Substances that Protect and Boost the Brain


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Since my early teens, I have had an unusually strong interest in enhancing memory and maintaining cognitive function. This interest has continued to this day, and I have been reading and researching various literature, not only on memory strategies or so-called memory techniques, but also on ways to enhance brain function itself and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Here are some supplements and medicines that I have actually tried over the years to help clock up my brain and keep it healthy. I have carefully selected those that I have found to be effective in their own right, so if you want to strengthen your brain function as much as possible, you should give them a try.


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There are many options for enhancing brain function, including supplements, pharmaceuticals, essential oils, and direct electrical stimulation of the brain, but never overdose, take inappropriate combinations, or use in ways not intended. In particular, overdose and incorrect combination of supplements and medicines are extremely potentially dangerous to the body. Just as too much soy sauce, salt, or even plain water can kill you, everything in this world has a useful or harmful side. In some cases, it is not only your problem, but it can even cause trouble for many people. Please do not take any easy actions, thinking that the more you take, the stronger the effect will be.

People feel a strong sense of danger when there is a shortage, but for some reason they do not feel as much danger when there is too much. In fact, an overabundance is often more dangerous than a shortage, to the point of being lethal. Therefore, it is important to make a habit of researching on your own, rather than making decisions based only on information from specific sites such as this one.

【Basic policy: Boosting memory through neurogenesis】

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What is neurogenesis?

It refers to the generation of new nerve cells in the brain, especially in the hippocampus, a region related to memory. In general, there are two well known types of neural progenitor cells: those that differentiate into interneurons from specific pathways in the subventricular region, and those that differentiate into granule cells in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. It is known that newly born neurons differentiate into functional mature neurons that we are familiar with, and that inhibiting neurogenesis with substances that inhibit cell division also impairs memory formation. Therefore, in order to boost brain function, the basic strategy is to incorporate things and things that promote neurogenesis or have the potential to do so into our daily lives, and to remove things and things that interfere with neurogenesis from our daily lives.

Neurogenesis is still in the research stage

However, the truth of neurogenesis after infancy is still being researched and debated, and even articles published in Science and Nature have shown, for example, that hippocampal neurons are constantly being produced even in adulthood, but on the other hand, there are studies that show that the number of hippocampal neurons declines after birth, and that neurogenesis in the hippocampus is almost zero in adulthood. Therefore, do not have excessive expectations.

In addition, most of the studies on supplements and other products that I base my research on are basically animal studies, so I cannot guarantee equivalent benefits in humans. However, what I am describing here is only the results of my personal trials, and if you try them at your own risk after thoroughly checking the safety and other factors, you will not be wrong. There is a saying that those who believe will be saved.

Newly born cells will die if they remain intact

It takes a long time for a newly born young neuron to become a mature neuron. According to some studies, it takes at least three to four weeks. If you don’t do anything in the meantime, the nerve cells that have been born will be wasted and will just die. Therefore, if you decide to promote neurogenesis, you should make it a habit to study every day, or train or exercise if you want to acquire a skill.

【Sub-policy: Improve blood vessel and intestinal environment to boost the brain】

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Maintaining a healthy vascular and intestinal environment is also very important in maintaining and improving brain function. For example, when so-called bad bacteria predominate in the intestinal microflora, there are clear negative effects such as an increase in ammonia, which is extremely harmful to brain cells. In some cases, the rupture of an aneurysm can be fatal. Ultimately, maintaining and boosting brain function also means keeping many areas of the body in good health.

As is the case with supplements and regular food, conventional wisdom may not always be correct, as some of the things that are generally considered to be healthy to consume may actually worsen the balance of bacteria in the gut.


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Let’s get started.

The first and most readily available thing to try is supplements. I have tried literally every kind of supplement there is, but no matter how many research papers there are, I can’t possibly cover them all. I will limit myself to the ones that I have actually seen some effect or have a high possibility of effect.


