Testing nootropics for quality and efficacy is our main shtick. Recently, we got our hands on a stack by Opti-Nutra called “Mind Lab Pro.” This preformulated product has been creating quite a stir in the brain enhancement community, so we wanted to know what all the fuss was about. After using it for several months, we’re back with our report.
Knowing that pre-made stacks are now being manufactured at lightning speed, we weren’t surprised by how difficult it seemed to find a good one. Onnit Labs introduced “Alpha Brain” not too long ago, and Maven Labs brought out “Brain Stack” shortly thereafter. With such incredible competition, why does Mind Lab Pro get the most attention? Because, unlike the others we mentioned, MLP is an all-inclusive stack.
In the ever-growing market of cognitive-enhancing smart drugs, the Opti-Nutra company has made a reputable name for itself. With the Mind Lab Pro stack classified as a “nutraceutical,” that means all its ingredients are naturally derived. Although the same could be said about some of the other nootropic stacks on the market, only this one is formulated to enhance cognitive function in more than just a few areas. In other words, it benefits the whole brain instead of just 2 or 3 chosen parts of it.
Although each manufacturer has its own production standards, Opti-Nutra seems to be taking a brazen approach to making cognitive enhancement supplements. Their all-natural, all-inclusive regimen aims to improve all aspects of the human brain. This includes transforming the user’s mood while helping them concentrate better, but it also means the Mind Lab Pro user will enjoy increased mental performance as well.
While products such as Onnit Labs’ “Alpha Brain” and Maven Labs’ “Brain Stack” focus primarily on improving long-term memory, focus, and mental processing speed, Opti-Nutra’s “Mind Lab Pro” stack has a unique combination of ingredients that are designed to boost all functions of the brain. In fact, the remarkable mixture can even repair some damages and tends to increase blood flow to the brain after it’s been taken for a while.
What’s Inside the Bottle?
We’re just like you; we want to know why a product works, especially if we’re ingesting it. These little magic bottles of brain potion are alluring, yes, but we’ve learned the hard way how to be more diligent with our purchases. Good false advertising can trick even the biggest skeptic, so do your research. Quality brain enhancing supplements will positively affect your mental energy by clearing the way for neurotransmitters through increased blood flow, enhanced brain wave activity, neuroprotection, and tissue regeneration.
With all that said, any nootropics manufacturer can claim that their product does everything mentioned above. That’s why knowing what’s actually in the bottle is so important, and precisely why we have dedicated an entire section of this review to exploring the label of Mind Lab Pro by Opti-Nutra. We wanted to know if the product was popular because of great marketing or if it was truly worth the money. It turns out, the quality and quantity of the nootropics in each bottle is quite impressive.
In fact, we noticed immediately that the ingredients in Mind Lab Pro were top-notch. The manufacturer obviously went above and beyond to create a preformulated stack using only the highest quality, scientifically proven effective stuff. And although we found that some of the ingredients were the same as Alpha Brain and Brain Stack, there were some glaring differences that we think are responsible for the potent efficacy of Mind Lab Pro.
Moreover, the quantities of each nootropic are spelled out in detail on each MLP label; we liked that. When using products like Alpha Brain, we ended up being subject to the manufacturer’s “unique” proprietary blend. We never knew what we were paying for, and we were never quite as impressed as we were with Mind Lab Pro. It we noticed that our star product outranked the transparently made Brain Stack as well, primarily by using the powerful vinpocetine as its main neurovasodilator, instead of using Huperzine A like most of the others. And while we agree that Huperzine A is a terrific cerebral blood flow stimulator, it has a short 24-hour half-life which makes it difficult to dose properly. That means MLP wins again.
The quality of the ingredients in each bottle of Mind Labs Pro is nothing to scoff at either. Whenever possible, Opti-Nutra utilizes premium patented compounds that have been verified by scientific research as the most effective on the market. For example, MPL features 250mg of brand-name Cognizin as opposed to the generic citicoline used by many stacks makers. We found 100mg of Suntheanine in the place of the traditional L-Theanine too. Those premium ingredients make MPL more expensive, but we liked having access to top-of-the-line stacks for once.
Among the high-end ingredients we already mentioned, we found this other impressive stuff inside each bottle of Opti-Nutra’s Mind Labs Pro:
- Lion’s Mane [Mushroom] (500mg)
- Rhodiola Rosea (50 mg – 3% rosavins, 1% salidroside)
- N-Acetyl-Tyrosine (175 mg)
- Phosphatidylserine (100mg)
- Vinpocetine (6mg)
- Vitamin B6 (2.5mg)
- Vitamin B12 (7.5mcg)
- Pterostilbene (500mcg)
- Bacopa Monnieri (150mg, 45% bacosides)
The recommended dosage for MLP is 2-4 capsules per day, and we don’t suggest going over the maximum without a doctor’s approval. We found that dosage to be sufficient enough, but you can visit the manufacturer’s page for more information about what’s inside each bottle or how the maker suggests using the product.
