Calm & Focus

image

Calm & Focus is designed to promote a state of calm and improve cognitive function, including mood, focus, learning and memory. The formula contains a combination of ingredients designed to address stressful situations in the moment or may be taken in preparation for these events. Calm & Focus can be used to address daily stress by providing a state of relaxed focus without drowsiness.

Overview

Managing increasing stress levels can be difficult for children, adolescents, and adults alike. Stress is beneficial in small quantities, but causes cognitive decline and mood challenges when it occurs too often or at severe levels. People may struggle to relax or experience nervous energy when they are unable to properly cope with stress- and anxiety-inducing situations. Dealing with these types of issues for prolonged periods may gradually lead to excessive levels of restlessness, anxiety, nervous energy, and irritability, among other problems. Accordingly, stress can exacerbate the characteristics of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), making it especially important for people with this condition to find healthy ways to calm the mind.

The nervous system contains neurons that are responsible for processing and transmitting information through neurotransmitters and electrical ion channels. Neurotransmitter receptors are the gateways for communication between nerve cells that influence mood, behavior, and even stress-resistance. However, neurotransmitter imbalance is one of the consequences of high stress. The ingredients in Calm & Focus support the healthy balance of neurotransmitters while promoting calming focus.

L-Theanine

L-theanine is an amino acid found abundantly in green tea. It has been shown to quickly improve stress perception and resilience. The stress-buffering mechanisms of L-theanine have been connected to its ability to increase serotonin and dopamine production in the brain.1 L-theanine has also been shown to significantly increase alpha brain wave activity, which is critical for increasing attention as well as promoting a sense of relaxation.2 In a study on healthy volunteers, electroencephalograph (EEG) readings of participants were recorded following the ingestion of 50 mg of L-theanine. L-Theanine is particularly beneficial for individuals with ADHD as it influences mood, social behavior, cognitive performance, and sleep through several different mechanisms. Supplementation with L-theanine efficiently heightens serotonin production and low levels of this neurotransmitter are associated with more pronounced ADHD symptoms.3 Fortunately, research shows that administering L-theanine (2.5 mg/kg) along with caffeine (2.0 mg/kg) to a group of adolescents with ADHD led to improvements in continuous performance tasks as well as reaction time tasks in comparison to those who took a placebo. In particular, performance rate, cognitive function, and reaction time increased due to L-theanine and caffeine supplementation.4

L-theanine helps individuals with ADHD experience sustained attention and heightened cognitive performance through reduced impulsivity and decreased mind wandering during attention-related tasks. This was confirmed through fMRI, which demonstrated decreased task-related reactivity (less mind wandering) during specific tasks for the group of adolescents who consumed L-theanine and caffeine. The combination appears to help calm regions of the brain that regulate impulsivity and focus.4

Another clinical study showed that L-theanine enhances sleep patterns for children and adolescents with ADHD. More specifically, 200 mg of Suntheanine® (400 mg total of L-theanine) was administered twice daily, once at breakfast and again after school, to one group of adolescents with ADHD, while a second group was given a placebo. Supplementation lasted for six weeks. The results showed that those who took L-theanine slept longer, woke up less frequently, and experienced enhanced sleep quality in comparison to those who took the placebo.5

These findings demonstrate that L-theanine dramatically improves sleep patterns for children with ADHD and that high doses are also safe for consumption as no significant side effects developed from the 400 mg daily serving[3]. Sleep problems are common among individuals with ADHD and disturbed sleep appears to worsen symptoms related to this disorder. Therefore, L-theanine supplementation offers safe and effective mood, cognitive, behavioral, and sleep support for children with ADHD.4, 5

GABA

Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. GABA provides a calming effect and is a primary component of the body’s stress fighting mechanisms. GABA is produced in the brain and may be supplemented in the diet. GABA has been shown in published research studies to promote relaxation effects in the central nervous system (CNS). For people with ADHD, GABA supplementation can help improve mood, focus, and mental clarity, all while reducing stress, worry, and feelings of hopelessness.6, 7 More specifically, enhanced concentrations of GABA promote healthier responses to anxiety- and stress-inducing situations.

ADHD is characterized as hyperactivity (difficulty relaxing), inattentiveness, impulsivity, and nervous energy, among other issues.6 Individuals with ADHD typically have lower than normal concentrations of GABA in the brain and decreased GABA levels are associated with increased impulsivity.6, 7 Conversely, heightened GABA activity in response to supplementation, promotes relaxation by calming the nerves and it also decreases impulsivity.8

Additionally, the administration of GABA targets insomnia, and sleep problems are usually linked to factors that include excessive worrying, struggling to relax, and extreme nervousness.9 People with ADHD tend to suffer from sleep disturbances and this may also be associated with low levels of GABA.6, 7, 10 The calming, sedating, and relaxing properties of GABA naturally induce sleep by reducing nerve excitability (nervous energy).10 This occurs because there are receptors in the brain that GABA binds to and this leads to increased GABA activity that is associated with relaxation and sleep. Therefore, GABA is a calming agent that helps target impulsivity, nervous energy, and sleep disturbances, making it beneficial for people with ADHD.

