Green Tea Conversations
Unlocking the Mind: Navigating Nootropics for Cognitive Enhancement
July 30, 2023
In this episode of Green Tea Conversations, we delve into the captivating world of nootropic supplements with special guest, renowned expert and author, David Tomen. David's personal journey began when he was diagnosed with adult ADD, leading him on a quest to find solutions for his struggles with focus, depression, and memory loss. Prescription stimulants provided temporary relief, but he soon discovered a new path to cognitive enhancement and brain optimization through nootropic supplements. Join us as David shares his profound transformation, which inspired him to found and write two influential books, Secrets of the Optimized Brain and Head First: The Complete Guide to Healing and Optimizing Your Brain with Nootropic Supplements. In this insightful conversation, David reveals the power of nootropics, the science behind their effectiveness, and practical tips for selecting and using these supplements to enhance mental clarity and memory. Get ready to unlock the potential of your mind as we explore the world of nootropic supplements and empower you to take control of your cognitive health. Tune in to Green Tea Conversations and embark on a journey of self-discovery and cognitive transformation with David Tomen as your guide.
[00:00:10.620] - Candi Broeffle
Good morning and welcome to Green Tea Conversations, the radio show that delves into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine to bring you the local experts who share their progressive ideas and the latest information and insights needed so you can lead your best life. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle, and today we welcome a very special guest David Tomen, the esteemed author and expert in the world of Nootropics. With his book Head First, the complete guide of healing and optimizing your brain with Nootropic supplements, David is unraveling the mysteries of cognitive enhancement and brain optimization. Prepare to embark on a journey of knowledge and discovery as we delve into the fascinating realm of Nootropicswith one of the leading experts in the field. Let's unlock the potential of our minds and learn how to navigate the world of Nootropic supplements for improved cognitive function and Overall Brain Health. Welcome to the show, David.
[00:01:07.400] - David Tomen
Thank you, Candi. Thanks for having me.
[00:01:09.550] - Candi Broeffle
We are very excited to have you on the show. And I know I said this just prior to the interview to you, but I'm really excited to have you on the show. So before we get started, I always like to ask people to share their journey with us. Let us know what led you to what you're doing today.
[00:01:29.330] - David Tomen
This all transpire. Well, it started soon after I was 21. I had had a problem with focus all of my life. I had the good fortune of getting a good education. I ended up in the Caribbean and helped start the first cell phone company in the Caribbean. This is back in the 90s.
[00:01:49.030] - Candi Broeffle
[00:01:49.570] - David Tomen
And quickly moved myself into an executive position. And when you're an executive in a corporation, one of the things that happens that every year, the boss gives you a review. And that happened to me. So the boss had sat me down and said, David, you're a fantastic manager. You're a great executive. You're a really good salesperson. People love working with you, but you've got to learn how to focus. And the next year, the same thing would happen. The next year, the same thing would happen. And I went and I bought the books on how to focus. And I bought the books on how to be a good executive. But I could not get it. I just couldn't get it. I thought it was a moral failing. And then about 18 years ago, I met this gorgeous blonde girl on North Miami Beach. And six months later, we got married. And we're married today. But the first year that we were together, she saw what was going on and she said, There's a psychiatrist in Palm Beach I want you to meet. And have you ever met a rock star in their profession? This guy was a rock star.
[00:02:58.290] - David Tomen
And he sat me down and he said, within 10 minutes, he would diagnose me adult ADD and PTSD. And so for ADD, he prescribed Ritalin. Well, Candi, the very first day that I took Ritalin, it was like somebody turned the lights on in my brain. And for the first time in my adult life, I could focus. And I went, oh, okay, that's what this was all along. And that was great for the first couple of years. But then I started growing tolerant to Ritalin. And I'm going, I finally find something that's going to work, and it's going to stop working. I don't think so. I got to find out what's going on here. Now, mind you, there were no books on this back then. There were no websites on this. I had to start reading clinical studies to find out how Ritalin worked. I found out that Ritalin or Methafedalin date was a dopamine reuphake inhibitor. So what does that mean? Maybe it means... Now, I'm not a doctor. I've never played one on TV. I'm just an ordinary marketing guy, but I figured out that if it was working on dopamine, maybe I don't have enough dopamine in my brain.
