Updated: Apr 5, 2022
The ATP Nootropic
In studies, even at high concentrations, methylene blue has been found to be very safe. Typically, a dose of 0.5 mg/kg has been used, mixed with water.
Methylene Blue has shown to delay cellular aging and enhance mitochondrial pathways
It decreases the production of proteins related to Alzheimer's Disease
It has memory enhancing potential
It slows skin aging while promoting generation of elastin and collagen
Some studies show potential to have anti-depressant properties
It improves cognitive ability, especially in scenarios with neurodegeneration factors
It can improve sleep and eliminates stress
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Methylene blue was first used in the treatment of malaria in 1891, researchers found that MB would concentrate in the brain and selectively target diseased tissues. For this reason, it has been used to treat dementia, cancer, malaria, urinary tract infections, and cyanide/carbon monoxide poisoning.
Mechanism of Action
Methylene Blue crosses the blood brain barrier and improves mitochondrial efficiency and respiration. As aging occurs mitochondrial energy levels decline, attention/ ability to focus declines, cerebral blood flow declines, free radicals damage blood and brain cells, and tau proteins/amyloid plaques clog the brain. MB boosts cell mitochondria energy levels by acting as an electron donor to mitochondria which increases ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production. A human's mental and physical performance relies fully on ATP production, methylene blue boosts this reaction. MB is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, which
urine coloration (blue)
extremely high doses report opposite effect (interrupt ATP production)
Xiong et Al. performed a study of methylene blue and it's application to skin regenerative and anti-aging processes. They hypothesized that since oxidative stress causes skin aging and the application of anti-oxidants aids in the reversals of these stressors, than methylene blue, a traditional mitochondrial-targeting antioxidant, has potention to be an effective approach to delay the skin aging process. They found methylene blue to be more effective in stimulating skin fibroblast proliferation and delaying cellular aging than other similar anti-oxidants. Methylene blue improved skin hydration, increased skin dermal thickness, and promoted wound healing, while upregulating elastin and collagen 2A1.
Xiong, ZM., O’Donovan, M., Sun, L. et al. Anti-Aging Potentials of Methylene Blue for Human Skin Longevity. Sci Rep7, 2475 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-02419-3
Tucker, D., Lu, Y. & Zhang, Q. carried out a study on Methylene blue (MB) to investigate it's role in mitochondria and neuroinflammation effects. They found Methylene blue to have a beneficial effect on mitochondrial protection, mitigating neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration (including associated behavioural phenotypes to diseases such as stroke, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, brain injury and more).
Tucker, D., Lu, Y. & Zhang, Q. From Mitochondrial Function to Neuroprotection—an Emerging Role for Methylene Blue. Mol Neurobiol55, 5137–5153 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12035-017-0712-2
Age Related Decline
Artem et al. undertook a study in 2016 to look at methylene blue as a potential candidate for neurodegenerative diseases associated with aging. They noted that aged mice tended to have a decrease in physical endurance, spontaneous locomotor activity, and exploration reluctance as well as an increase in anxiety-related behavior when compared to adult mice. The authors found that by treating the mice with Methylene Blue for 60 days. They found that methylene blue significantly increased the generation of reactive oxygen species in brain mitochrondria without significant change in oxygen consumption rates, respiratory quotient index, or weight. They also found methylene blue to restore the expression of several genes relevant to mitochondria biogenesis, bioenergetics, and antioxidant defense (NRF1, MTCOX1, TFAM, and SOD2) that were significantly lowered in the geriatric mice.
Artem P. Gureeva, Mikhail Yu. Syromyatnikova, Tatyana M. Gorbachevaa, Anatoly A.Starkovb, Vasily N. Popovaa, Methylene blue improves sensorimotor phenotype and decreases anxiety in parallel with activating brain mitochondria biogenesis in mid-age mice, 2016
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