WHAT IS IT?
Alpha ZXT Brain Booster is a powerful formula that is said to contain “natural focus factors.” It is marketed as providing better memory, concentration and cognition. It is believed to aid users in conquering low energy, lousy concentration and poor memory.
There has been much debate over the legitimacy of Alpha ZXT and the nootropic community appears to be torn on this intriguing supplement. Alpha ZXT’s official website make many bold claims about its benefits, but their copy can get rather nebulous. It is worth noting that their site is slicker and prettier than many of their competitors with a design that suggests an astute marketing team and an expensive launch.
Alpha ZXT supposedly has pure phosphatidylserine, an element of phospholipid membranes that can improve memory, but Alpha ZXT’s web page engages in a game of obfuscation when it comes to the precise contents. They fail to list exactly how much phosphatidylserine is in each supplement.
According to Nowtropic, the company behind Alpha ZXT, the supplement is “the ultimate upgrade to OWN the NOW.” All’s fair in advertising, but what exactly makes this mixture capable of providing any more nowness than any other nootropic blend? That’s where things get that much more vague and sketchy. Alpha ZXT contains 100% Own The Now Smart Pill, the company says. But exactly what a 100% Own The Now Smart Pill is we’ll never know as the site makes no mention of what such a pill is or what it contains. All we have to go on is the ingredients listed for Alpha ZXT itself.
For those familiar with nootropics, the ingredients in Alpha ZXT will be all too familiar. These are all-too-common elements in proprietary blends and those that aren’t are hardly impressive. Alpha ZXT contains the following:
- Ginkgoxine ™
- St. Johns Wort
- Ginkgo Biloba
- Bacopa Monnieri
Of these ingredients, the only one that is intriguing in the least is Ginkgoxine as it is a trademarked drug that isn’t normally found in popular proprietary formulas, but further research reveals the truth about this substance. Ginkgoxine is nothing more than a proprietary formulation of Ginkgo Biloba (that also contains St Johns Wort and Bacopa Monnieri) from a low-rent outfit called Nantucket Nutritionals. Apparently, it is the chief component of their own propriety supplement UberFOCUS.
Whereas Nowtropic’s website looks like a hundred thousand dollar design, Nantucket Nutritionals’ site looks like the rush job of a jacked up college student desperate to make some extra pocket change. And this isn’t where the shadiness stops; Nowtropic’s website makes claims about clinical studies that have proven the efficacy of their blend’s ingredients, but they fail to list or link to a single one.
Here we will look more closely at the contents of Alpha ZXT and their purported effectiveness in areas of cognition, focus, etc.
ST JOHNS WORT
This is perhaps the most pathetic of them all; an herbal supplement that you can find in pretty much any pharmacy or corner store, St Johns Wort is touted as a cure for mild depression and anxiety, and has been used as a natural sleep aid, but an overwhelming number of users have spoken out against the claims that it is a nootropic wonder drug.
While clinical evidence does support some of the claims about St Johns Wort, it has a number of contraindications and has, in fact, interacted with more than 800 (!) other medications. Of those 800, 576 were moderate interactions and 215 were major. Ironically, one of the medications which had a major interaction with St Johns Wort was 5-HTP, a drug common to nootropic stacks.
St Johns Wort also has a range of adverse side effects including diarrhea, anxiety, stomach upset, irritability, skin rash, dry mouth, fatigue, trouble sleeping, dizziness and restlessness.
Ginkgo Biloba is another weak herbal supplement that has been praised for all too long by snake oil salesmen and Indian convenience store owners for its amazing health benefits. Ginkgo has been said to help with memory, ED (Erectile Dysfunction) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), but it actually proved completely worthless after a six-year study. The fact is, the majority of such compounds are ineffective once they are extracted from their source, in this case the Maidenhair tree.
