QUALIA MIND combines 28 ingredients that have been carefully selected to support mental energy, alertness, attention, concentration, focus, memory, mood, motivation, and overall cognitive performance.
The word “thinking” can be used as a way to describe the brain’s primary function—taking in, processing, transmitting, and using information. The brain performs these functions using cognitive skills, which collectively allow us to perceive, reason, understand, learn, and remember. Related cognitive skills are grouped together into bigger cognitive domains including complex attention, executive functions, and memory. In the simplest sense, Qualia Mind was formulated to support an array of cognitive skills in these three different domains.
When choosing ingredients to include in Qualia Mind, Neurohacker Collective relied on scientific research and the N of 1 experiences of biohackers and the nootropic community. In this blog post, we’ll share some of the reasons why we included each ingredient and how individually they contribute to the overall nootropic experiences Qualia Mind was formulated to deliver.
A Few Notable Studies
These are a few publications from scientific journals highlighting some of the Qualia Mind ingredients.
A low dose of caffeine supported cognition and mood (Pubmed 7675951).*
L-theanine supported attention and visual reaction time (Pubmed 26869148).*
The combination of caffeine and L-theanine supported faster reaction time and better focus (i.e., decreased mind wandering) (Pubmed 29420994).*
Combining Cognizin® Citicoline with caffeine enhanced brain activation and supported sustained attention, concentration and working memory (Pubmed 25046515).*
Rhodiola rosea supported the capacity for mental work (Pubmed 12725561).*
Bacopa monnieri helped with the retention of new information (Pubmed 12093601).
Qualia Mind Ingredients
Organic Coffeeberry® (90 mg caffeine) Whole Coffee Fruit Extract
Coffeeberry® is an organic coffee fruit extract standardized for caffeine and naturally-occurring coffee polyphenols. It’s included in Qualia Mind to support alertness, energy, processing speed, reaction times, and motivation.* While caffeine has received a great deal of well-deserved research attention as a nootropic, coffee polyphenols also support healthy brain function by acting as antioxidants and being neuroprotective.* We used a coffee fruit extract in Qualia Mind because both caffeine and coffee fruit polyphenols were important to us.
We chose Organic Coffeeberry® as the coffee fruit extract, because it’s been standardized for caffeine, contains coffee polyphenols, and is sustainably sourced from farms certified by Rainforest Alliance. When used as a nootropic (i.e., to promote alertness, focus, reaction time, etc.) caffeine is often dosed in the range from 50 to 200 mg. We selected the dose of Coffeeberry® to deliver the amount of caffeine (~90 mg) found in a small cup of coffee. This is towards the low-to-middle of the range for nootropic purposes and is in the range where caffeine helps support energy, cognitive performance, and mood.*
L-theanine is a calming amino acid that naturally occurs in green tea. We included it in Qualia Mind because it supports alpha brain waves, focused attention, mental alertness, and feelings of calm, relaxed energy.* L-theanine may also help with adaptation to mentally fatiguing or stressful circumstances, since it promotes alpha brain waves (α-waves)—an increase in α-waves is associated with relaxation, focused attention, mental alertness, and reduced perception of stress.* L-theanine is used as a brain supplement both because of what it offers and because it complements caffeine.
The combination of L-theanine and caffeine can support a more centered feeling of mental energy, alertness and focus than what a person may experience with caffeine on its own. This can show up as experiencing a sense of flow and enhanced productivity, while feeling calmer and less stressed.* When used as a nootropic combined with caffeine, research studies have commonly used a dose of theanine between 50-250 mg and often selected the dose to be in a ratio from about 1:1 to 2:1 theanine to caffeine. In other words, the amount of caffeine being used can influence the decision of how much theanine to include. We use an amount towards the higher end of the dose range in a ratio of about twice as much theanine as caffeine in Qualia Mind.