How Does It “Stack” Up?
In our months-long research campaign which focused on the efficacy of the ingredients found in each bottle of Mind Labs Pro, we couldn’t help but notice that the maker, Opti-Nutra, had taken a somewhat exceptional approach to the product’s ultimate design. By using the most potent ingredients known to mankind, fewer individual nootropics are needed to achieve fantastic results. It doesn’t hurt one bit that those “high-end” ingredients are expertly combined for maximum brain optimization. Bravely facing the laws of supply and demand head-on, Mind Labs Pro pushes the envelope by charging significantly more than its competitors, but for a vastly better made product.
When we speak about the quality of the products, we aren’t speaking about the source through which the manufacturer attains them. We’re talking about the potency of each nootropic in the mix, since some of them are more powerful than others. Mind Labs Pro has taken the cream of the crop to create a stack that’s well worth the price. Let’s take a closer look at some of those high-end, multi-tasking components:
- Cognizin® (citicoline) – Cognizin® is the Cadillac of citicoline, a common ingredient used by most brain boosters. This brand name component is the most potent citicoline product on the market to date. It affects all 6 of the brain’s primary pathways and, once digested, it is turned into cytidine and choline – two chemicals that are directly responsible for improving attention span, cognition, concentration, focus, learning capacity, mood, AND memory.
(NOTE: The by-product of Cognizin®, cytidine, converts uridine to synthesize phosphatidylcholine (PC), repairing brain cells and neurons while also increasing the energy output and performance speed of the brain.)
- N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine – This essential amino acid is typically used to synthesize dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, the three main catecholamines that are in charge of regulating mood. Tyrosine restores the neurotransmitters damaged by extreme stress, while the entire acetyl group of chemicals serve as a substrate for acetylcholine synthesis if taken alongside high-quality citicoline.
- Suntheanine® (L-Theanine) – Found naturally in green and oolong teas, L-theanine is another essential amino acid that’s contained within all Mind Labs Pro bottles. This particular nootropic stimulates brain waves, provides neuroprotection, and assists the tasks of various neurotransmitters. It boosts alpha and beta brain waves (related to relaxation and creativity), increases serotonin and dopamine levels (associated with mood), and cranks up the NGF (Nerve Growth Factor) and BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) of the mind digesting it. Additionally, L-theanine improves cognition, revamps memory, and can fight against the release of glutamate, providing a calming effect that protects your mind against over-stimulation.
- Phosphatidylserine (PS) – Boosting brain energy is the name of the game for phosphatidylserine, an ingredient in MLP that comprises nearly 15% of the average human being’s total phospholipid pool. By ingesting it, users enjoy increased brain wave activity and swift tissue regeneration. PS is a natural part of the brain’s inner cell membrane, which means it helps maintain the fluidity of neuroreceptors, namely those which regulate the release of dopamine and acetylcholine. Brain cell activity is further boosted by PS due to its ability to enhance glucose metabolism and support the immune system through neurogenesis.
(NOTE: When taken with citicoline, phosphatidylserine acts as a phosphatidyl contributor during the phosphatidylcholine synthesis process.
- Bacopa Monnieri – Yet another high-end ingredient in MLP that helps to boost the activity of the brain’s neurotransmitters, Bacopa Monnieri is one the best mental anti-aging components on the planet. It has several active compounds, namely bacosides A and B, which increase the electrical signaling between neurons while building new ones. It supports the brain even more by protecting the enzymes which guard against free radical damage, not to mention its ability to back-up acetylcholine, serotonin, and GABA – three chemicals that make focused thinking, clear memory recall, and positive mood a possibility.
(NOTE: Recent research shows that Bacopa Monnieri might actually improve cerebral blood flow as well, aiding in the prevention of memory loss and stroke.)
- Vinpocetine – Synthesized using the periwinkle plant, vinpocetine is known for its cerebral circulation enhancing capabilities. It performs its magic by inhibiting the PDE1 enzyme that can wreak havoc on the brain. Improved blood flow translates to better fed blood cells, as well as streamlined utilization of oxygen and glucose, resulting in increased alertness, better cognition, improved focus, and boosted memory. Vinpocetine also blocks the sodium found in neurons which ultimately counteracts the toxic shock of oxidative stress.
