Picamilon : A Stimulating Feeling of Calm

27/05/2014 Tags: all, mood

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First developed in Russia by the All-Union Vitamins Scientific Research Institute, Picamilon is considered to be among the best nootropic supplements for relieving anxiety, boosting cognitive performance and reducing the effects of aging. In Russia It is used for a variety of therapeutic purposes ranging from the treatment of strokes to depression, migraines, asthenia and glaucoma, however most people in the west use Picamilon for its anxiolytic and cognition boosting properties. This supplement is unique in that it provides, as users describe it, a stimulated feeling of calm, which makes sense when we look at the molecular structure of this supplement. So what exactly is Picamilon and how does it work? This article aims to describe some of the key features of this nootropic including its benefits, mechanisms, side effects and usage.


What are the Benefits of Picamilon?

picamilon brain

One of the primary benefits and most common reasons people use Picamilon is that it can help to modulate mood. Picamilon is classed as an anxiolytic supplement with the ability to significantly reduce stress and anxiety brought on by a number of factors. For example it appears to be useful for those suffering from various anxiety disorders, including general anxiety disorder and social anxiety. Concerning the latter, it can help individuals to overcome shyness, improve conversational skills and prevent the feelings of dread that many sufferers experience when engaging in social interactions. These anxiolytic effects can also be useful to those who work in competitive or stressful work environments. This is because it is able to provide relief from stress and anxiety, without reducing energy levels or productivity. In fact, it may do quite the opposite as some users report increased levels of motivation.


picamilon sleepDue to the fact that this supplement reduces stress, it can also indirectly help to promote better sleep. One of the most common reasons for not getting an adequate amount or quality of sleep is being unable to “switch off” at night. Many people’s minds are preoccupied with anxious thoughts and this high level of activity may prevent you from drifting off easily at night. By removing these thoughts and reducing stimulatory activity, Picamilon can help a user to fall asleep faster and thus attain a better quality of sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep not only makes you feel more well rested, but can ensure your brain is working at a higher capacity when compared to sleep deprived states.

Picamilon also appears to increase blood flow in the brain. This is significant as it delivers more glucose, oxygen and nutrients to the brain that are needed for neurons to function properly. Not only can this aid in increasing cognitive performance, but a higher rate of material transport also means that toxins and waste products can be removed more efficiently also. This may help to prevent the build-up of potentially damaging substances like lipofuscin which can lead to cognitive deficits if left unchecked, while also slowing the process of neurological aging. Picamilon can help to protect the brain by functioning as an antioxidant with the ability to neutralise damaging free radicals.

Picamilon has been used extensively in Russia for the treatment of certain conditions that include traumatic brain injuries, senile psychosis, vasoneurosis and stroke. Picamilon is effective in this regard because it aids in restoring blood flow which is disrupted by such conditions.


How Does Picamilon Work?

To understand how this supplement works, it is a good idea to consider its molecular structure. Picamilon is essentially a combination of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and vitamin B3, also known as niacin. The problem that limits the effectiveness of many brain supplements is that they must cross a type of biological filter between the bloodstream and brain known as the blood-brain barrier (BBB). GABA alone is not able to cross the BBB however the addition of niacin allows Picamilon to cross with relative ease.

Once Picamilon reaches the brain it is quickly hydrolysed into its constituents, GABA and niacin. GABA is the brain’s chief inhibitory neurotransmitter meaning that unlike most neurotransmitters that are excitatory and promote activity, GABA actually decreases the likelihood that neurons will fire. Under normal circumstances, excitatory signals are generated by overcoming the negative charge in a neuron known as its resting potential. GABA works by allowing negative chloride ions into the neuron, while allowing positive potassium ions out. The result is a much more negative charge than usual (hyperpolarisation) meaning excitatory signals are less likely to propagate as they will have to overcome this larger negative charge. This effect can be useful in helping to calm overactive pathways in the brain that are associated with excessive levels of anxiety. Through these mechanisms, supplements like Picamilon and other GABA derivatives can help a user feel calmer and more centred when exposed to anxiety provoking stimuli.

picamilon blood vesselsThe other component of Picamilon, niacin, provides this supplement with its stimulatory effects. Niacin is classed as an essential nutrient with the ability to improve blood flow in both the brain and body. This vitamin has numerous benefits that include reducing the risk of cardiovascular events, and raising the level of beneficial high-density lipoproteins. However, perhaps its most useful property is that it can increase blood flow in both the brain and body which is achieved through vasodilation (dilation of blood vessels). This increased blood flow brings with it greater amounts of oxygen and glucose, two substances that are needed to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is a type of energy molecule that is used by all cells in the body, and more of this substance can improve the efficiency of neuronal function. For example, ATP is used to power the sodium-potassium pumps found in neurons that maintain the negative electrical charge in neurons that are not firing. Greater cerebral blood flow and energy metabolism also results in higher levels of concentration, alertness and mental stamina.

Picamilon’s neuroprotective properties also stem partly from this increased blood flow which not only improves transport of nutrients to the brain, but also increases the transport of toxins and waste products away from the brain. Picamilon also functions as an antioxidant. Normal cellular function produces a variety of by-product substances known as free-radicals. These free radicals are characterised by an unpaired electron in their outer atomic shell that makes them highly unstable and reactive. If these free radicals interact with biological structures they can cause oxidative damage and proliferate, creating additional free radicals. Antioxidants like Picamilon are able to neutralise these free radicals by donating an electron to the offending molecules without becoming free radicals themselves.  


Recommended Dosage

The recommended dosage level for Picamilon ranges between 50 to 300mg a day although this is highly dependent on the purposes for which you are using it. For energy and mood support, a dosage of 50 to 100mg is recommended while those using Picamilon for anxiety and stress will require around 100 to 200mg. Due to the short half-life span of this supplement (around 2 hours) users may require 1 to 3 administrations a day. Although it is considered to be safe to use on a daily basis, many users find it useful to cycle this supplement, or use it on an as-needed basis to avoid problems with developing a tolerance.


Potential Side Effects

Picamilon is known to have a good tolerance and safety profile although it should be noted that there have been a few rare cases of rashes on the skin or other types of allergic reaction. Users may experience a few side effects although these are generally quite mild and may include headaches, lightheadedness, nausea, low blood pressure, irritability and flushed skin. Though no overdoses have yet been reported, you should be sure to stick to the recommended dosage to reduce the possibility and severity of potential side effects. As with any supplement you are advised to consult a doctor before taking Picamilon, particularly if you are currently using other types of medications including anxiolytic supplements or other medications that affect GABA receptors.