The combination of GABA and L-Theanine in CopaCalm is especially useful towards improving sleep because research shows these two ingredients work synergistically to enhance sleep patterns.11 GABA functions as a nerve-calming neurotransmitter that induces mild sedation that helps individuals fall asleep.12 Similarly, L-Theanine supports the activity of neurotransmitters that are involved in sleep including GABA, serotonin, and dopamine.13 Serotonin plays a role in sleep onset (falling asleep), and the body uses it to produce melatonin, while dopamine also influences the sleep-wake cycle.12 Accordingly, one clinical study showed that taking a GABA/L-Theanine mixture, GABA (100 mg/kg) and L-Theanine (20 mg/kg), helped reduced sleep latency, which refers to the time it takes to fall asleep.11 This combination also increased rapid eye movement or REM sleep, which reflects deep sleep. Therefore, the consumption of GABA and L-Theanine help improve sleep quality and duration, making it particularly useful for individuals with sleep problems such as children with ADHD or autism.

Huperzine A

A purified component derived from Chinese club moss, huperzine A has been found to support healthy cognition in a range of animal models, and phase IV clinical trials demonstrated its promotion of improved recall and cognition in elderly subjects.14 As a potent and selective acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor, huperzine A helps to improve memory and support optimal cognitive health.

More specifically, huperzine A is a potent nootropic that disrupts the activity of AChE, which is an enzyme that rapidly breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This particular neurotransmitter helps regulate memory, focus, attention, and mood.15,16 However, heightened AChE activity can lead to low levels of acetylcholine and this is linked to memory deficits, mood fluctuations, and slow processing speed.17 Individuals with ADHD often report that memory deficits contribute to their inability to effectively cope with daily activities.18 Huperzine A hinders acetylcholinesterase from breaking down acetylcholine and in doing so, enhances cognition (e.g., memory) by supporting healthy levels of acetylcholine in the brain.15-17 These properties make huperzine A a beneficial alternative to synthetic (chemical-based) AChE inhibitors, especially for people with ADHD.

Directions

30-80 lbs 1 dropper once or twice/day
81+ 2 droppers once or twice daily

References

  • 1. Yokogoshi H, Kobayashi M, Mochizuki M, Terashima T. Effect of theanine, r-glutamylethylamide, on brain monoamines and striatal dopamine release in conscious rats. NeuroChem Res 1998; 23(5):667-73.
  • 2. Nobre AC, Rao A, Owen GN. L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect of mental state. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2008; 17 Suppl 1:167-8.
  • 3. Banerjee E, Nandagopal K. Does serotonin deficit mediate susceptibility to ADHD? Neurochem Int. 2015;82:52-68.
  • 4. Kahathuduwa C, et al. L-theanine and Caffeine Improve Sustained Attention, Impulsivity and Cognition in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders by Decreasing Mind Wandering (OR29-04-19). Curr Dev Nutr. 2019;3(Suppl 1):nzz031.OR29-04-19.
  • 5. Lyon MR, Kapoor MP, Juneja LR. The effects of L-theanine (Suntheanine®) on objective sleep quality in boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Altern Med Rev. 2011;16(4):348-354.
  • 6. Purkayastha P, Malapati A, Yogeeswari P, Sriram D. A Review on GABA/Glutamate Pathway for Therapeutic Intervention of ASD and ADHD. Curr Med Chem. 2015 May 4;22(15):1850-59.
  • 7. Edden RA1, Crocetti D, Zhu H, Gilbert DL, Mostofsky SH. Reduced GABA concentration in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2012 Jul;69(7):750-3. doi: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.2280.
  • 8. Abdou AM, Higashiguchi S, Horie K, Kim M, Hatta H, Yokogoshi H. Relaxation and immunity enhancement effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) administration in humans. Biofactors. 2006;26(3):201-8.
  • 9. Winkelman JW, Buxton OM, Jensen JE, Benson KL, O'Connor SP, Wang W, Renshaw PF. Reduced brain GABA in primary insomnia: preliminary data from 4T proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS). Sleep. 2008;31(11):1499-506.
  • 10. Gottesmann C. GABA mechanisms and sleep. Neuroscience. 2002;111(2):231-9.
  • 11. Kim S, et al. GABA and l-theanine mixture decreases sleep latency and improves NREM sleep. Pharm Biol. 2019;57(1):65-73.
  • 12. Khan S, Duan P, Yao L, Hou H. Shiftwork-Mediated Disruptions of Circadian Rhythms and Sleep Homeostasis Cause Serious Health Problems. Int J Genomics. 2018; 2018:8576890.
  • 13. Nathan PJ, Lu K, Gray M, Oliver C. The neuropharmacology of L-theanine(N-ethyl-L-glutamine): a possible neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing agent. J Herb Pharmacother. 2006;6(2):21-30.
  • 14. Wang R, Yan H, Tang XC. Progress in studies of huperzine A, a natural cholinesterase inhibitor from Chinese herbal medicine. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2006 Jan;27(1):1-26.
  • 15. Du ZM, Li SL, and Yang CF. [A randomised study of huperzine: a therapy on senile amnestic syndrome]. Chinese Journal of Geriatrics 1996;15(3):180.
  • 16. Zheng W, Xiang YQ, Li XB, et al. Adjunctive huperzine A for cognitive deficits in schizophrenia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Hum Psychopharmacol 2016;31(4):286-295.
  • 17. Xiong ZQ, Cheng DH, Tang XC. Effects of huperzine A on nucleus basalis magnocellularis lesion-induced spatial working memory deficit. Chung Kuo Yao Li Hsueh Pao 1998;19:128-132.
  • 18. Albo Z, Lerner AJ. The role of working memory impairment in ADHD - new therapeutic indications. Pre Clin Clin Res. 2008;2(1):1-5.
  • LT-PDN-036-A