Cognizin® is a patented and clinically studied form of citicoline, a substance vital to brain health and energy. We included Cognizin citicoline in Qualia Mind because it supports acetylcholine production and phospholipid metabolism in the brain, which play important functional roles in brain energy metabolism, attention, concentration, mental focus, mood, and memory. We chose Cognizin as the brand of citicoline because of the commitment to human research and quality the supplier has made.*
Citicoline has supported attention and other cognitive tasks at doses as low as 250 mg when used alone as a nootropic in healthy adults. But Cognizin citicoline is not the only ingredient supporting the choline pool and pathways that’s found in Qualia Mind. Alpha-GPC, uridine, and phosphatidylserine also contribute to the choline pool. And Qualia Mind included herbs that support choline metabolic pathways. Rather than giving citicoline alone as a sole source of choline and thinking of the dose in isolation, we take a comprehensive whole-system approach to supporting the choline pathway, with the dose of Cognizin carefully chosen for its contribution to the overall choline support.
Alpha-glycerophosphocholine (alpha-GPC) is by weight one of the best sources of choline and is a very bioavailable form of this brain-essential nutrient. We included alpha-GPC along with Cognizin® citicoline in Qualia Mind, because the two are considered to be the nootropic forms of choline. Like citicoline, alpha-GPC supports acetylcholine production and phospholipid metabolism in the brain, which play important functional roles in attention, concentration, mental focus, and memory.*
Alpha-GPC has been used in doses of 150 mg when combined with caffeine, B-vitamins, and several other nootropic ingredients, and a dose of 250 mg has been sufficient to enhance aspects of mental and physical performance.* When it came to deciding on the dose of alpha-GPC to include in Qualia Mind, we took into account the amount of citicoline, uridine, and phosphatidylserine, because these ingredients also contribute to the choline pool, and selected a dose within the studied range.
Phosphatidylserine (from sunflower lecithin)
We included phosphatidylserine in Qualia Mind, because it’s one of the major membrane phospholipids in the brain, where it supports the healthy function of nerve and brain cells, especially in areas related to memory functions and neuroplasticity.* We use a sunflower lecithin source rather than soy. The sunflower lecithin also contains other dietary phospholipids including phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidic acid, which are used by neurons for structure, growth, repair and signaling functions.*
Our goal in creating Qualia Mind was to provide whole-system nutritional support for brain membrane phospholipids. Rather than thinking about phosphatidylserine in isolation, we think about it, along with the other phospholipids found in the sunflower lecithin, and in combination with alpha-GPC, Cognizin citicoline, DHA and uridine, as collectively supporting the lipid needs of the brain. We chose a phosphatidylserine dose of 100 mg because it’s in the range used for nootropic purposes and can substantially increase dietary intake—daily intake is 75 to 184 mg. When added to a diet supplying the low end of this intake range (i.e., 75 mg), the dose of phosphatidylserine in Qualia Mind would move that person towards the top of intake.
DHA (as Docosahexaenoic Acid from Algae)
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) is the most abundant omega-3 fatty acid in the brain, with high concentrations in gray matter and the cerebral cortex, where it is a main structural component of the neuronal cell membrane and supports cell signaling functions. DHA is also found in high concentrations in the retina, where it supports healthy vision. It was included in Qualia Mind for its functional roles in supporting neuronal cell health, nerve signaling processes, and neuroprotection.* It was also included because it’s a brain-essential nutrient that many people do not get enough of in the diet.
While there’s no established recommended dietary intake for DHA, a number of health organizations have suggested ~250 mg of DHA plus EPA—EPA is another omega-3—a day as a target. Only about 1 of 8 adults consume even half this amount. Vegetarian diets typically contain limited amounts of DHA, and vegan diets contain almost no DHA. We included DHA from algae as a vegan and vegetarian friendly way of increasing dietary intake of DHA without having to consume fish or other animal products. We consider DHA to be complementary with other nutrients that support neuronal cell health and nerve signaling processes, such as alpha-GPC, Cognizin® citicoline, uridine, and phosphatidylserine.
