Methylene Blue: Benefits, Dosing, Where To Buy, And More!

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Key Information

Methylene blue is a versatile nootropic:

Methylene blue can improve mood, memory, focus, and protect the brain from damage.

Methylene blue boosts mitochondrial energy:

Methylene blue helps mitochondria produce more ATP, the cellular fuel for life.

Methylene blue has anti-aging effects:

Methylene blue can extend the lifespan of animals and may slow down human aging.

Methylene blue has some side effects and interactions:

Methylene blue can cause nausea, dizziness, and serotonin syndrome. It should be avoided with certain medications.

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Hey there! Welcome to my review of methylene blue.

If you want to try one of the planet’s most potent, well-studied nootropics, methylene blue may be just the ticket.

Despite not being a household name, methylene blue delivers potent health benefits throughout the body. Many clinical studies demonstrate its ability to improve memory, focus, and mood while offering a high level of neuroprotection.

Over the last few years, Methylene Blue’s popularity has exploded due to its promotion by popular biohackers and influential voices in the health and wellness space. However, its use dates back to the 1800s, when it was used as an antiseptic and medication for various diseases.

In short, Methylene Blue’s high reward and low-risk profile make it one of the most promising supplements available today!

This article explores the rewards methylene blue delivers while also touching on proper dosing, potential risks, and my experience using it.

Each time I use it, I get a noticeable boost in both brain and physical energy, especially when paired with a nootropic like Mind Lab Pro or Noocube.

Toss in a little coffee and Im bursting with unstoppable energy!

Erik Abramowitz – HolisticNootropics.com

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Pros

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Cons

  • Contraindicated for use alongside other serotonergic compounds like SSRI’s, 5-HTP, St John’s Wort, etc due to high serotonin-inducing nature

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Cons

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What Is Methylene Blue?

Methylene Blue
Methylene blue is a synthetic substance that was initially used as a dye. It’s also known by some other names, including methylthioninium chloride and methyl thionine chloride.

Methylene Blue is a fascinating molecule that has been used for over a century as a medicine.

This versatile compound has a range of health benefits that make it a promising area of research.

As an antioxidant, Methylene Blue can help to protect cells from oxidative damage and reduce inflammation.

Its cognitive benefits are particularly intriguing, as it has been shown to improve memory, enhance focus, and even combat symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Additionally, Methylene Blue has been linked to longevity benefits, with some studies suggesting that it may help slow down aging.

So, whether you’re looking to improve your brain function, protect against disease, or simply stay healthy as you age, Methylene Blue is a molecule that deserves your attention.

My Personal Experience

I recently started using methylene blue after hearing about it through many of the same channels as you have.

My order of CZTL’s 5-gram package of MB came fast and included instructions, 5 vials of 1 gram of MB, and a certificate of analysis.

I’ve heard of several ways of using MB, so I purchased empty gelatin capsules and made 100mg doses. This does fit my appropriate personal dose of .5-4 mg/kg.

As excited as I was to dive into this product, I admittedly made the fatal flaw of not using EXTREME caution when making my capsules and ended up with a blue mess.

It looks like a Blue man was savagely beaten in my kitchen, and blue blood splatter continues to appear in the most random places.

Sorry for the graphic imagery, but you MUST BE CAREFUL!

As I don’t have any particular medical condition and I’m more experimenting than anything else, I only do the blue a few times a week as this is a powerful therapy that can result in excess serotonin, I don’t find it necessary to dose daily.

RESULTS

From the jump, I’ve noticed boosted energy and mental clarity each time after using it.

I always use it on an empty stomach, although there is some nausea that follows, much like B-vitamins when taken on an empty stomach. For those sensitive biohackers, dosing with food may be optimal.

I also noticed blue pee, which I was warned about coming in.

You will probably notice blue tongue and mouth for those using drops, liquid, or other oral methods.

If neuroprotection and memory enhancement is your jam, you must be patient and observe longer-term patterns to see benefits.

Shockingly my sleep improved with fewer wakeups and seemingly more deep, restorative sleep.

Each time I use it, I notice the following day, I wake up with lots of David Goggins energy, ready to crush the day and take souls!

This is my personal experience; please remember that your experience may differ.