Ginkgo Biloba also interacts poorly with tons of medications including Aspirin, Ginseng (something that is often paired with it among herbal enthusiasts) and vitamins. What’s more, Ginkgo has some terrifying side effects including bleeding of the eye, bleeding after surgery, bleeding in urine, bruising, cardiac arrest, coma (yes, I said freakin’ COMA!!!), constipation, dizziness, dry mouth and death (no big deal, right? WHAT?!?!). To think that Ginkgo Biloba could have these effects on its own doesn’t exactly make the idea of combining it with other ingredients sound too encouraging.
DMAE is a choline molecule which is used to boost cognitive function and has been implemented in the treatment of ADHD (Attention Deficity Hyperactivity Disorder). It is also purported to help improve one’s mood. But DMAE has earned itself a seriously bad reputation online. Medical experts have linked DMAE use to a decreased lifespan in quails and found that it fails to increase levels of acetylcholine in the brain.
It is also bad for your skin and is, in actuality, a cell degenerator. While most people do not experience bad interactions or side effects while taking DMAE, it is unclear what effects it could exhibit when combined with the other ingredients within Alpha ZXT. Those adverse effects which DMAE can cause include over-stimulation, confusion, constipation, headaches, constant drowsiness or insomnia.
Bacopa Monnieri is an herb that is used as a stress reliever and a memory booster, and it is widely considered to be an effective supplement for improving memory function. That said, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that it can actually help with anxiety, mental illness and several other conditions for which claims have been made that it was beneficial.
Bacopa also has a number of contraindications and side effects. It interacts poorly with anticholinergic drugs (including allergy medications containing antihistamines), Alzheimer’s disease meds, cholinergic drugs for glaucoma and thyroid hormone pills. It should not be used by people with ulcers, slow heart rates or gastrointestinal tract blockages. Pregnant women should not use it either.
Bacopa’s side effects include stomach cramps, increased bowel movements, fatigue, dry mouth and nausea. Personally, I wouldn’t want to combine something with these side effects with other drugs that have the potential to cause the same effects as it seems to only increase my likelihood of experiencing them and would, in all probability, intensify those effects were I already experiencing them.
Finally, Acetyl-L-Carnitine is an acetylated form of L-Carnitine which has been shown to improve energy in mitochondrion and influence acetylcholine for optimal brain and nerve function. Clinical studies support the idea that Acetyl-L-Carnitine can be advantageous to memory, mood and overall cognitive ability.
It has been utilized to treat age-related depression, memory loss and many mental disorders including Alzheimer’s disease. It also naturally produces energy within the body. Some evidence suggests that it may also be helpful in restoring mental abilities in alcoholics and beneficial to those with diabetes.
Regardless, Acetyl-L-Carnitine does have some risks that cannot be ignored. It causes psychosis in those suffering from bipolar disorder and can cause high blood pressure or lower blood sugar. Its other adverse effects include diarrhea, nausea, trouble sleeping and headaches.
So there you have it! Alpha ZXT does not seem to be a viable nootropic blend nor does the company behind it appear to be a trustworthy manufacturer. Its reputation among consumers and reviewers is likewise questionable. Consumer Health Digest gave it three stars while the trusted website Nootriment only gave it one star, citing the same shadiness I detailed here. Supplement Critique gave it two and a half stars in an article that begged the question, “Is Alpha ZXT a miracle drug or a hoax?”
In said article, reviewer Rob Miller even notes that Nowtropic has used bogus celebrity endorsements to try and market their brand. In one of their ads, they quote Denzel Washington as saying, “I would not be able to have the energy I have, the focus and ability to memorize my movie lines after just reading them once – if it wasn’t for Alpha ZXT.” Miller searched high and low for the source of this quote and came up wanting. That is because Washington never said it, the company made it up.
Nobody should have to do business with a company that lies to consumers. Especially when their lies are so obvious and pathetic. Alpha ZXT is one “wonder drug” that one should stay away from. And Nowtropic is a company that should stay away from us.