Studies in mice have shown rejuvenating effects in a variety of areas, including athletic performance, activity level, and appearance. NMN has been suggested to be an active process in mitochondria, preventing copying errors in cell division, improving immunity, increasing healing speed, and even acting on the brain to improve neurotransmission. It has also been suggested that the mitochondria may be effective in preventing copying errors in cell division, improving immunity, increasing healing speed, and improving neurotransmission by acting on the brain. Recent studies have shown that there are no significant changes when administered to young healthy individuals in their thirties or younger, but only when administered to individuals in their forties or later, who are middle-aged or older. It is mainly taken by sublingual absorption.

Omega-3 fatty acid、DHA、EPA

Although no clear memory-enhancing effects can be confirmed, it has been suggested that DHA exerts its neuroprotective effects primarily by inhibiting the production of beta-amyloid, which is commonly found in Alzheimer’s patients. In addition, DHA supplementation has been observed to increase neurogenesis in traumatically injured brains. The hypothesis that beta-amyloid is the cause of Alzheimer’s disease is controversial, and in recent years there is a theory that beta-amyloid is not the cause, but only a consequence, and that it may be protecting the brain (see below). Incidentally, DHA is the only substance that has been scientifically proven to increase semen volume.
Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, have been suggested to be harmful in high doses and should be consumed in appropriate amounts. Normally, it is safe to consume about 1000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids in total, 300 mg of DHA and 700 mg of EPA.


Uridine increases the number of neurites per cell in a significant and dose-dependent manner. It has been suggested that it may promote neurite outgrowth by stimulating the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine. It has also been suggested that when used in combination with DHA, it promotes neuronal membrane synthesis and increases the number of synapses.


Studies in mice have suggested that it promotes neurogenesis in the hippocampus. AMK, a metabolite of melatonin, has been observed to be a potent inducer of long-term memory and may be a substance that promotes the transition from short-term to long-term memory. It has also been suggested to improve age-related memory loss.

Ginkgo biloba extract

Ginkgo biloba extract has been suggested to increase cerebral blood flow in rats, improve memory impaired by ischemia, and have protective effects on brain function. It may have synergistic effects when combined with low-dose aspirin.

MTC oil and fasting, fast asleep (acetoacetic acid, beta-hydroxybutyric acid)

MCT oil is a medium-chain fatty acid-rich oil; MCT oil helps the body produce ketone bodies more efficiently. It has been reported that higher ketone levels significantly improved cognitive function tests. beta-Hydroxybutyrate has been suggested to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor BDNF through histone deacetylase inhibition, thereby enhancing cognitive function and learning ability. It is also a weak agonist of GABA receptors and may improve feelings of well-being when blood levels are increased. Ketones have been reported to be significantly increased by breaking down fat through fasting and exercise, or even by abstaining from sleep, but as we know, lack of sleep has been reported to have more disadvantages.


In mouse experiments, it has been reported that learning ability was improved in mice treated with acetyl-L-carnitine. Acetyl-L-carnitine may enhance ketone body production and promote ALC synthesis to protect brain cells.
One thing to keep in mind is regular L-carnitine. It is found in red meat and is also sold as a supplement, but studies have shown that L-carnitine causes changes in the gut microbiota, leading to the proliferation of bacteria that produce trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMA) from carnitine. TMA is converted to trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), which has long been known to promote atherosclerosis.


One of the most notable vitamins is vitamin B3, commonly referred to as niacin. Niacin has been reported to increase the expression of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor BDNF and its receptor TrkB. I’m taking Solaray’s Niacin 500mg, which is far more than what a person would consume in a normal diet, so this amount causes a peculiar itchy skin, the so-called niacin flush, but I want to be aware that it’s working clearly, so I don’t take niacin flush-free products.


It may seem a little out of place to list it in the supplements section, but caffeine in moderation can be beneficial for memory. Caffeine is so well known that there is no need to go into detail about it, but several studies have shown that it has a memory-enhancing effect. It is especially effective when taken after learning. Meta-analyses have shown an effect on wakefulness and attention. Caffeine also activates the expression of the beta-hydroxybutyrate gene by increasing cAMP.