Uridine is a nucleoside that, like ATP—the A stands for adenosine which is also a nucleoside—can be used to produce the high-energy molecules UTP and CTP, which are activators in some specific metabolic reactions needed for healthy brain function. Neurohackers have embraced uridine, because it crosses the blood-brain barrier (a characteristic of brain-essential nutrients) and supports neuronal cell membranes, synaptic proteins, and neuroregulatory processes. These functions are needed for attention, executive function, learning and memory.*
Qualia Mind supplies uridine in a phosphorylated form as uridine-5'-monophosphate, because this form is bioavailable—the monophosphate helps uridine get past the digestive system and liver intact, and allows it to cross the blood-brain barrier. We consider uridine to be a complement to alpha-GPC and Cognizin® citicoline, because it is used to support the choline pathway. It also complements DHA and phosphatidylserine in supporting healthy neuronal cell membranes.* Neurohackers typically use a dose ranging from 150 to 500 mg a day. We selected our dose to be within this nootropic range.
Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is an antioxidant that supports energy production, mitochondrial health, and cellular protection and repair functions.* PQQ is often categorized as a mitochondrial nutrient. This is because it supports mitochondrial biogenesis, which is the process mitochondrial networks use to reshape themselves to essentially become bigger and more capable of producing energy. It’s included in Qualia Mind because of this functional role in supporting brain energy functions, since all the cognitive skills and functions that collectively contribute to what can be summarized as thinking require energy.
Neurohackers typically use a 10 mg dose of PQQ when it is combined with and used to complement other ingredients that support mitochondrial function (Qualia Mind has a number of other ingredients that do). Because one of its main functional roles is in helping to reshape mitochondrial networks, and this takes time as these networks adapt, it is part of the subset of ingredients in Qualia Mind that is intended to support brain performance through its continued use over longer periods of time.
Theobromine is a bitter compound found in high amounts in cocoa beans (and hence chocolate) and in much lower amounts in tea, yerba mate, guarana and guayusa. Its name comes from the botanical name for the cocoa bean, Theobroma cacao. Theobromine can be thought of as being a weaker cousin to caffeine, influencing similar processes involved in motivation, attention and pleasure but not quite as strongly.*
We included theobromine to complement the caffeine supplied by Coffeeberry®. We chose a dose of 100 mg for a few reasons. First, it is well within the range of theobromine consumed in a small serving of chocolate—a 2 ounce serving of milk chocolate contains approximately 120 mg of theobromine, while the same amount of dark chocolate contains about 400 mg. We also do not think of theobromine as being a “more is better” ingredient when it comes to it being a nootropic. A modest amount is used to complement the other ingredients in Qualia Mind.
Celastrus paniculatus Seed Extract
Celastrus paniculatus is native to India, where it’s used by local healers primarily as a brain tonic for reasons that are consistent with one of its common names, “the intellect tree.” These uses include enhancing mental acuity, supporting memory, alleviating mental fatigue, and countering stress. It was believed by native healers that people using this plant would be able to learn new information more quickly, and more accurately and efficiently recall it later.* Today we’d recognize these traditional uses as being consistent with a nootropic.
Neurohacker Collective was instrumental in introducing Celastrus paniculatus Seed Extract into the broader nootropic community when we launched Qualia Mind. We did quite a bit of N of 1 testing and small trials using different formulation versions during the development of what eventually became Qualia Mind. A consistent finding was that the inclusion of Celastrus made a difference users could feel when it came to attention, focus, energy, and memory.* The dose and ultimately its inclusion was driven by the it’s traditional use and the positive feedback we received during development when we added it into the formulation.
Rhodiola rosea Root Extract
Rhodiola rosea grows in cold regions and in mountainous parts of Europe through Central Asia. This ability to adapt to extreme temperatures and environments is at the heart of its traditional and modern use as an adaptogen—an herb that helps support resistance to a variety of different types of stressors. The roots have traditionally been used as a tonic to help counter fatigue and enhance the capacity for mental and physical work performance. Modern research on R. rosea has supported its role as a brain and nervous system adaptogen that may help with adaptation to physically and mentally fatiguing circumstances, while supporting energy, alertness, concentration, mental stamina, and mood.* This combination of adaptogenic and nootropic qualities is why we included a R. rosea root extract in Qualia Mind.
