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Ray Kurzweil's Nootropic Dietary Supplement Stack

5 July 2016
Lincoln Cannon

Dietary Supplements

Ray Kurzweil is a celebrity technologist. He's well known both for his work as an inventor and for his relatively accurate predictions of technological change. Among his predictions is that of an imminent biotech revolution. And his expectation is that biotech will enable people to restore and maintain healthy life for much longer periods of time than those humans have enjoyed historically.

In the meantime, Ray says he takes 250 dietary supplements each day. He also receives half a dozen intravenous therapies each week. Here's what he has to say about his regimen:

“Although my program may seem extreme, it is actually conservative – and optimal (based on my current knowledge). [My doctor] and I have extensively researched each of the several hundred therapies that I use for safety and efficacy. I stay away from ideas that are unproven or appear to be risky.” – Ray Kurzweil in The Singularity Is Near (pages 211-212)

Some of Ray’s dietary supplements are nootropics, intended to maintain and improve brain health. He lists them in his book, Transcend (pages 15 and 22).

I’ve compared the nootropics that Ray recommends to reviews on is an independent and unbiased encyclopedia on supplements and nutrition that is not affiliated in any way with any supplement company.

Below is a table that summarizes what I found, followed by some observations. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not medical advice. Please consult a physician before and during use of these and other nootropics.

The "nootropic" column lists the supplements that Ray recommends. The "evidence" column shows the score for level of evidence on a scale of 0 to 4 for the nootropic effect with the strongest supporting evidence. The "effect" column shows the score for magnitude of effect on a scale of 0 to 3 for the effect with the strongest supporting evidence.

Nootropic Evidence Effect
Acetyl-L-Carnitine 3 2
EPA/DHA (Fish Oil) 4 2
GABA 0 0
Ginkgo Biloba 4 2
L-Theanine 3 2
Melatonin 3 3
Phosphatidylcholine 0 0
Phosphatidylserine 3 1
SAMe 2 2

Average Evidence: 2.4 (equivalent of "single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies")

Average Effect: 1.5 (equivalent of "minor" to "notable")

Overall, Ray’s recommendations look good. Fish Oil, Ginkgo Biloba, L-Theanine, and Melatonin are in my list of top tier nootropics. And Acetyl-L-Carnitine should probably be added to that list.

Based on multiple human studies, L-Carnitine may provide notable decrease to ammonia (thereby protecting the brain). Fish Oil may provide a notable improvement to mood. Ginkgo may provide notable decrease to cognitive decline. L-Theanine may provide notable increase to relaxation (without fatigue). And Melatonin may provide a strong decrease to insomnia.

I consider Phosphatidylserine and SAMe to be second tier nootropics because their evidence or effect may be somewhat lower than top tier nootropics. But they may still be worth your money. Phosphatidylserine may provide subtle increase to cognition and decrease to cognitive decline. And SAMe may provide notable improvement to mood.

Ray’s recommendations of GABA and Phosphatidylcholine appear weak. I’m not aware of much evidence to support their efficacy. And their efficacy may be relatively low. So I don’t spend money on them.

However, it’s possible that Ray has access to studies that I’ve not seen. In particular, Phosphatidylcholine may be more effective than its score suggests. It has a metabolic precursor that I consider to be a second tier nootropic: Alpha-GPC, which may provide notable decrease to cognitive decline.

Finally, I think Ray’s nootropic stack would be stronger with the addition of a few other top tier nootropics. Consider the following:

  • Bacopa to increase memory
  • Creatine to decrease fatigue
  • Inositol to decrease stress
  • Rhodiola to increase cognition
  • Zinc to support mood

For more information about these nootropics, take a look at my list of real smart drugs. And for a product that provides most of the top tier nootropics at effective doses, take a look at Thrivous Nootropic Stack.

Buy Nootropic Stack

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