Huperzine A

It has an acetylcholinesterase inhibitory effect. Acetylcholine is important for memory, and Huperzine A works by inhibiting the breakdown of acetylcholine, thereby increasing acetylcholine levels.

Multi-vitamins and minerals (sub)

If you are on a normal diet, you may not need one, but I always take a multivitamin just in case. In my experience, multivitamins are not always good in large quantities. I would recommend an organic multivitamin that is food-based and does not contain excessive amounts of vitamins and minerals (such as Vitamin Code from Garden of Life), as taking too many of them, especially vitamins and minerals, can have definite negative effects on the body. The only vitamins that I take separately from my multivitamin are B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E group, and vitamin D.

Nattokinase (sub)

It has a blood thinning effect and is used to prevent arteriosclerosis and blood clots.

Elastin (sub)


Xylooligosaccharides (sub)

It is a type of oligosaccharide that is used to improve the intestinal environment. Studies have shown that even doses as low as one to two grams significantly increased bifidobacteria without any particularly unpleasant undesirable digestive effects.Life Extension’s Prebiotic Chewable is recommended. It’s like a sweet treat.

LKM512 and Arginine (sub)

LKM512 is a type of bifidobacterium, which is unique in that it quickly takes up residence in the intestines, multiplies rapidly, increases the concentration of putrescine, a precursor of spermine and spermidine, a type of polyamine, in the body, and increases spermine and spermidine. It can be used in combination with arginine. It has been shown to have a significant synergistic effect when used in combination with arginine.
Polyamines have anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects by inhibiting the excessive secretion of inflammatory cytokines. In several papers, polyamines have been shown to inhibit inflammatory markers and aging markers, which are major factors in geriatric diseases. In addition, in several studies on mice, life expectancy increased, suggesting that an increase in the concentration of polyamines in the intestines is likely to be effective in extending life expectancy. In terms of brain function, the Morris water maze test showed significantly higher results in the treatment group after six months of treatment. The results suggest that polyamines inhibit age-related memory loss. It has been confirmed that spermidine and spermine are involved in memory by binding to NMDA receptors in the brain, and conversely, it has been reported that inhibition of polyamine synthesis causes a decline in learning memory. In a study on Drosophila, it was confirmed that oral administration of spermidine suppressed age-related memory decline. It has also been suggested that spermidine improved vascular endothelial function.

【Pharmaceutical and hormone related】

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Warning! Pharmaceuticals and sex steroids, such as male and female hormones, can cause serious physical problems if they are handled incorrectly. Be sure to read the directions for use (especially the combination and dosage) carefully, and handle them with extreme caution at your own risk.

Androgens (male hormones)

It is a male hormone, and among testosterone, dihydrotestosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone, testosterone is particularly well known. The hippocampus produces male and female hormones in both males and females, with or without testicles, and the concentrations in the hippocampus are usually higher than those in the blood. Studies have shown that after testosterone in the hippocampus is converted to the female hormone estradiol, it improves memory performance by modulating neural synapses. Studies have also shown that dihydrotestosterone, also known as DHT, which is frowned upon because it induces baldness, promotes neurogenesis in the hippocampus through paracrine.
Sex hormones need to be handled with special care. They can cause side effects such as gynecomastia and testicular atrophy in men and clogged blood vessels in women. Young people, in particular, should not use sex hormones easily unless they fully understand the risks.

Estrogen (female hormone)

It consists of estrone, estradiol, and estriol, with estradiol being particularly well known. Estrogen promotes neurogenesis in mature rats via the growth factor progranulin (PGRN). In one study, men with a higher percentage of estradiol in their blood tended to have younger cells and lived longer.
Sex hormones need to be handled with special care. They can cause side effects such as gynecomastia and testicular atrophy in men, and clogged blood vessels in women. Young people in particular should not use sex hormones easily unless they fully understand the risks.


