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L carnitine

L carnitine is an amino acid naturally synthesized by the body from amino acids - Lysine and methionine. This amino acid is found mostly in red meats and in smaller quantities in diary products. As L carnitine is similar to another amino acid Carnitine which plays a major role in energy metabolism. The body produces carnitine in the liver and kidneys and stores it in the skeletal muscles, heart, brain and sperm. Deficiency in these amino acids can manifest as general apathy, fatigue, muscle weakness, decreased tolerance to metabolic stress, and cardiomyopathy.


Symptoms of fatigue and general prognosis improved significantly in those patients who received oral L-carnitine supplementation. L carnitine's action of facilitating the transport of fatty acids is useful in preventing a buildup of amyloid plaque that damages brain tissues. Supplements of L carnitine has helped in some studies, to improve sperm mobility in men with poorly active sperm, a condition known as asthenozoospermia. Some laboratory studies have indicated the beneficial effects of L-carnitine supplements in counteracting the toxic effects of AZT, a drug for the treatment of HIV - human immuno deficiency virus and acquired immuno deficiency syndrome. Cartinine and L-Cartinine are thought to improve some of the following conditions:


  • Heart Disease - As Cartinine helps to improve the overall energy levels, the patients have a better sustained physical activities after suitable medications combined with supplements.
  • High Cholesterol - Patients with elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides reported a significant lowering.
  • Intermittent Claudication - Patients with Deficiency in blood circulation in the peripheral regions ( peripheral vascular disease PVD ) reported better muscle functions after taking supplements.
  • Fatty Liver - Alcohol induced fatty buildup in the liver has been reversed and even prevented in some studies.
  • Down's Syndrome - In patients afflicted with this disease, significant improvement in visual memory and attention span was noted after supplements.
  • Male Infertility - supplementation may increase sperm count and Sperm mobility.

Mitral Valve Prolapse

Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) is one of the most common cause for heart murmurs. This condition occurs when the mitral valve, responsible for preventing back flow of blood during heart contraction malfunctions. Consequently the mitral valve allows a tiny amount of blood to leak through and might shut off with a faint clicking sound. A faulty flap of the heart valve moves back into the atrium when the heart beats, allowing blood flow from the ventricle back into the atrium. Mitral valve prolapse is also referred to as click-murmur syndrome, Barlow's syndrome or Floppy valve syndrome. It is genetic in nature and is seen to run in families. Women are more likely to suffer from mitral valve prolapse when compared to men. Slender women with long and tapering fingers are at increased risk of suffering from MVP. Factors that might trigger a mitral valve prolapse are hypoglycemia, magnesium deficiency, chemical sensitivity, rheumatic fever, heart disease and hypothyroidism. A person suffering from MVP notices symptoms such as migraine headache, dizziness, cold hands and feet and hyperventilation. There might be insomnia, vertigo and balance problems. Such a person usually has a hypersensitive startle reflex. There might be intermittent chest pain and a feeling of the heart skipping beats.


There are various diagnostic tools used to detect mitral valve prolapse:

  • ECG - Echocardiogram uses high-frequency sound waves to image your heart structures and its rhythm. This allows the physician to view the mitral valve and flow of blood through it.
  • Chest x-ray can help identify any malfunctioning valve in the heart.
  • Doppler ultrasound aids in assessing the functioning of the heart valve.

Moderate regular exercise has extensive benefits on alleviating some of the symptoms of mitral valve prolapse. Avoid too much sugar and Monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the diet. Sufficient amounts of magnesium, l-carnitine, acetyl-l-carnitine and B vitamins can help in relieving the symptoms of mitral valve prolapse. Prophylactic use of antibiotics is useful in preventing infection of the heart valve.


Nootropics

Neuro enhancers or nootropics are drugs to improve cognitive function. Nootropics are also used to treat various physiological and psychological deficiencies and disorders. Nootropics include drugs, supplements, herbs and some food which enhance cognitive functions. Some stimulants have been used effectively for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or other learning disorders. Possible side effects for such drugs may include insomnia and nervousness. Some stimulants are contraindicated with the use of monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, anticoagulants and for people with allergies, epilepsy and hypertension.


