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Need a Brain Boost? Qualia: The Best Nootropic

Posted by Deborah Graefer, L.Ac., MTOM on

We have always emphasized the connection between digestive health and brain health. It’s the reason why chronic gastrointestinal issues may cause foggy brain, insomnia, or depression. It also works vice versa, with stress and overthinking affecting our digestive process. Many of our patients have experienced these symptoms and are aware of the mind-gut link, and so we get a lot of inquiries as to how we can help them boost their brain health.

As a health practitioner invested and dedicated to my own brain preservation, I too wanted to know. This led to me to numerous books and research studies about improving brain function, combating cognitive decline, and biohacking (techniques for getting the most out of our brains). It was also during that personal search that I have come to know more about nootropics and cognitive enhancement.

Cognitive Neuroenhancement

Cognitive enhancement is a general term used for methods meant to treat effects of brain injuries or neurodegeneration by improving, protecting, or preserving normal synaptic pathways, while not necessarily curing the underlying disease. If we follow this definition, this implies that research on cognitive enhancement are only meant for individuals suffering from diseases or brain damage. This must have been true many years ago. But research efforts in the recent decades, as controversial as they may be, haven’t been just for the cognitive benefit of unhealthy individuals but also for those who are healthy. This trend is better captured by another popular definition of neuroenhancement. It states that neuroenhancement is the all-encompassing terminology for all the neuroscience-based techniques that aim to boost cognitive performance and the function of the nervous system as a whole. The goal of cognitive enhancement efforts for healthy individuals is to stretch mental functioning and capacity beyond what is necessary for normal function.

But what is cognition?

Cognition involves the complex functions of the brain, both conscious and unconscious. It includes reason, association, memory, learning, and attention. Cognition also governs higher-order processes like problem solving, abstract reasoning, planning, propriety, and the selection of relevant sensory information. Self-awareness, emotions, language, and comprehension are also part of the cognition process.

There are numerous conventional means to improve cognition like education, incorporation of mental techniques, and the use of external technological devices. On the other hand, there are unorthodox ways to boost brain power- genetic, mechanical and pharmacological.

Genetic cognitive enhancement is when there is a genetic modification involved to alter normal functions of brain receptors, hormones, or other parts. As for mechanical cognitive enhancement, examples include the use of prosthesis for the brain, deep brain stimulation or transcranial magnetic stimulation- any method that involves the integration of technology and the brain. Lastly, pharmacological cognitive enhancement involves the use of drugs and chemicals to improve cognitive function. This is the category where nootropics belong.

Nootropic Supplements – Smart Drugs for Cognitive Enhancement

Over time, as the use of pharmaceuticals among healthy individuals became more rampant, more research efforts have been focused for the development of smart pills now called nootropics.The use of plants and synthetic chemicals to enhance cognition is not something new. Tea, coffee, and herbal supplements like gingko biloba have been used to improve areas of cognition for thousands of years. As the field of pharmacology developed, scientists came up with a wide-array of dual-use drugs that are primarily for the treatment of brain disorders but can also cause enhancement effects in normal individuals. Examples are Donepezil for Alzheimer’s disease, Modafinil for narcolepsy, and Ritalin and Adderall for various mental disorders.

Looking for the Best Nootropics? Let’s put the Spotlight on Qualia

There are numerous brain pills available in the market now and it’s quite a challenge to decide which one is the best nootropic supplement. The reason why our attention was drawn to Qualia is because of its three-pronged approach. It aims to provide complete support to boost cognitive, psychological and physiological performance.

Where Does the Name Qualia Come From?

Qualia is used as a philosophical term meaning “the introspectively accessible phenomenal aspects of our mental lives”. Intriguing, don’t you think? Intrigue with promise.

The Promise of Qualia

Qualia is said to increase the following cognitive aspects:

  • Attention
  • Focus
  • Information processing
  • Analysis
  • Synthesis
  • Creativity

It terms of psyche, Qualia also aims to decrease general dissatisfaction with life, apathy, indecisiveness, social awkwardness, and worry while at the same time increasing:

  • Motivation
  • Willpower
  • Emotional resilience
  • Confidence
  • Empathy
  • Intuition
  • Contentment

Lastly, physiologically-speaking, Qualia is designed to decrease fatigue, lethargy, physical sensitivity, and inflammation while increasing the following:

  • Energy
  • Spatial awareness
  • Sensory acuity
  • Reaction speed
  • Immunity

How Qualia Works

Among the available nootropic supplements, Qualia is the only one with the most intensive and holistic approach to optimizing the various components of cognition. Most of the other brain pills are concerned with improving isolated aspects of the “cognition pathway”, therefore creating lopsided boosts that may eventually have negative long-term consequences.

With Qualia, the enhancement begins as early as the breakdown of proteins into amino acids, to its conversion into neurotransmitters, to the transport process, up to the uptake. With Qualia’s ability to support our natural homeostasis, it is, in effect, supporting its own regulatory capability. This avoids dependence and crashing after the brain boosting effect has waned. Qualia aims to take the whole being a notch higher, an effect that can last long after discontinued use.

Qualia Formula and Dosage

Qualia has two products – Qualia Mind and Qualia Original Stack. Qualia Original Stack is a two-step program comprised of two bottles of supplements. Qualia Mind, on the other hand, is considered the more advanced but simplified one-step product that is easier to utilize.

