiny bacteria living within our cells) also significantly contributes to cognitive function. The critical activity of these independent, self-enclosed entities is the primary adaptation of our bodies to live in our oxygenated atmosphere.
In short, every cell of our body and brain comprises mitochondria, tiny organelles responsible for vital energy production and storage in the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecule. Each cell has around a billion of these ATP “battery packs” passed around to power everything.
With our cells requiring constant energy for proper functioning, our store of energy molecules is drained and replaced every two minutes. At the same time, some organs, such as our heart, liver, brain, and muscles, need more energy than others. Our brain alone always needs 20% of our energy resources. Without this critical energy production—our mitochondrial metabolic rate functioning slows and falters, resulting in potential cell degeneration or death.
Mitochondria rely on nutrition, especially glucose, to facilitate electron donation for respiration and oxygen uptake. When the pathways for adequate oxygenation and glucose utilization are impaired or impeded, nootropics can serve as boosters or alternatives to these pathways.
Examples of Nootropics
Most of us, perhaps without realizing it, already use nootropics. For example, the caffeine in our daily coffee helps us stay alert and focused, stimulating neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine to help improve learning and short-term memory.
Nootropics often contain caffeine or creatine, acting as stimulants for neurodiverse or degenerative conditions such as attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder and Alzheimer’s disease. The category has three general subsegments: prescription drugs, dietary supplements, and synthetic compounds.
Prescription cognition-enhancing drugs can be harmful at incorrect doses and over time, requiring close monitoring and supervision. Instead, medical biologists and biohackers are exploring simpler products to achieve similar benefits.
Natural nootropic dietary supplements include ginkgo, ginseng, L-theanine, CDP-choline, Bacopa monnieri (an ayurvedic herb), creatine monohydrate, huperzine A, and vinpocetine. Promising synthetic compounds include piracetam and methylene blue, the compound that was the original inspiration for the term “magic bullet.”
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You may have heard of this organic chloride salt as a fabric dye or an antifungal component of fish tank cleaner. In addition to its detergent and industrial uses, methylene blue has demonstrated significant promise as an antimalarial, antioxidant, and antidepressant. It is also being explored as a COVID-19 therapy and may offer impressive neuro and cardioprotective benefits.
Initially used in the 1800s as a blue denim dye, it was later used to treat malaria and, even today remains the basis for hydroxychloroquine. In addition to its antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antipsychotic, and mood-enhancing properties, methylene blue is FDA-approved to treat the rare blood disorder methemoglobinemia.
To treat methemoglobinemia – insufficient oxygen reaching the tissues – methylene blue speeds up the mitochondrial metabolic rate of cells, blood circulation, and the uptake of essential oxygen. This function makes the substance a potent nootropic applicable across numerous additional medical and health applications.
Both methylene blue and another dye, indigo carmine, are used as pharmaceutical dyes to assist medical professionals in illuminating the urinary system and mucosal anomalies in urologic and colonic procedures. Indigo is otherwise used primarily as a food dye. However, it has also been evaluated for treating dermatological conditions such as psoriasis and gastrointestinal diseases such as ulcerative colitis.
Biohackers comparing indigo carmine vs methylene blue should know that while photo-stable Indigo carmine is a preferred intraoperative dye, methylene blue is more valuable as an oral health supplement—strictly in micro or moderate doses.
How Does Methylene Blue Stimulate Functioning?
How can a blue dye help protect your brain cells from dying? Part of what makes methylene blue versatile and practical is its bioavailability and hormetic response. It readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and can provide benefits even in small doses. In addition, because methylene blue acts in the mitochondria, it automatically goes where it’s needed, such as in the brain, where more mitochondria exist. Here, it accumulates, exchanging electrons.
Methylene blue accepts electrons at small doses, such as 0.5 mg per kg of body weight. Why is this beneficial? The substance mimics oxygen in our mitochondria to produce more ATP more quickly. In addition, it helps increase the NAD+ produced, directly helping to slow cell aging. More cell oxygen availability means more energy and boosted overall functioning, performance, and healing,
According to neuroscientist Dr. Francisco Gonzalez-Lima from the University of Texas, even a minimal amount of human-grade methylene blue helps promote brain oxygen consumption using the enzyme cytochrome oxidase. This finding is notable as post-mortem Alzheimer’s brains consistently show cytochrome oxidase inhibition. In response, Dr. Gonzalex-Lima is a proponent of a new theory of Alzheimer’s development, that it is a vascular and metabolic disease rather than a result of protein deposits.