Acyclovir is a drug used to fight the herpes simplex virus. There is a theory that amyloid beta may not be the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, but merely the result of a battle with a certain type of bacteria or virus. The theory that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by herpes viruses or fungi that have invaded the brain, in other words, that Alzheimer’s is a pathogenic disease, seems to be reasonably convincing when you read the article Fungal infection in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. I have never been infected with herpes. I don’t think I have herpes, but on the basis of these papers, I regularly take very small doses of herpes virus prophylactically (not recommended!). (Not recommended!).


It is an antibiotic used in the treatment of tuberculosis, but it has been discovered that it suppresses the oligomer formation of amyloid beta, tau, and alpha-synuclein. It has been reported that oral administration to Alzheimer’s model mice restored synapses and improved memory impairment. I also take this in very small doses regularly at intervals for the purpose of preventing Alzheimer’s disease (not recommended!). But, antibiotics should never be taken chronically, as they can create resistant bacteria if taken too easily.


It is an antidepressant drug classified as a serotonin blockade reuptake inhibitor (SARI), and studies suggest that it protects brain cells from dysfunction and death, and prevents dementia and memory impairment. I used to take it very sparingly, but now I almost never take it because it often makes me drowsy. Also, antidepressants should not be taken easily, because if you stop taking them suddenly after taking them chronically, you will suffer from so-called withdrawal symptoms, which can cause various unpleasant symptoms.


It is a type of antidepressant drug classified as a norepinephrine dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI). They improve mood by increasing the amount of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is important in memory formation and in focusing on something. Bupropion is generally very safe as it has very low dependency and I have not experienced any withdrawal symptoms, but it is still an antidepressant and should be taken with caution.

Galantamine, Donepezil

Both are acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. These drugs are used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, and have been suggested to be more effective than placebo in training tasks, verbal memory, and episodic memory retention. It has also been reported to increase memory and attention in patients with 24 hours of sleep deprivation, although not so much in patients with adequate sleep.

Aspirin (sub)

81 mg of low-dose aspirin to lower the risk of cardiovascular events. There are also reports of improved memory when combined with Ginkgo biloba extract, but there are also reports of elderly people who took Ginkgo biloba extract and aspirin together suffering from side effects such as double vision and bleeding in the eye, so as I have mentioned repeatedly, please do so at your own risk.

Bezafibrate (sub)

It is used for the treatment of hyperlipidemia and reduces triglycerides. It is usually taken in at least half the dose or less than the amount used (not recommended!). .

Pioglitazone (sub)

It is a drug used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus to improve insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the sensitivity to insulin in each organ is decreased due to excessive secretion of insulin. As insulin does not work as it should, blood glucose levels rise, and more insulin is needed to lower the elevated blood glucose levels. If this continues, the function of the pancreas, which secretes insulin, decreases, and diabetes occurs. There is a famous experiment in Drosophila that shows that a decrease in insulin activates CREB, which contributes to the acquisition of long-term memory. I am neither obese nor diabetic, but when I feel that I am consuming too much sugar, I may take a small amount.

Verapamil (sub)

It is a drug used to treat arrhythmia and high blood pressure. I sometimes take a very small amount in the hopes that it will inhibit Txnip. Although Txnip is an important thioredoxin-binding protein with a variety of functions in the human body, one study suggests that excess Txnip accelerates the aging process. It has been reported that flies with low amounts of Txnip lived longer, while flies that made a lot of Txnip lived much shorter lives on average. Txnip expression results in myocardial infarction and hypertension, while reduction results in apoptosis and reduced fibrosis. Inhibiting Txnip may protect cardiomyocytes.


This is a little different, but I’ll mention it here. Alcohol has been thought to contribute to health in small amounts, but recent studies have shown that even small amounts are just bad for you, so it is not recommended. However, studies have shown that drinking alcohol strengthens the “memory of the time just before drinking. There are several theories as to why this might be, such as the fact that once the alcohol starts to act on the brain, the brain is less likely to respond to new stimuli, and as a result, there is more room to intensively replace the content learned just before drinking with long-term memory, but nothing is known for sure.

【Unapproved and illegal drugs】

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Warning! The substances listed here are only to satisfy your desire for knowledge. It is strongly recommended that you do not consume these substances for any reason whatsoever.