We use a R. rosea root extract standardized for both rosavins (≥3%) and salidroside (≥1%) to be consistent with what’s been used in human studies. Studies of standardized R. rosea root extracts have typically given a dose between 100 mg to 400 mg/day—in the nootropic community a dose of 150-300 mg a day is commonly used. Qualia Mind uses a dose at the top end of this nootropic range. When thinking about the dose of R. rosea (and other adaptogens), it’s important to keep in mind that it doesn't follow a “more is better” rule. Instead, it follows a Goldilocks principle, which means the 100-400 mg amount can be thought of as being the “just the right amount” range. We selected our dose based on this principle.
Bacopa monnieri Leaf Extract
Bacopa monnieri is an Ayurvedic brain tonic herb. It’s one of two herbs named Brahmi—the other is Gotu Kola, which is in Qualia Night. In Ayurvedic medicine, Bacopa is considered to be a mental rejuvenator (medhya Rasayana), and was believed to sharpen the mind and intellect, enhance mental strength, and rejuvenate the nervous system. It was also thought to be useful during times of increased mental demands.* Today we’d recognize these traditional uses as nootropic, which is why it’s in Qualia Mind. In human studies, B. monnieri has supported calm mood, processing speed, learning, and memory, and has had adaptogenic properties which may help dealing with mental stress.*
Clinical studies using standardized Bacopa extracts typically use between 250-640 mg of these concentrated extracts. When it’s combined with other nootropics, a lower dose (100-300 mg) is more commonly used. Because Qualia Mind, in addition to Bacopa, contains 27 other ingredients, we use a dose that is at the upper end of the multi-ingredient range while being within the nootropic range when it’s used on its own. While, in studies, users have noticed Bacopa’s nootropic qualities after a single dose, it's primarily thought of as being an herb that supports the brain through continued use over longer periods of time.*
Ginkgo biloba Leaf Extract
Ginkgo biloba is one of the most widely used herbs for brain health. Ginkgo has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for several hundred years. Researchers began studying standardized extracts of G. biloba during the mid-1960’s. Research suggests Ginkgo extracts may help a number of functions involved in healthy brain function. These include supporting several neurotransmitter systems and neurogenesis, while promoting healthy vascular function and blood flow to the brain. G. biloba is best known for supporting cognitive skills related to attention, concentration, memory and mood.* These mechanisms and cognitive skill areas are why we include a standardized extract in Qualia Mind.
We use a Ginkgo biloba extract standardized to contain 24% flavone glycosides and 6% terpene lactones. We chose a low dose, because we expect this herb, which we consider adaptogenic, to be complementary with other adaptogenic brain tonic herbs in Qualia Mind. We also chose a lower dose because this is more common when G. biloba is used in multi-ingredient formulas like Qualia Mind. While Ginkgo can support attentional processes quickly, it primarily supports brain health and function through continued use over longer periods of time.*
Artichoke Leaf Extract
Artichoke, sometimes called globe artichoke, is a popular vegetable among health conscious eaters. Artichoke extract has a long history of use for heart, metabolic, gastrointestinal, and liver health, with many of its functional benefits supported by clinical trials. Tests have found it to have substantial total antioxidant capacity. Artichoke extracts have been embraced by neurohackers, because compounds in it support brain functions involved in neuroplasticity, neurotransmission, and long-term memory functions.*
Artichoke has been combined with Coleus forskohlii by people doing N of 1 self-experimentation in the nootropic community. This combination has a reputation for supporting mood, motivation, and memory.* Self-experimenters have also reported that an artichoke and Coleus stack combines well with caffeine, theanine, and acetyl-L-carnitine. It’s this reputation that led to us investigating, and ultimately choosing to include the combination of an artichoke and Coleus extract in Qualia Mind. When creating formulas, we look for complementary ingredients. Artichoke falls into this category.