Whether you are getting Qualia Mind or Qualia Original Stack, expect to get a formulation made up the following:

1.Nootropic compounds

2.Neurovitamins

3.Antioxidants

4.Adaptogenic Extracts

5.Amino Acids

6.Choline Donors

7.Neuro-minerals

Qualia Mind is designed for regular use but with two days off each week. The off days are meant to prevent desensitization. Our bodies and brains are so smart that they are constantly looking for a state of balance. So using it regularly without cycling might plateau its effects. If not necessary, Qualia can be used fewer days per week or only as needed. Since it is meant for long-term use, you may choose to purchase a single order or subscribe to a bottle monthly. Ideal usage is 7 capsules per day.Some say Qualia is far more expensive compared to other nootropic supplements in the market. At first glance, you would think that it is true. However, when you look closely at Qualia’s content, you find that is actually cheaper than buying each supplement individually. Then there is the added disadvantage of opening all of those separate bottles, not to mention swallowing al of the individual capsules. The convenience alone would be worth it, if it wasn’t actually saving you money.

Qualia Stack is a little more complicated as you will have to monitor and balance the dosage of two bottles called Step One and Step Two. The standard dose daily is 3 capsules of Qualia Stack Step One and 9 of the Step Two. For beginners, however, you may start with 2 capsules of step 1 and 6 capsules of step 2, same ratio of 1:3. Just like Qualia Mind, it must be used intermittently with two off-days each week.

Qualia Mind vs Qualia Original Stack

If you look at the contents of both Qualia Original Stack and Qualia Mind, you will notice the slight difference between them. Qualia Original Stack has more varieties of nootropic compounds, antioxidants, adaptogen extracts, and choline donors. It is possibly due to the fact that you need to take a lot more pills with the Original Stack Steps 1 and 2.

The inconvenience of managing 2 bottles is probably one of the market feedbacks gathered and what drove to the development of the Qualia 2.0. The new product, Mind, is being promoted now as a levelled-up version of the Original Stack.

Despite the slight difference in the formulation, Neurohacker Collective claims that Qualia Mind is easier to use but just as effective as the previous product. Critics of the Qualia however, say that cramming in all those components may cause negative interaction between the contents. There is no proof of any negative effect at the moment. Nevertheless, the makers of Qualia remind that it is best to take the smart pill by itself and not together with other supplements or medication. This is to avoid issues regarding absorption. Say, if you have taken your Qualia early in the morning, you may schedule your other supplement intake with a later meal.

Qualia Safety and Side Effects

Qualia products are not meant to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Therefore, it is not advisable to be taken by individuals with the following conditions:

Qualia

  • psychiatric or neurologic disorders
  • heart conditions
  • endocrine disorders
  • cancer
  • autoimmunity (undergoing immunosuppressive therapy)

At the moment, reviews of the product have been really good, with customers experiencing drastic overall change as fast as 30 minutes after intake. When you visit the website of Neurohacker Collective, note the numerous fitness personalities, medical practitioners, and other health authorities telling their personal experiences about how Qualia has changed their lives.

I personally notice great cognitive improvement using both the Original Stack and Qualia Mind. I use a bottle of Mind and then the bottles of Qualia One and Two and then go back to the Mind. Why? I think, while I like taking fewer pills, I don’t like missing out on all of those super-nutrients in the Stack.

And my own personal use aside, the positive uproar about the efficacy of Qualia has been outstanding, so we here at GallbladderAttack can’t help but notice. But apart from research, testimonies, and product reviews, the best way to really validate the authenticity of these claims is to try it. If you haven’t tried it yet, check Qualia products here and see the benefits for yourself. 

We have partnered with Neurohacker to bring you a discount on getting started. Click this link to check out their site and use code GBAHACK to receive 15% off your first subscription or single order.


References:

Cakic, V. (2009). Smart drugs for cognitive enhancement: ethical and pragmatic considerations in the era of cosmetic neurology. Journal of medical ethics, 35(10), 611-615.

Clark, V. P., & Parasuraman, R. (2014). Neuroenhancement: enhancing brain and mind in health and in disease.

Daigle, K. R. (2010). Manipulating the mind: The ethics of cognitive enhancement (Doctoral dissertation, Wake Forest University).

Husain, M., & Mehta, M. A. (2011). Cognitive enhancement by drugs in health and disease. Trends in cognitive sciences, 15(1), 28-36.

Knafo, S., Venero, C. (2015) Cognitive Enhancement: Pharmacologic, Environmental and Genetic Factors. https://doi.org/10.1016/C2013-0-00571-3

Mondadori, C. (1993). The pharmacology of the nootropics; new insights and new questions. Behavioural brain research, 59(1-2), 1-9.

Neurohacker Collective, LLC (2018) Focus, Clarity, Memory. https://neurohacker.com/cognition?redir=true

Rose, S.P. (2003) ‘Smart Drugs’: do they work? Are they ethical? Will they be legal? Nature Rev. Neurosci. 3, 975-979

Shaw D Neuroenhancing public health Journal of Medical Ethics Published Online First: 21 June 2013. doi: 10.1136/medethics-2012-101300

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