[00:04:09.940] - David Tomen
So how do I fix that? And I found out that L tyrosine was a precursor to the synthesis of dopamine. And during this research, I also found out that acetylcholine was involved because it was a signaling neurotransmitter. And that was a problem in ADD and ADHD brains. So how do you fix that? And I found out that CDD choline, along with the cofactor Lcar or acetyl l carnotene, increased acetylcholine. And so dopamine and acetylcholine work together for things like executive function, the working memory, short term memory, long term memory, thinking on your feet, cognition. So there was a CNC around the corner from where we're living at the place where we're living at the time. And I got some L tauricin and LCAR and CDP Cholane, and I put together a little Nootropic stack. I've never heard the word Nootropics until years later, but I found these supplements that worked in the brain, took them home, and I started using them and Ritalin started working again.
[00:05:12.800] - Candi Broeffle
[00:05:13.620] - David Tomen
So I've been on the same dose of Ritalin since then. I've never had to increase my dose. I've never again grown tolerant to it. And I found that if I use a third dose at four o'clock in the afternoon, I don't have a stimulant crash.
[00:05:27.790] - Candi Broeffle
[00:05:28.460] - David Tomen
So that was my introduction to the these supplements.
[00:05:32.240] - Candi Broeffle
So help us to understand, before we start getting into Nootropics completely, help us to understand... I guess I'm going to preface this by saying I have recently been introduced to the idea that perhaps I have ADD, adult ADD, and I haven't been introduced to it by a doctor, but there's been so many things that you see on social media and that. So help us to understand, like what are some of the symptoms of ADD? Because people our age, you and I are probably around the same age. We never got diagnosed with ADD as kids.
[00:06:12.160] - David Tomen
Sure. Add and ADHD is largely dependent on executive function, which happens in a specific area of your brain and working memory. So executive function and working memory gives you the ability to regulate your attention and inhibit inappropriate behavior and thought, monitor your actions, plan and organize your future. So if you can't focus at the task at hand and you blurt things out at inappropriate moments like I want to do, and you've got a little control over your things like emotions and actions, and you can't stick to your goals or your plans, you're likely ADD or ADHD. And the difference between the two is ADHD is hyper activity. That's what the age stands for. Add is just attention deficit disorder.
[00:07:02.930] - Candi Broeffle
Okay. So let's start getting into Nootropics. What are Nootropics? And how do they differ from conventional supplements or medications?
[00:07:14.960] - David Tomen
Nootropics are natural dietary supplements that work in the brain, that help the brain, that improve brain function in some way. And they're also called Neuro Enhancers or Cognitive Boosters or memory enhancers, but they're natural Nootropic supplements. You can go to the local vitamin shop or Whole Foods and buy a supplement that works in your brain or a Nootropic. You don't need a prescription for it. Smart drugs, on the other And what I call smart drugs are things like Adderall and Ritalin and Modafinil. They work in the brain, too, but they're not Nootropics. I call them smart drugs. Now, the word natropic was developed. There was a guy named Dr. Cornelius Gergelyou, who was a Romanian psychologist and chemist, and he synthesized baricitan back in 1963 in St. Petersburg. He was working with Dr. Pavlov at the time. Remember Pavlov's dogs? Yes. I was working with him. And so they were trying to find something that helped with motion sickness. I think it had to do with the early cosmonaut program. And they came up with baricitan, which is just a derivative of GABA. And they found out that baricitin didn't help with motion sickness, but it boosted cognition, even in healthy young people.
[00:08:39.900] - David Tomen
And when word got out, they decided to make a drug out of it. They called it baricitam. And other companies started making derivatives of baricitam. And so you've got two or three dozen different baricitams on the market now. And when Dr. Gage saw this was going on, he said, I want to name this class of drugs. At the time, there were drugs, and they still are drugs in many countries in the world. So he came up with the word Nootropic, which comes from the Greek, New for Mind, and Truppein, Tuben, so Tuben in the mind. And he came up with that name, Nootropic, in 1972. And then he came up with a definition of what a true Nootropic was. And Dr. Gargely said that a Nootropic enhances memory and the ability to learn, assists brain function under disruptive conditions such as lack of oxygen, protects the brain from chemical and physical toxins, it increases natural cognitive processes and must be non toxic to humans. Okay. That's the official definition of what a Nootropic supplement is.
[00:09:54.450] - Candi Broeffle
So do you find that most of the people who you work with are using both prescription medications and nootropics together, or are people finding assistance with just the nootropics?
[00:10:09.650] - David Tomen
People are finding assistance with just natural nootropic supplements. A lot of people are used on prescription drugs, and they either want to get off of the drugs or they want the drugs to work better. They're looking for a natural solution. I've never figured out what it is. Maybe half and half. Maybe more people not using these drugs. And I'm not sure. I've never analyzed it. But when somebody is using a drug and they want to get off of it, we just look at the mechanism of action of that drug and try to reverse engineer it and see if there's a natural supplement that mimics or works like that drug does in the brain.