As a medical intervention, methylene blue increases oxygenation and may help delay amyloid plaque and neurofibrillary tangle formation, a key element in preventing and treating dementia. Beyond its potent pharmaceutical applications, methylene blue offers numerous benefits as an oral supplement. It’s ideal for biohackers, older adults wanting a better quality of life, and anyone wishing to improve focus, thought clarity, and recall for longer, such as students.
It also acts as an antioxidant, a potent free radical scavenger, scouring the mitochondria for damaging oxidative free electrons, accepting and neutralizing them. This “cleaning” property may help protect our brains and skin from aging.
Methylene blue is also a valuable mood enhancer for those with conditions such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. The salt helps prevent neurotransmitter breakdown, promoting the presence of essential melatonin, serotonin, and dopamine for increased brain chemical balance. It may also increase the availability of acetylcholine, which is crucial for motivation, attention, and memory.
Used in skin treatments and topical applications, methylene blue stimulates elastin and collagen production in skin cells for antiaging and healing therapies. In addition, methylene blue starts to donate electrons in slightly higher, moderate doses (4 to 10mg per kg of body weight). Light therapy can augment this process, showing promising potential in treating some cancers.
- KEEP YOUR MENTAL FACULTIES SHARP - Our specially-formulated methylene blue for humans may help boost the energy production capabilities of mitochondria and promote blood and oxygen flow to the brain.
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Methylene Blue Demonstrates Proven Efficacy
How effective is methylene blue? Research has demonstrated that this simple salt may increase cell life quality and longevity. Methylene blue may improve focus, cognition, and memory, showing a significant impact after only one dose. It may help prevent cell degeneration and halt diagnosed neurodegenerative diseases.
However, as an efficient treatment across various applications and on the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines, why is it only FDA-approved in one injectable to treat methemoglobinemia? Due to its history and pre-FDA existence, the salt is “grandfathered.” In other words, no one can patent it in its original form.
It is, however, frequently and safely used off-label for pharmaceutical and cosmetic purposes. At the same time, note that it can’t help reverse cardiovascular system damage such as atherosclerosis or hardening and thickening of the arteries.
The salt is available for self-use on prescription as methylene blue tablets, powder, drops, and troche formats. A troche is a lozenge-shaped supplement designed to be held under the tongue for up to 30 minutes while slowly releasing the product.
Tablets come in specific dosages, while you can divide drops and troches into smaller doses more efficiently and mix powder to suit your needs. Simultaneously, finding the right methylene blue oral dose and frequency can be tricky.
With a little going a long way, stick with 0.5 to a maximum of 4 mg per kg of body weight. How often should you take a dose? According to Dr Gonzales-Lima, around half of any methylene blue consumed is excreted through the urine after 12 to 14 hours, harmlessly staining the urine blue. A good indication of when to take another dose is to wait until the urine runs clear, indicating absorption of the previous dose. Keeping the substance cycling in this way can help maintain its benefits.
To optimize the benefits of methylene blue, consider going out in the sunshine before 10 am and after 4 pm to avoid harmful UV rays or find an infrared light source. Infrared helps activate photosensitive methylene blue to accentuate and accelerate its benefits.
Depending on the dosage, the blue color in your mouth can disappear after two hours or last up to 24. If the dye worries you, some tips to manage it include rinsing with ¼ teaspoon baking powder mixed with four ounces of water for five to ten minutes. As the color reaction is acid-catalyzed, rinsing with a one-to-one ratio of vinegar and water before using the baking powder speeds the dilution, as do hot liquids.
Using (USP) grade methylene blue is non-toxic and safe at the recommended low doses. The only potential known side effects are a blue tongue and urine.
Like any remedy, methylene blue is not recommended for everyone, so please check with your medical professional before trying it. Avoid it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have high blood pressure, or are already taking SSRI or SNRI antidepressants. In addition, don’t mix methylene blue with therapeutic or recreationally used psychedelic substances such as psilocybin, MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), or the ayahuasca ceremony vines.
Beyond ensuring the foundations of good health, including optimal nutrition, sleep, exercise, and stress management, nootropics such as methylene blue can protect neuro, cardio, and overall organ functioning. Beyond its antimalarial, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, antioxidant, antipsychotic, and mood-enhancing qualities, methylene blue offers significant antiaging and brain-boosting nootropic benefits.
Disclaimer: Last update on 2024-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.
This content is provided solely for educational reasons and should not be seen as medical guidance. It’s important to consult with a healthcare expert prior to making any changes to your health regimen, including dietary adjustments or the use of supplements.
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