Most of us experience ‘off days’ from time to time. Those days when your energy levels never quite seem to get off the ground and your brain feels like it’s overslept, making you prone to losing your train of thought mid-conversation.
This was certainly the case for Adam, a 59-year old executive working in a large architectural firm in London. Adam was accustomed to working long hours and leading a demanding social life, until he started to notice that his memory was gradually beginning to suffer and he felt continuously tired. Even slowing down his pace of life didn’t help matters.
Concerned about this change in his health, Adam decided to visit a doctor specialising in integrated medicine (combining conventional and alternative therapies). He was advised to take conventional ‘smart drugs’, such as Piracetam and Centrophenoxine. Known as nootropics, these ‘smart drugs’ help fortify the brain against stress, ageing and mental exhaustion. However they can cause unpleasant side effects such as headaches and gastrointestinal problems.
Understandably, Adam was keen to find a safer, natural alternative. Soon afterwards, he saw another complementary health practitioner who told him about a natural new supplement called pyroglutamic acid.
Pyroglutamic acid is an amino acid that is found in small amounts in the body and also in foods, such as meat, soya, fruit and vegetables. Researchers have found that it possesses brain-boosting properties without causing harmful side effects. Within just two weeks of supplementing with pyroglutamic acid, Adam found that his tiredness and memory loss had significantly improved.
A safe and effective alternative to prescription-only ‘smart drugs’
The brain-stimulating benefits of pyroglutamic acid have been known about for several years. As early as 1984, Italian researchers reported that pyroglutamic acid encouraged the release of the memory chemical acetylcholine in the brain.1
Acetylcholine is an essential chemical messenger that helps brain cells communicate with each other. This communication helps you retain old memories and also makes it easier to remember new information. Further research carried out by Italian researchers, showed that pyroglutamic acid helps preserve acetylcholine levels in the brain, as well as protecting it from chemicals that can worsen memory.2, 3
These findings have important implications, particularly in the treatment of Alzheimer’s. Patients with Alzheimer’s suffer from reduced acetylcholine activity in their brains. For this reason, most conventional drugs for Alzheimer’s are aimed at improving acetylcholine activity in the brain by preventing its breakdown. However, as mentioned earlier, these drugs can cause harmful side effects.
An animal study carried out by Russian researchers found that pyroglutamic acid was just as effective in improving memory and learning as prescription-only medications, such as Piracetam.4
In fact, Dr Ward Dean, a founding member of the Board of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, believes that: ‘Pyroglutamic acid is the nutritional equivalent to the most popular pharmaceutical-grade prescription-only smart drugs.’
The memory-boosting abilities of pyroglutamic acid have also been proved in human studies. Scientists at the department of Neurological Pathology at the University of Catania, in Italy, compared pyroglutamic acid against a placebo (dummy) treatment.
The two-month study involved 40 patients aged 65 and above, who were all suffering from memory problems. Half of these patients received pyroglutamic acid every day for two months, while the other half, who made up the control group, received a placebo. At the end of the study the researchers found that the group taking pyroglutamic acid demonstrated significant improvements in memory function, compared to the control group.5
Helps your brain work at full power for maximum efficiency
In a recent study conducted by scientists at the Laboratory of Pharmacology at the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, in Moscow, pyroglutamic acid was found to improve blood circulation in the small arteries of the brain without any side effects.6
An adequate flow of blood to your brain is necessary for essential metabolic processes to take place in your brain cells. It increases the brain’s ability to use glucose, meaning your brain cells have more energy available for their everyday needs, and feelings of tiredness and low mood are also improved.7
What to take for best results
It is important that you see your doctor before taking pyroglutamic acid, to rule out more serious health problems. For example, memory loss and tiredness can be symptoms of anaemia, a partial blockage of the arteries in the brain or the beginning of dementia.
The recommended dosage for people who feel generally below par – including mental fatigue, forgetfulness, stress and/or poor energy levels – is 500-1,000mg of pyroglutamic acid one to two times a day. Pyroglutamic acid can cause diarrhoea, so it is best taken with or after food and not on an empty stomach.
Did you find this information useful?
Then why not get more expert health recommendations just like this delivered direct to your inbox?
"It is truly refreshing to read a newsletter on the topic of alternative medicine which is scientifically based and reviewed by professionals..." - Robert SinottWe respect your privacy and will never share your details with anyone else.
Disclaimer: This article is part of the Daily Health's extensive research archive. The research and information contained in this article was accurate at the the time of publication but may have been updated since the date of publication. Consult our most recent articles for the latest research on alternative health and natural breakthroughs.
Bear in mind the material provided in this content is for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
1. Antonelli T et al. Pharmacol Res Commun 1984;16(2):189-197
2. Spignioli G et al. Pharmacol Res Commun 1987;19(12):910-912
3. Pepeu G, Spignoli G. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Bio Psychiatry 1989;13:S77-S88
4. Romanova GA et al. Eksp Klin Farmakol 1992;55(5):6-8
5. Grioli S et al. Fundam Clin Pharmacol 1990;4(2):169-173
6. Lunshina EV et al. Eksp Klin Farmakol 2002;65(3):3-5
7. Mirzoian SA et al. Eksp Klin Farmakol 1994;57(1):22-24