Velvet Bean (Mucuna pruriens) Seed Extract
Mucuna pruriens, also known as velvet bean, is a legume that is used as food in some parts of Southeast Asia and has been used in Unani and Ayurvedic traditional medicine. Velvet beans are one of the best food sources of L-DOPA—fava beans and green beans are other food sources. L-DOPA is a precursor of dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in cognitive function and emotional drive. The main reason a velvet bean seed extract is included in Qualia Mind is because healthy levels of dopamine neurotransmitter molecules support motivation, focus, executive functions, and emotional resilience.*
We tested different formulation versions during the development of what eventually became Qualia Mind. One of the things we noticed during the testing stage was that inclusion of this velvet bean extract made a difference users felt, which ultimately led to its inclusion. The dose of the velvet bean seed extract was selected to supply an amount of L-DOPA that is achievable by diet, and would be consumed by eating a serving of fava or green beans. We consider the velvet bean seed extract to be complementary with several other ingredients in Qualia Mind—N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine and DL-Phenylalanine as examples—that can also act as building blocks for dopamine neurotransmitter molecules.*
Coleus forskohlii Root Extract
Coleus forskohlii Root Extract is an Ayurvedic herb and a source of a unique compound called forskolin. One of forskolin’s best known functions is to influence levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). Downstream from cAMP are molecules within neurons, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), that are involved in synaptic plasticity, neuronal signaling and encoding of memories.* This functional role is why it’s included in Qualia Mind.
One of the steps we take when developing new formulas is to review what self-experimenters (i.e., N of 1) and nootropics experts are doing. Coleus’s use as a nootropic largely came out of this informal community, with the mini-stack of Coleus and artichoke being one that is used by neurohackers to support mood, memory, and motivation to learn and get things done.* This is why this combination can be found in Qualia Mind. The Coleus plus artichoke mini-stack combines nicely with caffeine—found in Coffeeberry®—and dopamine support (which is also a core functional part of Qualia Mind’s design).
Huperzia serrata Leaf Extract
Huperzia serrata is a species of fir clubmoss that has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Huperzia serrata extracts have a reputation in the nootropic community for mental energy, clear thinking, and memory. The leaf extract is a source of huperzine A, which supports brain antioxidant defenses, neuroplasticity, and indirectly supports healthy acetylcholine levels in the brain.* The extract is included in Qualia Mind, because supporting acetylcholine was an important product goal.
Qualia Mind uses a 5 mg dose of a H. serrata standardized for 1% Huperzine A. This means the 5 mg dose provides 50 μg of Huperzine A, which is at the low end of the range typically used as a nootropic. We consider this ingredient to be additive with other ingredients such as Cognizin® citicoline and alpha-GPC that are nutritional building blocks for acetylcholine.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) supplies acetyl groups and carnitine. Carnitine is needed for mitochondria to convert long-chain fats into cellular energy. ALCAR also supports synaptic neurotransmission, brain response to stress, and neuroprotective functions.* We include it to support these functions and chose the ALCAR form of carnitine, rather than L-carnitine, because ALCAR more readily crosses the blood-brain barrier, and has been the preferred form for the brain and nervous system in scientific studies.*
We choose a dose of 500 mg of ALCAR for a few reasons. The nootropic range is 500-1500 mg a day and 500 mg is considered to complement choline by the neurohacking community—two choline ingredients, alpha-GPC and Cognizin® citicoline, are in Qualia Mind. Lastly, 500 mg is sufficient to ensure that even persons with very low dietary intake of carnitine will be supplied with adequate amounts. The body can make some carnitine, but the diet supplies about ¾’s of the needs in omnivores. Adults eating animal products consume 60–180 milligrams of carnitine per day. Vegans only get about 10–12 milligrams.