[00:10:56.460] - Candi Broeffle
So what are some of the... You know what? I'm going to wait. We're coming up on a break right now. So I'm going to wait. When we come back, we're going to continue this conversation and get more in-depth with Nootropics and what they are. So for people who want to learn more about Nootropics and the work that David does, and to order his newest book entitled Head First, visit And that's N, O, O, T, R, O, P, I, C, S, To read the online version of Natural Awakenings magazine, visit You can find a podcast of this show on, on Apple and Google podcast, and anywhere you get your podcasts. You're listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM950, the progressive voice of Minnesota, and we will be right back.

Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle, and today we're visiting with David Tomen, author of Head First, the complete guide to healing and optimizing your brain with nootropic supplements. So David, before the break, I started to ask you, and then I had to put a quick pause on it, about what are some of the different types of nootropics and how do they work with the brain?
[00:12:32.330] - David Tomen
Okay. I've got a list of 102 individual dietary supplements that work in the brain. It goes acetyl l carnotene or L, alpha lipoic acid, which you probably heard of. Ashwagandha, which most people have heard of by now. Black seed oil, Burberry, CoQ10 is a Nootropic. Dha is considered a Nootropic. 5htp is considered a Nootropic, all the way down to zinc.
[00:13:01.170] - Candi Broeffle
There is just a variety of different supplements and minerals that fall into this class. How do you determine what's right for a particular person who's looking for assistance?
[00:13:15.060] - David Tomen
That's a great question. Depends on what brain health issue you're dealing with. I found, for example, that anxiety is not necessarily dependent on GABA, and people are prescribed Benzos for anxiety. But anxiety could be caused by a dysfunction of any one of the major neurotransmitters. It could be dopamine or acetylcholine or serotonin. It doesn't necessarily have to be GABA. The anxiety can also be caused by a drop in brain derived natropic factor, which is a nerve growth factor in your brain. It could be caused by inflammation. There's a ton of things that can get... Problems with hormones, either the phthalate hormones or the sex hormones, gestosterone or estrogen. So there's lots of different things that can cause anxiety. So oftentimes, if a person hasn't got a clue what the cause is, we just start experimenting. And we'll go through the list of precurrent series that help boost each neurotransmitter first to see if that works. If that doesn't work, then we'll try reducing inflammation, and we'll take some supplements to reduce inflammation. And if that doesn't work, then we'll try some supplements to boost loose brain derived natropic factor. It helps if a person is already using a med, a prescription drug, and if it works for them, we just take a look at the mechanism of action of that drug and we reverse engineer it and start looking for supplements that work like that.
[00:14:48.130] - David Tomen
I'll give you an example, Ritalin, which is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor. Their Saffron is a serotonin or panafarin reuptake inhibitor. And Pine bark extract also works on serotonin and dopamine in your brain. So there are clinical studies that have used saffron and or pine bark extract for ADHD instead of Ritalin that worked as well as Ritalin. So that's just one little example of what we can do.
[00:15:23.160] - Candi Broeffle
So do you work with any particular doctors that you suggest that people might want to go to to get any testing?
[00:15:32.770] - David Tomen
I don't, but I did write an article on the best lab test for neuro hackers to use. One of the things that I found that does not work is you can't really test neurotransmitters. I know that people do blood tests and urine tests to figure out how much serotonin or dopamine they have, but that doesn't really tell you how much serotonin or dopamine you have in your cells, in your brain. The only way that you can find that is by autopsy somebody's brain. And that's rather inconvenient in the.
[00:16:05.660] - Candi Broeffle
Way it's living, right?
[00:16:07.630] - David Tomen
But we can do plenty of other lab tests. We can do a lab test. It's standard ones for the different hormones, sex hormones and thyroid hormones. We can do lab tests for inflammation like C reactive protein or the proinflammatory cytokines like interleukin 6 and interleukin 8 and tumor necrosis factor A and proinflammatory cytokines like that. So there are tests that you can do that do help that you'd figure out what's going on in your system. Sometimes it's just we're guessing, and we're just trying different supplements until we nail something that works.
[00:16:44.460] - Candi Broeffle
So speaking of that, are Nootropic safe, or are there any safety concerns that people should be aware of?
