The Daily Focus capsule was formulated to provide long lasting focus in a healthy and natural supplement stack. This is accomplished by mixing essential B-vitamins with natural extracts and supplements to amplify the benefits that each provides.
The capsule contains B-vitamin complexes B-3 (as Niacin) and B-12 (as Methlycobalamin). Niacin has wide ranging effects throughout the body, with it primary action being the inhibition of synthesis of LDL (commonly known as bad cholesterol).[i] Due to this activity human brains have become dependent on niacin to maintain a constant supply glucose to meet its energy needs. Not having enough Niacin can cause wide ranging problems including confusion, memory loss, and the inability to maintain concentration. While true Niacin deficiency is rarity in the modern age, there is very little data on whether people are absorbing enough Niacin through their normal diet. Methlycobalamin is one of the four main forms of Vitamin B-12. It is essential for brain and nervous system function, having multiple uses in every cell of the human body.[ii] As a human we have no inherent mechanisms to produce Vitamin B-12, and rely on our diet to get all that is required for proper functioning.
Bacopa Monnieri Extract (standardized to 20% Bacosides) is used in the capsule due to its ability to enhance neurotransmission in healthy individuals. A 2013 study found dosing bacosides can increase Acetylcholine content of harvested brain tissue in rats in a dose dependent fashion.[iii] The same study found Bacopa Monnieri also increases cerebral blood flow and modulates dopamine and serotonin release. In a more general fashion it also acts as a neuroprotectant by exhibiting its own anti-oxidant activity, while also enhancing the free-radical scavenging properties of Vitamins C, E, and A.
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a component of the cell membrane that is also found in the capsule. Its primary biological role is in cell signaling related to apoptosis, which is programmed cell death. When a cell goes through apoptosis a special enzyme flips the PS from facing the inside of the cell, to facing the outside of the cell. This signals nearby macrophages (a cellular component of the immune system) to devour the cell. While it may seem counter intuitive to want your own cells to die, this is one of the most important mechanisms in preventing cancer. Orally supplemented PS has been found to reduce the risk of dementia and cognitive dysfunction in susceptible populations.[iv] The FDA has given PS the designation of “qualified health claims” in relation to its effects on memory and preventing cognitive decline.[v]
The Ginkgo Biloba Extract (GBE) is the next component of this capsule. The extract is standardized to 24% flavone glycosides and 6% Terpene Lactones. These are the components contained in the Ginkgo Biloba that are theorized to be where the tree gets its medicinal properties. There is still much debate in the scientific community about the effectiveness of supplementing GBE for improved cognition, however a 2011 study found supplementation over 6 weeks resulted in significant improvement in recall tests.[vi] A meta-analysis that later used the same data found that the significant improvement was not found when the data was combined with other studies, however some of those studies used extracts while others used plant matter.[vii] As of now there isn’t a clear scientific picture of how GBE supplementation effects the body, however anecdotal reports espousing its effectiveness are widespread.
Rhodiola Rosea Extract standardized to 3% Salidrosides and 1% Rosavins is also contained in the capsule. The plant the extract is distilled from grows wild in arctic regions and has been used in traditional medicines for hundreds of years for its stimulating and medical properties. A 2008 study found that people suffering from fatigue syndromes found significant improvement in their conditions when taking Rhodiola Rosea extracts.[viii] However, In 2012 a meta-analysis found that while there is substantial evidence to suggest the herb may enhance physical performance and alleviate mental fatigue, flaws in the methodologies of these studies limit the validity of these claims.[ix] They conclude that further studies are warranted to fully vet the properties of Rhodiola Rosea.
The final major components of the Daily Focus Capsule are Alpha-GPC and DMAE both of which are used in the synthesis of acetylcholine. Having these chemicals present in the brain allows the neurons to synthesize and store more acetylcholine, ensuring that there is never a shortage of the neurotransmitter. This especially important for focus due to acetylcholine’s important roles in arousal, attention, memory and motivation. To further enhance the effects of these acetylcholine precursors, Huperzine A is included in the capsule also. Huperzine A inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which is the primary mechanism by which acetylcholine is broken down.
To cap off the capsule is BioPerine. It was isolated from black pepper and patented with the purpose of increasing absorption of other chemicals. BioPerine has been licensed from Sabinsa for use in this blend to further enhance its focus and energy producing effects. While the exact mechanisms causing it to enhance absorption are still under investigation it is currently thought that by inhibiting glucuronidation enzymes that it prevents compounds from being metabolized for a longer time, thus allowing them to exert their effects for a longer period of time. You can read more about BioPerine at the manufacturers website http://www.bioperine.com/index.php/mechanismsofactions
[i] Gille A, Bodor ET, Ahmed K, Offermanns S (2008). “Nicotinic acid: Pharmacological effects and mechanisms of action”. Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology. 48
[ii] Yamada, Kazuhiro (2013). “Chapter 9. Cobalt: Its Role in Health and Disease”. In Sigel, Astrid; Sigel, Helmut; Sigel, Roland K. O. Interrelations between Essential Metal Ions and Human Diseases. Metal Ions in Life Sciences. 13. Springer.
[iii] Aguiar S, Borowski T. Neuropharmacological Review of the Nootropic Herb Bacopa monnieri. Rejuvenation Research. 2013;16(4):313-326.
[iv] Taylor, Christine L. (May 13, 2003). “Phosphatidylserine and Cognitive Dysfunction and Dementia (Qualified Health Claim: Final Decision Letter)”. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
[v] “Summary of Qualified Health Claims Subject to Enforcement Discretion – Qualified Claims About Cognitive Function”.
[vi] Kaschel R (2011). Specific memory effects of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 in middle-aged healthy volunteers. Phytomedicine, 18: 1202-1207
[vii] Laws KR, Sweetnam H, Kondel TK (November 2012). “Is Ginkgo biloba a cognitive enhancer in healthy individuals? A meta-analysis”. Hum Psychopharmacol (Meta-analysis).
[viii] Olsson EM, von Scheele B, Panossian AG. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the standardised extract shr-5 of the roots of Rhodiola rosea in the treatment of subjects with stress-related fatigue. Planta Med.
[ix] Ishaque S, Shamseer L, Bukutu C, Vohra S. Rhodiola rosea for physical and mental fatigue: a systematic review. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2012;12:70