T Nation

Ritalin and Cortisol


Do you think that taking ritalin, given to an adult can increase a stress hormone like cortisol? I take it because I have had 2 craniotmies, chemo, radiation, and have some of my frontal lobe removed. It is given for cognitive function. I am just wondering if it in turn can increase bodyfat.


Increases in bodyfat are from consuming to many calories. If it makes you crave food more and you give into the cravings and you don't burn off the extra calories you are consuming then yes you will gain bodyfat.


Ritalin cause your body to release catecholamines which are catabolic and cause lots of oxidative stress. so yes ritalin will increase cortisol and since it is catabolic even though it may not cause you to crave food more it can increase your bodyfat.
It sounds like you really need to take it though so don't worry about it too much if your doctor prescribed it to you im sure its benefits outweigh the harm.


Ritalin has serious side effects... Why don't you try stopping it and trying some natural alternatives? I've found this stack to be great for mental function and overall body composition:

Fish oil - 30g/day (liquid not caps) higher DHA = better brain function
Acetyl L-carnitine - 3g-6g in the morning
Alpha GPC - 400mg-1200mg in the morning
Huperzine + B9

This stack has been shown to have a number of brain and concentration benefits and even repair damaged neurons. And worst case scenario you can take some caffeine.

All are healthier options than ritalin and will vastly improve your body composition along the way. Far too many doctors are quick on the trigger with pharmaceuticals.


30g fish oil seems a bit high based on standard ratios O3 to non O3's IMO

that being said you could also check out the brain function booster thread.

Aniracetam, DMAE and Vinpocetine is a very good stack that many people like, as well as me


Just starting some discussion - why in your opinion is that too much omega-3's?
Studies have estimated that our paleolithic ancestors consumed between 300g-400g of omega-3's per week!
And on top of that an omega-3:omega-6 ratio of 1:1 is usually recommended. It's been estimated that most diets today are skewed at the least 1:15 in favor of omega-6's.
Finally, when you actually go through the research, you'll find that pretty much every disease known to man can be improved by taking omega-3s.
I'd say the only reason NOT to supplement with that many omega-3s is if your diet consistently includes wild and grass fed meats (very high in omega-3s) - but that's rarely if ever the case


any time i overdid it on the fish oils i would get a nose bleed.

my comfort zone is about 6 grams a day.

i would suggest to stick with your doctors recommendation rather than try to do self medicate using substances whose mechanisms of action are unknown and that are prescribed to people with alzheimers and dementia.

noody really knows effects of using those "brain boosters" and when you have alzheimers or dementia the benefits outweigh the risks it doesn't really matter you can only go up from there

if you wanted to add in some supplements along with ur prescription i would suggest adding in lots of wild blueberries lots of fresh fruits and veggies some fish oil maybe some astragulus root and olive leaf extract


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I have ADHD and have found that a nootropic called 'phenibut' works quite effectively at mitigating many of the symptoms of ADHD (helps me relax, sleep better, less hyperactive body and mind etc). Whilst I have not tried ritalin (doctors won't give it to me) I understand one of its primary uses is to suppress the symptoms of ADHD, and I can attest that phenbut does this very successfully.

One of the reasons the doctor gave me for refusing to prescribe me ritalin was that it can have serious effects on the metabolism and other 'very dangerous side effects' I believe her exact words were; then again this was the doctor who told me to lose weight to get rid of gyno...


OP has had parts of his frontal lobe removed.

The 'doctor' that prescribed him the medication is most likely a neurologist
or something of the like and not his psychiatrist.

Ritalin stimulates the frontal lobe as well as parts of the brain stem(which
was discovered only about 10 to 12 years ago) Before that it was thought that
neurons last a lifetime and never undergo tissue renewal. The fact that this was
found out only 10-12 years ago gives a good idea of how little is known about the
workings of the brain.

The possibility of the brain stem cells to differentiate and regenerate frontal lobe
tissue is most likely the reason that his 'doctor' prescribed him ritalin. If his doctor knew about nootropics would he have prescribed them? IMO only if there was a certain nootropic that was better suited for his medical condition.

The key word there is medical condition should nootropics(or I should say racetams specifically) be given to people to improve cognitive function?
IMO only if the possible benefits outweigh the possible risks.(What are the possible risks? I don't know but I can think a broad spectrum of POSSIBLE risks that range from cell apoptosis all the way to brain cells behaving asocially leading to cancer. When you take these things when you're old and in a senile state you probably won't develop cancer but if you start taking them when you're under 30 and do so for a considerable period of time IMO just using common sense it is possible.

"In fact it is entirely possible that anyone with any degree of critical thinking and access to the internet can design themselves a perfectly safe nootropic stack that will be more effective and far less damaging than what the doctor prescribes them."
This is a very general statement your doctor can prescribe you an antibiotic as a placebo and if you take fish oil it can be true. MAY be true for non-extreme cases of depression, anxiety or other few circumstances depending on what kind of nootropics you are talking about.
In most cases I would have to disagree and think that is quite ridiculous. That statement just made me think Kevin Trudeau and I think he thinks that aliens are still after him.

It's your brain you can put as many racetams and vintopentenes or whatever they're called in them, it's not right to influence impressionable people that read a few message boards and read a few pubmed articles and think they have done "research" what to do with theirs.