[00:16:51.300] - David Tomen
There are side effects with every single one of the supplements that I reviewed and use. For the most part, they're considered non toxic and they're safe to use by normal healthy people. But there are certain supplements that are contraindicated with drugs. For example, if you're using a Benzodilazepine, you cannot use anything that touches GABA, or you could put yourself into a coma. If you're using an SSRI that affects serotonin, you can't use something like St. John's ward, or it'll cause serotonin syndrome, or methylenol blue is another one. Serotonin syndrome, which can kill you. So there are side effects with these supplements just because they're natural, it doesn't mean that you can do whatever you want with them. You got to know what those side effects are. You have to know what the contract indicated with, be familiar with the meds that you're on, how they work. And a lot of people don't. I mean, their doctor doesn't even know how they work. So I sent them to Wikipedia, which is a great right source for finding out how each one of these drugs work in your brain.
[00:18:05.960] - Candi Broeffle
So let's talk about the book. So you have the second edition of the book coming out. And again, the name of it is Head for the complete guide to healing and optimizing your brain with nootropic supplements. This information that we're talking about now, some of the different tests that can be done, some of the contra indicators, that type of thing, I assume that that would all be in the book. Is that correct?
[00:18:34.640] - David Tomen
It is. The book, it's a big book. It's 962 pages. So it's more like a manual. It's a repair manual for your brain. I spend the first chapter I give my story and how I ended up in this. The second chapter is how your brain works. And I've taken the neuroscience and I've put it and I think what is really plain language so that anybody can understand how things like executive function works in their brain. And that's like the background or the backdrop for how these supplements work. And then the lion's share of the book is just reviews of 102 of these supplements. And I go into what the supplement is, where it comes from, what it has historically been used for. Some of these supplements have been used for 5,000 years.
[00:19:33.300] - David Tomen
And it's only recently in the last couple of decades that they found, science has found out how they work. But we knew that they work. We just didn't know how. And then the last couple of chapters are recommended in entropic stacks. And an entropic stack is just a combination of supplements that you use to support something like ADHD or the aging brain, for example, or for anxiety, for Ritalin, for depression, for traumatic brain injury, for PTSD. There's entropic stacks for each one of these.
[00:20:09.700] - Candi Broeffle
So let's talk about that a little bit. Let's talk about for some of these common things that people are dealing with, such as PTSD, what would that look like? What would some Nootropics be that could possibly be helpful to people?
[00:20:25.190] - David Tomen
I've got an article on my website called Best Nootropics for PTSD, and I explain what PTSD is, the symptoms of PTSD, and what people experience. A lot of times people have got PTSD and they've never had anybody diagnose it. So I've got what happens if you've got PTSD. And then I explain what happens when you've got PTSD, what happens in the brain. Ptsd is basically just a stress disorder.
[00:20:55.800] - Candi Broeffle
[00:20:56.680] - David Tomen
For example, neuroscientists at University of California, Berkeley found that chronic stress triggers long term changes in brain structure and function. And chronic stress changes neural networks. So cortisol creates a domino effect that hardwires pathways between the hippocampic campus and the amygdala. So your Lizard brain is the area responsible for your fight or flight response. And so this hard wiring caused by stress is not the way your brain is designed to work. I mean, your brain is not supposed to be hard wired. Your hippocampus, which is mission control, is not supposed to be hard wired to your fight or flight response.
[00:21:39.680] - Candi Broeffle
[00:21:40.170] - David Tomen
But when it is, it seems to be permanent. Chronic stress seems to flip a switch, if you will, in stem cells, and turns them into a type of cell that prevents connections to the prefrontal cortex. And so it affects learning and memory. And it just basically lays down the scaffolding for things like anxiety and depression and PTSD and chronic stress coats axons, extending from neurons in excess myelin, for example, it reduces the number of neurons. Gray matter decreases, white matter increases. We've got supplements that can help reverse a lot of this stuff, repair a lot of this stuff. You can't cure PTSD. You can't expect to start using supplements and all of a sudden, wallah, your PTSD is gone. But there are supplements that you can use like Ashwagandha, for example, or Bacupan, Muniari or NIHD or Lithium Orotate or LFAN or I could go on, I've got a list of supplements that affect each one of the causes of PTSD and help support that part of the brain so that we can rewire the brain back to the way it naturally worked in the first place.
[00:22:59.570] - Candi Broeffle
Well, this is really just such a fascinating topic. I want to come back after this break and continue this conversation and really get into some of the other brain health issues that we can talk about, too. So for those who are interested to learn more about Nootropics and the work that David does, visit And to find a copy of Head First, you can find it at your local bookstore at Balpoa Press or at To read the online version of Natural Awakenings magazine, visit You can find a podcast of this show on, on Apple and Google podcast, or anywhere you get your podcasts. You're listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM950, the progressive voice of Minnesota, and we will be right back.

Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle. And today we're visiting with David Tomen. An author of Head First, the complete guide to healing and optimizing your brain with Nootropic supplements. So David, just before the break, we were talking about PTSD and how Nootropics can help with PTSD as well. And I wanted to come back and just ask you, if you could please share, what are some of the symptoms that people have who have PTSD?
[00:24:38.090] - Candi Broeffle
Because sometimes I think people don't even realize that it's something that they could be suffering with. So if you could share with us what some of those are.
[00:24:46.820] - David Tomen
Okay. First one is reexperiencing symptoms, flashbacks, reliving the event over and over again, nightmares, frightening thoughts. Then there's avoidance symptoms, avoiding places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience, avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event, feeling detached or unable to connect with loved ones. And then arousal or reactivity symptoms, hypersensitivity, easily startled, hyper vigilance, feeling tensed or on edge, difficulty sleeping, insomia, irritability or angry outburst. And then we have cognition and mood symptoms like brain fog, trouble concentrating, loss of memory, depression, feelings of hopelessness, trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event, feelings of guilt or blame, loss of interest in enjoyable activities, and headaches. And then children with PTSD wetting the bed after learning to use the toilet, forgetting how to or unable to walk, acting out the scary event during playtime, being unus clinging with a parent or another adult. Those are the kinds of the things that show up if you're dealing with a state.
[00:25:59.550] - Candi Broeffle
And I did want to come back and have this conversation just because I think there's a lot of people who experience it who don't think that they should be experiencing it because they don't have these traumatic events that other people have had who have it. But everybody's experience is different. So what might not seem to be as traumatic can still cause PTSD.
[00:26:20.400] - David Tomen
Traumatic for them.
[00:26:21.970] - Candi Broeffle
Right. And it also depends on the age and when it happened as well. So one of the things that Nootropics is that you were telling me in Nootropics is especially helpful in helping to treat is the aging brain. So let's start talking about that for a bit. Talk to us first about when we talk about the aging brain, what are you talking about in particular?
[00:26:46.230] - David Tomen
I'm talking about how every human being on the planet gets older and things start or don't work as well as we get older. A lot of the problem with the rise of dementia and other diseases like this comes from age related cognitive decline that is being dealt with by modern medicine. If you're dealing with memory loss or other cognitive issues or simply putting a label on, it's not really helpful. Your brain is just not working as well as it used to. And I find that this is happening in younger and younger people, unfortunately, in this day and age. Now, there's genetic testing these days that you can carry a specific gene that puts you at a higher risk for Alzheimer's. Or you can also find out if your brain and body have a harder time detoxing from heavy metals, or there's a gene variant that's making it difficult for you to lower your cholesterol. If you've got low thyroid function or sex hormones or heavy metal toxicity, inflammation, or deficiencies in certain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, or fatty acids, you can experience a decline in cognitive function. And so when I took a deep dive into the aging brain, I spent a lot of time looking at this and reading hundreds of clinical studies, and I finally boiled it down to five categories.
[00:28:05.220] - David Tomen
And these categories are, this is like the 30,000 foot view. One, free radicals in brain aging. Two, synapses in brain aging. Three, Alzheimer's and dementia and brain aging. Four, vascular dementia or cerebral circulation. In other words, blood flow and brain aging. Number five, neurotransmitter decline and brain aging. And so when you turn 50 or 55 and you can't remember where you put your keys, that's not the way the brain was designed to work.
[00:28:38.740] - Candi Broeffle
[00:28:38.990] - David Tomen
Doesn't have to happen. You can take care of things like free radicals. Free radical is just a stray oxygen ion that our immune system is designed to scavenge and get rid of. But as we get older, our immune system can't keep up. For example, there's an estimated 10,000 oxidative interactions between DNA and free radicals in each one of your brain cells that occurs every day. And as you get older, at least one out of every three proteins per cell is dysfunctional because of oxidative damage. And if our immune system can't keep up, these free radicals or straight oxygen ions just start killing brain cells. And so you can defend against this and support your immune system and support your mitochondria, which is where this stuff starts happening in the first place. Alpha lipo acid, for example, natural occurring sulfur containing fatty acid that's unique. Other antioxidants because it's both water and fat soluble, which means that it works both inside the cell and outside the cell.