It is dimethyltryptamine, which is famous as the most powerful hallucinogen. Ayahuasca has become famous in recent years. Like other hallucinogens, it has the potential to reestablish connections in existing neural networks.

Psilocybin, Psilocin

It is a hallucinogen found in so-called hallucinogenic mushrooms. It has been reported that low doses of psilocybin increased the number of neurons in the hippocampus in mice. It has also been suggested that administration of psilocybin may cause the brain network to be rebuilt in a new and orderly fashion. In recent years, it has been used in some countries for the treatment of anxiety and depression.


It is a famous hallucinogen. For a while, engineers in Silicon Valley were hoping that taking low doses of LSD would improve their work performance, creativity and concentration (microdosing), but we haven’t heard from them since, so it must not have had the desired effect. According to the only double-blind randomized trial, microdosing did not improve performance.


It is a so-called methamphetamine. In Japan, it is treated as if it is a typical horrible substance that once you use it, it’s over, etc. However, overseas literature shows a different picture. Studies have shown that non-chronic ingestion of very low doses does not cause undesirable regulation of brain receptors and improves memory.


A type of so-called smart drug, it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, protects the brain from excessive calcium and glutamate neurotoxicity, and may promote neurogenesis by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). It is not illegal, nor is it specifically regulated. I used to use it, but I didn’t see the desired effect, so I don’t take it now.


It is a type of so-called smart drug. In a double-blind study, it was reported that PRL-8-53 caused a slight improvement in cognitive function. Although it did not have much effect on people who originally scored high on tests, the study showed that word test scores more than doubled in people with poor short-term memory and people over 30 years old. Personally, I found it to be the most effective of all the smart drugs when I was sleep deprived. It does not have any effect on wakefulness. Unregulated.

【Aroma oil, essential oil】

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Caution! Do not apply aromatic oils directly to the skin or drink them. Applying high concentrations of aromatic oils to the skin or drinking them may not only fail to produce the desired effect, but may also cause some fatal side effects.

Japanese cypress (alpha-pinene)

It has been reported to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and promote neurogenesis. alpha-pinene is found in a variety of aromatic oils, including cypress, cedar, frankincense, rosemary camphor, and rosemary cineole. In particular, japanese cypress is recommended, but it is also good to use these oils in combination.

Rosemary (carnosic acid, camphor, 1,8 cineole)

Carnosic acid is a terpenoid found in rosemary, and studies have shown that it has a strong neurite outgrowth promoting effect by activating the nuclear transcription factor Nrf2, thus enhancing memory. Personally, I recommend rosemary tea. Incidentally, 1,8 cineole has antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects, and recent research suggests that it inhibits the growth of new coronaviruses by inhibiting the main protease.

Tea tree (terpineol)

Inhaling terpineol increased blood flow in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and frontal pole regions, suggesting that it may enhance working memory.

Peppermint (menthol, 1,8 cineole)

It has been suggested that inhaling the scent of peppermint may increase concentration more than when it is odorless, and that it may restore attention that has been reduced by monotonous work. There are also research results from behavioral tests on laboratory animals that conclude that peppermint has a central stimulant effect.


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Studies have shown that aerobic exercise and strength training promote neurogenesis in the hippocampus and also increase the volume of the hippocampus. As mentioned in the section on MCT oil, exercise also increases beta-hydroxybutyrate and induces BDNF gene expression by inhibiting histone deacetylases, which has been reported to enhance cognitive function and learning ability. Exercise also enhances memory by improving insulin resistance. Exercise benefits all areas of the body, not just the brain, so be sure to take advantage of it.

Acquiring skills

It refers to studying or learning something. This needs to be done every day to increase the survival rate of the hippocampal neurons. It has also been reported that the rate of decrease in hippocampal volume with age is less when people are striving to acquire complex skills than when they are not.


Chronic sleep deprivation can inhibit neurogenesis by powerfully boosting stress levels. I don’t think it’s necessary to say this now, so try to get enough sleep, about eight hours every day (but the appropriate amount of sleep varies from person to person). Lack of sleep is also a no-no in academics.