- Pterostilbene – Abundantly available in nature, pterostilbene is a polyphenol found in dark fruit such as blueberries and red grapes. Mind Labs Pro uses high-quality pterostilbene in each bottle because it increases neurogenesis in the hippocampus, not to mention how it significantly improves IGF-1 (Insulin Growth Factor-1) – a proponent which controls the receptor kinase pathways in charge of learning. Additionally, pterostilbene prevents the loss of dopamine from the essential learning centers of the brain, providing astounding longevity as well promoting mental health.
(NOTE: As a potent anti-inflammatory and powerful antioxidant, pterostilbene is a polyphenol that decreases reactive oxygen species while increasing the superoxide dismutase (SOD), improving memory significantly, even in small doses.)
- Lion’s Mane Mushroom – Being the only known mushroom to have a positive impact on brain health, the lion’s mane provides surprising neuroprotective benefits to the cerebral cells that encounter it. This unique mushroom stimulates enzyme development, namely the enzymes that are responsible for the release of NGF (Nerve Growth Factor). This innate power of lion’s mane is most noticeable when it provides mood stabilization, anti-anxiety, and anti-depression benefits.
- Rhodiola Rosea – One of the best-known nootropics for stress reduction, rhodiola rosea affects the brain’s norepinephrine and serotonin levels as it helps to grow new and repair old cells. This marvelous mental boost speeds cognitive performance, reduces fatigue, maintains alertness, and supports cerebral stamina. Like a pro, rhodiola rosea quickens neurogenesis and the re-synthesis of precious ATP (the primary fuel of the brain). In fact, one the components of this nootropic, salidroside, prevents stress-induced cell death by adding an extra layer of protection to the brain’s most essential neurons.
- Vitamin B6 – Used as a brain enhancing supplement, vitamin B6 supports cerebral blood flow like none other. Moreover, it actually assists in the production (not the protection) of the feel-good hormones, serotonin, norepinephrine, melatonin. Known scientifically as P-5-P, this important vitamin also helps to keep homocysteine in check, and when taken alongside vitamin B12, it can help the body create red blood cells and maintain a healthy immune system.
- Vitamin B12 – The Mind Lab Pro formula features the kind of vitamin B12 that is compulsory for the synthesis of DNA and RNA. This is one of the most essential of the nootropics on the label, mostly because it’s captain of converting carbs and fatty acids into glucose – a brain cell’s favorite source of energy.
(NOTE: Make sure the stack you choose has both vitamins B6 and B12 in it, since each is vital to the efficacy of the other.)
We found that Mind Labs Pro uses organic, non-allergenic ingredients whenever they can. This is a cofactor of the extraneous cost, but once again, we’ll take quality over quantity any day. For example, the Phosphatidylserine (PS) used in each bottle is derived from non-soy sources such as sunflower lecithin. In our opinion, that makes MPL safer than its competitors.
As mentioned, this brain supplement’s label displays the ingredients (and their amounts). We did notice, however, that most of the ingredients come in fairly modest amounts. Over time, however, it was obvious that the supreme potency of the nootropics used in Mind Labs Pro was sufficient enough to cover the reduced recipe. Additionally, the perfect ingredient synergy illustrated the manufacturer’s groundbreaking approach to unlocking the full potential of each stack. We’d say that makes it “stack up” nicely (pun intended).
There were a lot of things we liked about Mind Lab Pro. Although MLP’s effects could be felt almost immediately, the changes were not overwhelming to the senses. It was more like gaining instant mental clarity than anything else. With Mind Lab Pro, concentration and focus feel effortless and mental fatigue is a thing of the past. Essentially, it’s was more than a boost to our cognitive function, it became a boost to our ego as well. And we recalled everything along the way, because the high-quality ingredients found in Opti-Nutra’s groundbreaking formula improved our memory significantly. We even remembered the old songs we used to sing as kids (as if that’s going to do us any good).
Fortunately, we felt fine about our new and improved cognitive function, even if it began with the recollection of dorky childhood tunes. That had to have something to do with the mood supporting ingredients in each bottle of Mind Lab Pro. Don’t get us wrong; we don’t care if we stay grouchy for the rest of our lives. We can still appreciate how MLP seemed to soften our edges, and so can everyone we know.
The Final Verdict
Opti-Nutra is certainly on to something with this MLP business – improved memory, elevated mood, boosted brain function, increased focus and concentration in a single dose, is there anything it can’t do? Buy a bottle of your own or not; it doesn’t really matter to us. However, you’ll have to get in line behind us if you want some.
After much deliberation and careful consideration, we’re giving Opti-Nutra’s Mind Lab Pro a solid 9.5 out of 10, our highest rating yet. Within a few short days, our entire staff was feeling a difference in brain power and function. Having tested out several nootropics over the last couple of years, we can say without a doubt that it is fast-acting, effective, and safe. They say the average person only uses 10% of their brain, but with MLP the average person can tap into the deepest reaches of their cognitive power and pull out a mental miracle.