[00:29:41.720] - Candi Broeffle
[00:29:42.480] - David Tomen
So it has the unique ability to work in all neutralized free radicals in all cellular environments. It can even reduce brain damage after a stroke. That's how powerful alpha lipoic acid is. It even recycles other antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, glutothion, and it recycles CoQ10. And then CoQ10, which you've probably heard of, helps produce Adenosine Triphosphate, which is your master energy supply that comes from your mitochondria, ATP in your mitochondria. And if you use supplements like arlapic acid and CoQ10 and PQQ and acetyl L carnotene to boost the synthesis of Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP, contrary to what you would think, making more energy would be problematic. It's not. It actually makes mitochondria healthier and they work more efficiently. And then we have synapses. Do you know what a synapse is?
[00:30:45.460] - Candi Broeffle
Synapse is on the end. It always helps to explain.
[00:30:48.680] - David Tomen
Okay. A synapse is on the end of axons and dendrites. So let's take a dopamine Neuron, for example, an action potential or electrical signal goes up from the Neuron up the axon, which is like the sending antenna to the synapse. The synapse holds a little vesticle. It's like a little raft which holds dopamine molecules. And so that action potential tells that a vesticle to release a dopamine molecule, which travels over to the neighboring neurone, which has got a synapse attached to a dendroid, which is like a receiving antenna. And that's how brain cell signaling works. But these synapses wear out as we get older. Now, you've probably heard that the brain shrinks as we get older. It shrinks by, I think, 10 % per decade. The brain loses 5 % of its weight per decade after age 40.
[00:31:46.990] - Candi Broeffle
[00:31:47.930] - David Tomen
Of this loss of weight in your brain is loss of synapses.
[00:31:52.280] - Candi Broeffle
[00:31:53.000] - David Tomen
How do we fix this? How do we grow new synapses, make more synapses, fix the ones that are damaged that are already there? We increase brain derived natropic factor, which is just a natural growth factor in our brain. I wrote an article called 13 Nootropics to boost BDNF, and then I reviewed another six or seven supplements and I found out that they do boost BDNF. So it's easy to boost BDNF. You just use something like Ashwagandha or artichoke extract or Berberine or Foscolan or Inositol or Magnesium, for example, boost BDNF. Take two or three supplements that boost BDNF and you start repairing those synapses. Alzheimer's, the best thing I found for Alzheimer's is to prevent Alzheimer's is curcumin.
[00:32:42.190] - Candi Broeffle
[00:32:43.200] - David Tomen
Curcumin is the most active component of tumoric. And at the conclusion of doing the review on that, if a person used 750 milligrams of a tumoric extract that was 95 % curcumin oids three times a day, every day for the rest of your life, you'd likely never get Alzheimer's. And the proof of that is India. I mean, look at how many people get Alzheimer's in India compared to in America. I mean, it's minuscule. Why? Because they eat curry there from when they were a kid. What's in curry? It's tumoric. And then the next category is lead flow, vascular dementia. Your chances of developing white matter lesions, strokes, and dementia increase with age. And so do we increase blood flow? And guys, it's really easy to find out that your blood is not flowing as easily because it's harder to get an erection. The same thing is happening in your brain. You've got these little tiny capillaries in your brain that just stop working. The best thing that I found to increase blood flow in the brain is Vinpocetine. Vinpocetine, it's an extract of the lesser periwinkle plant. Vinpocetine is used as a drug in several different European countries.
[00:34:02.130] - David Tomen
The doctors prescribed Vinpocetine for increasing brain blood flow. Here in America, the FDA tried to ban it because one of the pharmaceuticals want to make a drug out of it.
[00:34:14.590] - Candi Broeffle
Oh, really?
[00:34:15.430] - David Tomen
But you can still get it. Life extension still cells have been post attain, but you can actually feel it. It's that powerful. 10 milligrams three times a day, that's all you need to increase brain blood flow. And then the last category is loss of neurotransmitters. Dopamine, for example, declines by 10 % per decade, starting in your early 20s. So think about that for a minute. By the time you're 60 or 70, you got less than half of the dopamine in your brain that you did when you were 21.
[00:34:44.470] - Candi Broeffle
[00:34:45.080] - David Tomen
How do you increase dopamine? Just use L tyrosine. 500 milligrams of L tyrosine twice a day increases dopamine. The same thing happens with acetylcholine. The same thing happens with serotonin. The same thing happens with acetylcholine and GABA. So to increase GABA, we use pharma GABA, which is a natural form of GABA grown in Lactobacillus hilcardi bacteria, easily gets into the brain. 250 milligrams of pharma GABA before bed, you increase GABA. It's easy to do this stuff if you know what to do.
[00:35:20.310] - Candi Broeffle
Well, we have to go into a break, but when we come back, we're going to continue this conversation. And I have a couple of questions that have popped into my mind since you started talking here. So when we come back, we are going to continue our conversation with David Tomen. And to learn more about the work he does, visit And Nootropics is N, O, O, T, R, O, P, I, C, S, You're listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM950, and we will be right back.

Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle. And today we're visiting with David Tomen, author of Head First, the complete guide to healing and optimizing your brain with Nootropics supplements. So just before the break, you were telling us about the five different aspects of the aging brain or the five different categories of the aging brain. And you were talking about some of the different supplements that can be used to address those specific issues. And I'm sure people are wondering, how many supplements do I have to take a day in order to be able to optimize my brain?
[00:36:47.940] - Candi Broeffle
Can you tell us about that?
[00:36:50.250] - David Tomen
As many as necessary. I use probably 25 or 30 different supplements every day. I know some other bio hackers that do as well. It's a not that unusual. You don't have to use that money to get the job done. I know what each specific thing does that I use and why I'm using it. I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing right now if I hadn't been taking these supplements.
[00:37:12.830] - Candi Broeffle
[00:37:13.650] - David Tomen
Be dead. And because as a matter of fact, because these supplements saved my life. But just what is the problem that you're dealing with? If your problem is depression caused by lack of serotonin, it's easy to increase serotonin. You use L triptophan. Not 5HTP, but L triptophan is safe to use 500 milligrams, often before bed, because it helps you sleep, too. When you increase serotonin, you end up increasing melatonin. But the side effects of that are most people can use L triptophan is natural. It's considered non toxic and safe to use. But if you're using an SSRI, for example, you got to be careful with using L triptophan. Start boosting serotonin and you're using an SSRI, you could cause serotonin syndrome. So L triptophan is not as dangerous as something like St. John's War. St. John's wort is absolutely contraindicated with all SSRIs or MAOIs because it could cause a hypertensive crisis, which can lead to a heart attack or serotonin syndrome, which can kill you. Look at the side effects with each one of these supplements. So it's worth it to take a look at the side effect section of each one of the reviews that I've done.
[00:38:38.750] - David Tomen
Ashwagandha, for example, a lot of people find that Ashwagandha is a great anxiolytic. It's great for anxiety. It works in a couple of ways for that. One, it helps sensitize GABA receptors. So when GABA can attach more easily to its receptors, oftentimes that helps some people reduce their anxiety symptoms. It also is the only supplement that I know of that helps repair dendrites and axons and synapses, all three of them. Other supplements that help repair these things only do one or two, but Ashwagandha does all three. The only problem with Ashwagandha, I can't use it because I'm hooked with thyroid and it affects thyroid hormone.
[00:39:21.110] - Candi Broeffle
In your hypo or hyper?
[00:39:23.050] - David Tomen
[00:39:23.970] - Candi Broeffle
[00:39:25.080] - David Tomen
So I use the NP thyroid, which is a natural desiccated thyroid. And when I try using Ashwagandha, it just makes me sick because it messes with the way that hormone works. Okay. I use it. Each one of these have got... Some are more severe than others. Some are absolutely contraindicated with specific drugs. Others are not contraindicated with any drug, and most people can use it. My wife, for example, can't use a choline supplement because it just makes her really ill. Don't know why. Just not sure. I've dug into the science on this and I haven't really figured it out yet, but she can't use anything that increases the set of choline. So everybody is different. We're all unique. In general, there are specific supplements that help specific things, but look at the side effects for each one of these to find out if it's contraindicated with something that you're taking right now or it just may not work for you. Simple as that. Could be a genetic thing.
[00:40:28.800] - Candi Broeffle
So what about for people who've been using Nootropics for a while? Is there something that they should be doing as far as maybe checking the effectiveness of it or checking in and seeing maybe something else has come along that could be used in place of what they're using or be more effective?
[00:40:49.450] - David Tomen
Sure. I find that when people get more experience in using these supplements, they say, All right, I know that this works like this. L triptophan, for example, increases serotonin. Well, is there any other way to increase serotonin? Same thing with GABA. Same thing with dopamine. Same thing with acetylcholine. Same thing with inflammation. There's different ways to skin this cat. So they'll just start digging into the different supplements on my website and find something that works in a similar manner and start experimenting with that. So for example, if you're working on dopamine and you use an MAOI, a monamine oxidase inhibitor, when you inhibit monamine oxidase, the enzyme that gets rid of dopamine after your system uses it, if you inhibit that enzyme, you end up reusing the dopamine and norepinephrine in your brain. There are certain supplements that work as MAOIs, like rhodol or Rzeia, for example, works similar to an MAOI. So that may help somebody who responds well to boosting dopamine.