N-acetyl-L-tyrosine (NALT) is an acetylated form of the amino acid L-tyrosine. It is used as a nootropic because it acts as a precursor for the important brain neurotransmitter dopamine.* Dopamine has a large role in brain activities linked to reward, motivation, and pleasure, and plays a crucial part in modulating focus, motivation, cognitive flexibility, and emotional resilience. It’s also one of the main regulators of motor control and coordination of body movements, so can be important for exercise and muscle performance. Supplying NALT (or other sources of L-tyrosine) may be especially important to support performance during stress or cognitively demanding tasks.*
Based on N of 1 experimentation within the neurohacking community, NALT seems to be experienced somewhat differently (and often at much lower doses) than L-tyrosine. When deciding on the dose of NALT to include in Qualia Mind we considered this real world information. We also took into account that we were including several other complementary ingredients that provide support for dopamine neurotransmitter molecules (e.g., DL-Phenylalanine, Velvet bean seed extract).
DL-Phenylalanine is a 50:50 combination of L- and D-phenylalanine. Neurohackers use DL-phenylalanine to get the benefits of both. L-phenylalanine is a precursor, via L-tyrosine, for the synthesis of the neurotransmitters dopamine, noradrenaline and adrenaline. L-phenylalanine is also the precursor for the synthesis of phenylethylamine, a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator. Via dopamine and phenylethylamine production, L-phenylalanine functions to support healthy motivation and mood. D-phenylalanine may influence molecules and enzymes involved in the neural encoding of some sensory information.*
We choose the dose of DL-phenylalanine to be within the range that has been studied and which would be expected to be complementary with other ingredients, such as N-acetyl-L-tyrosine (NALT) or velvet bean seed extract, that support the production of dopamine and related neurotransmitter molecules.
Taurine is one of the most abundant amino acids in the brain and eyes, where it plays functional roles that supports brain health, central nervous system function, and vision. It’s involved in long-term potentiation, GABAergic and glycinergic neurotransmission, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neuronal mitochondrial function (and hence energy production), neuroprotective functions, and photoreceptor cell visual function.* We included it in Qualia Mind because we wanted to support all of these brain and visual functions.
The body can make some taurine but the rest of the brain’s and body’s needs must be supplied from what we consume in the diet and supplements. The upper end of taurine consumed in the subgroup of people with highest dietary intakes is 500 mg a day. The nootropic range is generally considered to be 500-2000 mg a day. We opted for a dose of 500 mg since it overlaps with both what a diet high in taurine can supply and the nootropic range.
Thiamine (as thiamine HCl)
Thiamine is a member of the B-complex family of vitamins—a group of water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in cellular metabolism and energy production. The body concentrates thiamine in metabolically active tissues. The brain is not only one of the most metabolically active tissues in the body, but it uses more energy than any other human organ, accounting for up to 20 percent of the body's daily energy turnover. The brain also relies heavily on glucose as a source of energy, and thiamine is essential for the conversion of sugars to energy.*
We included thiamine in Qualia Mind because vitamin B1 supports brain energy production, neuron health, neurotransmission, reaction times, and working memory.* We selected a dose of thiamine significantly greater than the daily value amount, because 50-100 mg is the nootropic range and a dose of 50 mg a day of vitamin B1 has been reported to have nootropic benefits in areas that subjectively may be felt as being more clear headed, composed and energetic.*
Niacin (as Niacinamide)
Niacinamide is a non-flushing form of vitamin B3. It’s a member of the B-complex family of vitamins and supports healthy NAD+ levels, energy production, antioxidant defenses, and cellular repair and stress response functions.* Niacinamide is best known for its role in making a molecule called NAD, which plays a central role in cellular energy (i.e., ATP) production, cellular defense functions, and several pathways linked to healthier aging.
We included niacinamide in Qualia Mind because two of the things we were interested in supporting were mental energy and brain cell protective functions. We included a dose that is about 3 times the daily value amount, which is sufficient to ensure there’s plenty to make NAD, but low enough to be below an amount that places a large burden on betaine and choline stores—high doses of niacinamide may stress these other nutrients.
Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxal 5'-phosphate)
Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (P5P) is a coenzyme or active form of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is a cofactor involved in over 4% of all enzymatic activities, including many metabolic pathways important for cellular energy generation and the synthesis or metabolic pathways of neurotransmitter molecules involved in motivation and mood, including dopamine, catecholamines, and serotonin.*
We included vitamin B6 in Qualia Mind to support the production of brain energy and neurotransmitter molecules. We used the P5P form, because it is the bioactive form of vitamin B6; requiring less metabolic “work” to be used as coenzyme in vitamin B6-dependent enzyme reactions. The reason that the amount of vitamin B6 in Qualia Mind is much higher than the daily value is because this dose has supported healthy brain volume during aging and is within the nootropic range for neurotransmitter function, energy and mood.*
Vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin)
Methylcobalamin is a member of the B-complex family of vitamins and is the coenzyme or active form of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin for supporting the health and function of neurons, brain volume, mood and memory. And, like other members of the B-complex family, it plays a role in converting fats and sugars into energy.* Vitamin B12 is included in Qualia Mind because, in addition to being essential for the healthy function of brain and nerve cells, it’s an important vitamin for energy, mood, and memory.*
We used methylcobalamin as the form of vitamin B12, as opposed to cyanocobalamin as an example, because methylcobalamin is the bioactive form, requiring less metabolic “work” to be used as coenzyme in vitamin B12-dependent enzyme reactions in the brain and nervous system. The dose of methylcobalamin we used is much higher than the daily value for a few reasons. One is that the amount we used is a commonly used dose of methylcobalamin in human studies. Another is that it may take large doses of vitamin B12 to produce healthy levels of markers of B12 metabolism.*
Pantothenic Acid (as calcium pantothenate)
Pantothenic acid is vitamin B5, which is a member of the B-complex family of vitamins—a group of water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in cellular metabolism and energy production. Vitamin B5 may help with stress resiliency and support the healthy adrenal function needed for the adaptation to stress. We included pantothenic acid in Qualia Mind because a main emphasis of the formula is supporting mental energy and the neurotransmitter molecule acetylcholine: These functions require pantothenic acid. We also included it for its role in supporting a healthy stress response, because stress interferes with focus, working memory, and other cognitive skills we need to stay mentally sharp and perform at a high level.*
The reason that the amount of pantothenic acid is much higher than the daily value is because of choline and acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR). Experimentation within the neurohacking community has led to giving more pantothenic acid when citicoline and/or alpha-GPC—both of which are in Qualia Mind—are used. Vitamin B5 is needed to make coenzyme A (CoA), which along with choline can be used to create acetylcholine. CoA in combination with ALCAR also supports acetylcholine.* So when thinking about the dose of pantothenic acid, we don’t view it in isolation. Instead, we consider vitamin B5 as complementing choline and ALCAR, with the amounts of the latter two influencing the choice of the dose of the former.
Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid)
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid or ascorbate, is a vitamin naturally found in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin that supports brain antioxidant defenses, neuroprotective functions, and the production of dopamine neurotransmitter molecules.* We included it in Qualia Mind to support these functions.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin C in non-smoking healthy adults is 75 mg for females and 90 mg for males. Persons in the top 10% of dietary vitamin C intake consume about 200 mg on average. Neurohacker believes vitamin C follows a threshold response, which means the majority of functional benefits typically occur in a range between the RDA amount and the highest dietary intake. We opted for a dose of vitamin C that, when added to what would be in an average diet, comfortably places a person towards the higher end of this threshold response range.
Vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol)
Vitamin D is the “sunshine” vitamin. It’s essential for general health, and is especially important for supporting the health of bones, the brain and nervous system, and the immune system. Vitamin D3 is included in Qualia Mind because it supports brain antioxidant defenses, neuroprotective functions, neuroplasticity, and memory.* We selected the vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) form because it is considered the superior form (as opposed to vitamin D2) for supporting healthy vitamin D levels.
While vitamin D can be obtained in the diet—fatty fish, eggs and dairy can be good sources—a large amount of the body stores of vitamin D are produced from skin exposure to sunlight. But the combination of consuming a diet with insufficient vitamin D—estimated to occur in 95% of adults—and inadequate sun exposure has resulted in vitamin D being the most common vitamin insufficiency in adults. We included enough vitamin D in Qualia Mind to guard against insufficiency and provide the brain and nervous system support that only vitamin D can offer.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.