The hectic lifestyle of the working world means most young adults are constantly stressed. (53) This is a big problem because chronically elevated levels of stress hormones significantly impact sleep quality, affects your ability to function optimally during the day, and can eventually lead to more serious health conditions – mental or physical. (54,55)

Many turn to caffeine. But while caffeine may solve sleepiness issues for a while, it results in poorer sleep quality, fewer sleep hours, and higher levels of perceived stress – as well as jitters, anxiousness, caffeine crashes and dependency. (56,57)

Others may turn to prescription drugs to aid sleep, mental health, or cognitive function – such as for insomnia or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But these also come at a cost – leading to addiction and, sometimes, crashes. Plus, we don’t yet understand the long-term effects of many of these medications. (58,59)

We know caffeine and prescription drugs aren’t the answer – but most people don’t know there’s another option. Brain Focus was specifically formulated as a safe, natural alternative. It is designed to enhance memory, focus & clarity. Here we have reviewed the evidence for the impact of the ingredients in Brain Focus on cognition through a variety of mechanisms.

Improves Memory & General Cognitive Function

Brain Focus improves memory by increasing the speed and capability of retaining information and grasping new concepts. This is supported by the synergistic activities of Bacopa monnieri (B monnieri) and Ginkgo biloba extract (GbE).

B monnieri significantly improves cognition – particularly memory, speed of attention and choice reaction time, (1,2,4,60) while GbE improves cognitive function and slows decline in cognition versus placebo. (3,6,5,61)

This may be due to increased choline levels. Low levels of choline and cholinergic transmission are usually seen in cognitive decline in dementia. B monnieri and GbE inhibit acetylcholinesterase – the enzyme which breaks down choline – improving cognitive function and protecting against cognitive decline. (7,8,9,10,11)

Secondly, Brain Focus can boost neuronal density via neurogenesis. Bacopaside I in B monnieri and BgE can both promote neurogenesis, (12,14,15) while GbE may also increase neuroplasticity. (3,13)

Finally, Brain Focus inhibits neuroinflammation. The active components in B monnieri can cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and act as antioxidants, reducing reactive oxygen species (ROS) and neuroinflammation. (16,17) B monnieri may also inhibit Tau-mediated toxicity – the build-up of which is the primary risk factor in Alzheimer’s disease. (16)

Enhances Concentration & Focus

Brain Focus can also support concentration and focus through improvement of mental fatigue and balancing neurotransmitters.

Firstly, Rhodiola rosea (R rosea) exerts an anti-fatigue effect and has been shown to improve mental performance – particularly the ability to concentrate. (19,20,21) R rosea was also found to decrease cortisol (stress hormone) levels in patients with fatigue syndrome. (19)

Secondly, low levels of serotonin are associated with reduced memory and depressed mood. (62) GbE has been shown to restore serotonin receptors through its antioxidant activity and increase serotonin levels in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of mice. (7,22)

Supports Mood & Wellbeing

Every ingredient in Brain Focus works in synergy to support mood and well-being.

R rosea has proven beneficial effects on mental performance and mental health. (26) Supplementing R rosea reduced self-reported anxiety, stress, anger, confusion, and depression in subjects after 14 days. (20) R rosea may be slightly less effective than sertraline (an antidepressant drug) but with fewer side effects – making it a preferred recommendation in some cases of mild depression. (27) In addition, studies show that Gotu Kola can significantly reduce anxiety levels and could further improve mood by increasing alert scores and decreasing anger scores(7,8,24,23,25).

This effect may be due to modulation of neurotransmitters – especially dopamine. B monnieri may improve depression and anxiety by preventing dopaminergic neurodegeneration and improving dopamine function. (4,30,31) GbE has also been shown in several studies to increase dopamine levels by reducing the activity of MAO – an enzyme which breaks down serotonin, dopamine and other neurotransmitters. (6,7,9,29,28) Finally, the asiaticoside and asiatic acid in Gotu Kola have been shown to exert neuroprotective, antidepressive, and anxiolytic effects in the brain. (23)

Supports healthy nervous system function

Brain Focus improves nervous system function by both boosting nerve growth factor (NGF) and protecting nerve cells against oxidative damage.

Firstly, GbE has been shown to promote nerve cell growth and improve perceptual and motor functions. (33,34,35,36)In addition, salidroside from R rosea promotes nerve regeneration and may increase expression of several growth factors including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and nerve growth factor (NGF). (37,38,39,40) Asiatic acid and madecassic from Gotu Kola also show synergistic effects on increasing neurofilament expression. (41)

In terms of protecting against oxidative stress, R rosea exerts significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in the brain. (42) For instance, salidroside appears to protect against hydrogen peroxide-induced apoptotic cell death. (39) Furthermore, GbE can reduce oxidative damage and increase BDNF levels. (43)

Promotes Healthy Cardiovascular Function & Improves Blood Circulation

Finally, Brain Focus can improve cardiovascular function and circulation. Gotu Kola has been found in several studies to improve microcirculation, (44,45,46) while R rosea can improve endurance exercise capacity and reduce the risk of ischemic stroke. (47,42) Finally, GbE has been shown to reduce stroke impact, restore cognitive function in stroke patients, increase cerebral blood flow and improve blood lipid status. (3,5,13,32,48,49)

One mechanism is by boosting levels of nitric oxide (NO). GbE has been shown to increase NO levels while also protecting cells from NO-induced toxicity. (3,13,14,32,37,51)

On top of this, R rosea and GbE both reduce the impact of raised cardiac markers of inflammation. R rosea also reduces lactate levels and skeletal muscle damage after exercise (50,52) while salidroside exerts strong antioxidant activity through reducing ROS production and increasing levels of glutathione and other antioxidant enzymes. (52)

Bottomline

To sum everything up, Brain Focus contains 4 high quality herbal extracts with a strong evidence base to support their cognitive- and mood-enhancing effects.

Brain Focus does this by the synergistic activities of the herbal ingredients to improve cardiovascular function, neurogenesis and neuroplasticity, neurotransmitter levels – as well as protecting against the effects of stress, inflammation, and oxidative damage.

Read more about Brain Focus in our official white paper (research & studies)

Read more about Brain Focus here (short version).

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