[00:41:53.310] - Candi Broeffle
So now I know you have so much information, and the book has a plethora of information that people can have right at their fingertips. So if they're looking for a specific, maybe, malady that they want to help, or they're looking for a specific Nootropic that they're interested in, they can easily get that in the book. But you also have a very extensive website. Tell us a bit about your website and what people will find when they come to your website.
[00:42:20.910] - David Tomen
Sure. Nootropics Expert is probably the leading authority in the world right now on Nootropic supplements. And so you can find details on 102 individual supplements. I've got reviews, long reviews, like 10 or 15 pages on one supplement that takes a deep dive into each one of those supplements. And I've got articles on traumatic brain injury and PTSD and anxiety and depression and all kinds of other remedies that people are dealing with. You just have to search the website and find it. There's hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pages. Vi have has got a search function top right up above the top menu. If you're dealing with OCD, for example, just type in OCD, all capital letters, and you'll get a list of supplements that help with OCD.
[00:43:08.940] - Candi Broeffle
And I imagine the articles and the research that you've done on it as well. You also have a YouTube channel.
[00:43:16.440] - David Tomen
I do. And it's a very popular YouTube channel.
[00:43:19.670] - Candi Broeffle
Great. So what is the name of the YouTube channel? And how often are you putting content out?
[00:43:24.360] - David Tomen
I put a full video, like a 10 or 15 or 20 minute video up every week. I got somebody putting up shorts right now as well, and that's happening every day. I've got something like 110,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel, and that's growing rapidly. Again, you can just type something into the search box on my channel, Nootropics Expert. If you just search for David Tomen or Nootropics Expert on YouTube, I would come out right at the top of the search results. Okay. Go to my channel and there's hundreds of videos there to for you to watch. If you don't like reading, watch the video.
[00:44:04.090] - Candi Broeffle
Everybody can learn so much on YouTube. There's so much information and this is just yet another aspect of what we can learn for ourselves. So I'm always curious to know from authors... So this is the second edition of the book.
[00:44:18.520] - David Tomen
[00:44:19.010] - Candi Broeffle
Is it you're most proud of with the book and what you've been able to do with it?
[00:44:25.570] - David Tomen
What am I most proud of that I was able to do it, actually? Because it's such a big book, 962 pages. It took me three years to finally get around to publishing the first edition of this, which is digital only. It only worked for iPad or Kindle. But now the second edition is available in hardcover or paperback or for iPad or Kindle too. What I'm most proud of is that anybody in the world that's got a problem with their brain, you can find an answer to it, either in the book or on my YouTube channel or on my website, because I get people telling me every day, I've been following you for years and it saved my life, or it helped me do this, or it helped me do that. Thank you. And that's just the biggest pat on the back that I could get.
[00:45:14.580] - Candi Broeffle
So what would your piece of advice that you have for people who are starting out on this journey and who are feeling overwhelmed?
[00:45:25.310] - David Tomen
Sure. It's easy to feel overwhelmed because there's just so much available now. But just don't give up. I mean, there really is an answer for everybody that's dealing with something with a problem with their brain, which affects the rest of your body, too. But there is an answer. And so spend some time, don't give up and just keep on searching. If you just finally get to the point where you can't do it anymore, contact me and you can do a consultation with me.
[00:45:54.110] - Candi Broeffle
Yeah. So tell us a bit about that. So you have that people can come to your website, they can set up a consultation. What would happen with a consultation with you?
[00:46:03.640] - David Tomen
I spend an hour with a person. We do it in the United States or Canada. We do it by phone. They're all audio. They're not video consultations. They're audio consultations. But we do it by phone. If you're in North America, if you're someplace else in the world, it's Zoom or Skype. And I have the person send me a list of the supplements that they're already using, the list of drugs that they're using, what their main health issues are, and what the goals are that they have for this consultation. And then I do some research prior to the consultation so that I can prepare for it. Then we spend an hour just sorting through what has worked for the person already, what has not worked, and I give them a list of supplements to try, tell them what brands to buy, where to get them, and what to expect. But at least they've got a roadmap or they've got a plan at the end of that.
[00:46:55.020] - Candi Broeffle
Right. So that's like the shortcut version. That's the shortcut. Get what the information you need. Well, David, thank you so much for being with us today. It's really been a pleasure having you on the show. And I just want to welcome people who are interested in the work that David does to set up a consultation and to learn about where to get his book to is it? You've been listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM950, the progressive voice of Minnesota. And I am wishing for you a lovely day.
[00:47:41.520] - David Tomen
[00:47:44.920] - Candi Broeffle
You. Bye.