The key factor in understanding the application of the nootropics is the biochemical mechanism of the nervous system. The nervous system regulates control and coordination of the entire body. It regulates all physiological activities through feedback mechanisms linked to the brain and the spinal cord. The biochemistry related to nerve physiology and their respective signal conduction is a complex study in itself as it involves chemical messengers such as neurotransmitters.


Pharmacokinetics and Applications

Nootropics, also known as smart drugs are categorized as Nutraceuticals and supplement drugs which give accessory support to the physiology of the nervous system. Nootropics play a major role in the function and regulation of the brain signals. It enables the enhancement of memory thereby facilitating cognitive function. These drugs promote and increase oxygenation valuable to the brain in treating conditions such as apnea to a certain extent. They enable the transfer of inter-hemisphere information and also increase cortical and sub-cortical activities.

Some of the common nootropics contain caffeine as a main ingredient and L-theanine. L-theanine has less side effects as it does not affect the normal sleep activity regulated by the brain which is noticed in caffeine users. Each nootropic varies in its function. Some nootropics such as modanifil work extensively in formation of the memory neural network.


L-theanine, a good alternative to caffeine has been much researched and it was noticed to be effective in reducing anxiety to a large extent. In addition, it does not result in increased blood pressure and insomnia. L-theanine is associated with the stimulation of alpha wave production from the brain which enhances relaxed attention in the subjects.

Caffeine also considered as the world's largest consumed nootropic drug is a potent activator of the brain. Today caffeine is incorporated in various forms such as energy drinks, medicines such as vasograin (used for migraine) and others. This utilization is due to its natural availability and also its psychoactive and alert effects on the brain. The phenomenon of adenosine pathways A1 and A2 are bypassed initially. However, the activity of the drug is believed to sustain irrespective of these pathways in residual conditions. On the other hand caffeine and drugs like modanifil can cause sleep deprivation because of cognitive action.


Side effects

The side effects of nootropic drugs include nausea in case of excess consumption, headaches and irritability. In case of antidepressant nootropics such as Rhodoela rose,a a natural eastern and European nootropic, mood changes and mild withdrawal symptoms have been reported. Other pharmaceutical preparations such as tyrosine and modanifil cause anxiety, insomnia and increased blood pressure.


Drugs like Racetams are known for their action on the neurotransmitters because of their ability to permeate through the blood-brain barrier to reach the receptors directly. The glutamate and acetylcholine receptors receive the racetams and facilitate the brain functionalities. Acetylcholine is very good in sense organ activation and hence the racetams associated with acetylcholine receptors can generate increased stimulation causing the person absorb more color patterns than usual. Its action on the brain is directly determined by the increased blood circulation leading to better concentration and prolonged cognitive activity of the person. The receptor association of the racetams in the nerves and the neurotransmitters are facilitated by the associated ligands.


Supplements and Herbs: There are many supplements and herbs which can enhance memory, verbal communication and spatial reasoning - at least in some cases. The following are some common supplements found to be effective in improving cognitive functions - in various degrees:

  1. Herbs like Ginko Biloba, Brahmi, Goto Kola and Korean Ginseng have been traditionally used to improve cognitive functions.

  2. L-carnitine, an amino acid that helps in the formation of the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine. A common factor found in Alzheimer's disease and some age related dementia is a fall in the levels of Acetylcholine.

  3. Choline, a water soluble Vitamin B group nutrient acts as a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Many components of Vitamin B play a significant role in the wellbeing of the collective nervous system.

  4. DHEA (DeHydroEpiAndrosterone) is a naturally occurring hormone produced by the adrenal gland from Pregnenolone - endogenous steroid hormone. This DHEA hormone supplementation has been advocated for slowing down Alzheimer's disease and age related cognitive decline. Lower levels of DHEA has been noticed in people with depression.

  5. Caffeine found in the Coffee drink and elsewhere is a xanthine alkaloid - a powerful CNS (Central Nervous System) Stimulant as well as a phosphodiesterase inhibitor. Caffeine reduces the sensation of fatigue and increases focus, clarity of thought and muscular co-ordination.


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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: December 10, 2017