Research on meditation has progressed rapidly in recent years, and it has been shown to have a wide variety of positive effects. Meditation is not just a state of sitting and doing nothing, it is an active training of the mind. Studies have shown that people who have been meditating for over twenty years have significantly more gray matter in their brains than those who have not. There seems to be a widespread effect on the entire brain. It has been shown to be as effective as antidepressants in treating depression and anxiety. Even if you don’t practice it for that long, there are reports of increased concentration and alertness after just a few days of training, so it is recommended to start casually. There are also many reports (from practitioners) that their sleep time has decreased as they continue to meditate.

Eating habits

It is recommended that you avoid eating too much food or too much carbohydrates (sugar), which can reduce the function of the pancreas, and that you eat your meals in the order of vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates, if possible, so that your blood sugar level does not fluctuate rapidly with each meal. Also, smaller meals are better for the brain, which will be discussed in the next section on fasting.


It has been suggested that regular fasting and fasting may have a variety of positive effects on the whole body as well as the brain. When body fat is burned by fasting, acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate are produced, which have anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective effects. Fasting also increases autophagy, which promotes the breakdown and removal of abnormal intracellular proteins. It has also been reported to increase stress resistance and extend lifespan. There are various methods and debates on how often and for how long to fast, but it is highly possible to get good effects without severe fasting, so it is best to adopt a method that suits your lifestyle.

Sexual intercourse

Studies have shown that sex promoted neurogenesis in adults and continued to stimulate the growth of dendritic spines and dendritic structures. Chronic sexual experience has also been suggested to decrease anxious behavior and reduce stress.

【transcranial direct current electrical stimulation (tDCS)】

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An alternative is to stimulate the brain directly by passing weak electricity through the skull. tDCS has been reported to stimulate the release of adrenaline, which facilitates the enhancement of synaptic transmission through increased calcium in astrocytes. There are also reports of its successful use in the rehabilitation of stroke patients. There is a report based on a meta-analysis that there was a significant effect in improving working memory in schizophrenic patients, but there is also a report that there was no effect in improving working memory capacity in healthy subjects, so we have not seen a consistent conclusion. There are also warnings that if the area of the brain to be stimulated is not properly selected, or if it is not used in combination with other methods, it may not be effective or may even cause side effects.

【Don’t tell anyone! A secret technique to help you stay awake and concentrate】

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To be honest, I don’t want to tell you about this, because I don’t want to cause any accidents to people who try it without reading it carefully, but it is a combination of over-the-counter rhinitis medication (containing ephedrine and caffeine, but no codeine) and a certain MAO-B inhibitor that is used to treat Parkinson’s disease. With the right combination of medications, the effects of ephedrine, which is no longer available as a supplement or drug, can be successfully enhanced to improve concentration through stimulation. Incidentally, ephedrine is still found in some diet supplements as ephedra extract, but the content is strictly regulated and all are only available in low doses that are completely useless.

MAO (monoamine oxidase) is a very important enzyme in the human body, and drugs that inhibit it are difficult to handle. Overdose, as well as the combination of other medications and food, can literally kill you in some cases, so you’ll have to manage anything further on your own.

Ephedrine is contained in hemp huang, which can be easily purchased by anyone as a Chinese herbal medicine. However, if you actually try it, you will find that hemp huang tea has a strong smell and is very bad. However, in the current situation, hemp huang tea is certainly the easiest and safest option to legally obtain stimulant ephedrine.


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All of the ones I’ve written about so far are a small fraction of what I’ve actually tried, and the few survivors are worthy of continued experimentation as of May 2021. I have tried many others, such as amantadine, valproic acid, metformin, etc., but considering the advantages and disadvantages, these are the only options left now.

As I have written many times, please do your own research, be knowledgeable and convinced before you try these things, and be sure to put your own safety first and foremost.

And fundamentally, the most important thing is to continue your studies. Don’t let the means become the end!

 - アロマオイル, 勉強お役立ち, , 薬・サプリメント, 記憶力, 身体・健康 , , , , ,