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How Methylene Blue Works In The Brain

Methylene blue works in the brain by crossing the blood-brain barrier. Once it’s in the brain, it can reversibly inhibit MAO-A. This means that methylene blue can prevent dopamine and serotonin from breaking down, leading to increased levels of these neurotransmitters.1R R Ramsay, C Dunford, and P K Gillman, Methylene blue and serotonin toxicity: inhibition of monoamine oxidase A (MAO A) confirms a theoretical prediction Br J Pharmacol. 2007 Nov

Dopamine and serotonin are essential for cognitive function since they play primary roles in memory, focus, learning, mood, and many other aspects of brain health. By increasing levels of these neurotransmitters, methylene blue can significantly benefit cognitive performance and overall well-being.

Methylene Blue

Another hallmark brain function of Methylene blue is its ability to boost mitochondrial ATP production.

By enhancing brain cell ATP, methylene blue acts as a natural nootropic while limiting free-radical production, which keeps the brain young and healthy.

This is a major reason why methylene blue is prized as an essential compound in the anti-aging space!2T Komlódi , L Tretter, Methylene blue stimulates substrate-level phosphorylation catalysed by succinyl-CoA ligase in the citric acid cycle Neuropharmacology. 2017

Check out some of Methylene Blue’s Brain-Boosting benefits below!

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I highly recommend adding red light therapy to get the most out of your methylene blue regimen.

Both red light and MB boost mitochondrial performance by enhancing ATP output through the electron transport chain.

They each do this, however, in 2 distinct ways.

Without getting too deep into biochemistry, methylene blue acts as an electron donor, and red light boosts the capabilities of Cytochrome C Oxidase (Complex 4) of the electron transport chain.

It’s like transforming a Denny’s line cook working with limited ingredients into an award-winning chef using premium ingredients. – Shout out to all Denny’s line cooks!

In this case, the line cook is Cytochrome C oxidase transformed by red light, and the ingredients are the electrons delivered by methylene blue.

In short, a souped-up electron transport chain powers mitochondria to produce more ATP.
More ATP equals more cellular energy and better performance, which is especially important for neuroprotection, as cognitive decline can be attributed to mitochondrial dysfunction.

These combined therapies are also associated with increased DNA repair, synaptogenesis, and BDNF,3F. Gonzalez-Lima* and Allison Auchter, Protection against neurodegeneration with low-dose methylene blue and near-infrared light Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 20154Marta Méndezab, Camino Fidalgo, Jorge L. Ariasa, Natalia Arias Methylene blue and photobiomodulation recover cognitive impairment in hepatic encephalopathy through different effects on cytochrome c-oxidase Behavioural Brain Research. 2021 all of which contribute to a more youthful, healthy brain.

LEARN MORE ABOUT RED LIGHT THERAPY

Methylene Blue and Memory Enhancement

Methylene blue has been found to improve memory in many studies.5Penny D Riha , Aleksandra K Bruchey, David J Echevarria, F Gonzalez-Lima, Memory facilitation by methylene blue: dose-dependent effect on behavior and brain oxygen consumption Eur J Pharmacol. 2005

One paper showed that methylene blue could reverse forgetfulness and enhance cognitive function in people with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.6Julio C. Rojas,a Aleksandra K. Bruchey,a and F. Gonzalez-Lima, Neurometabolic mechanisms for memory enhancement and neuroprotection of methylene blue Prog Neurobiol. 2012

Methylene Blue

In another study, methylene blue was shown to be effective at preventing age-related memory decline. It was even able to restore some lost memories in aging rats!7Narriman Lee Callaway , Penny D Riha, Aleksandra K Bruchey, Zeenat Munshi, F Gonzalez-Lima, Methylene blue improves brain oxidative metabolism and memory retention in rats Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004

In fact, one study showed that methylene blue was even able to reduce plaque build-up in the brains of mice with Alzheimer’s disease. Plaque build-up is a hallmark sign of Alzheimer’s.8David X. Medina, Antonella Caccamo, and Salvatore Oddo, Methylene Blue Reduces Aβ Levels and Rescues Early Cognitive Deficit by Increasing Proteasome Activity Brain Pathol. 2011

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If you’re looking for a way to improve your memory, methylene blue might be the answer.

Neuroprotection

One of methylene blue’s most important benefits is its ability to protect the brain from damage.

It does this by increasing energy production in cells and preventing them from dying prematurely.

This can help prevent or slow down neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.9Shao-Hua Yang, Wenjun Li, Nathalie Sumien , Michael Forster , James W Simpkins, Ran Liu, Alternative mitochondrial electron transfer for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and cancers: Methylene blue connects the dots Prog Neurobiol. 2017

Multiple studies demonstrate methylene blue’s protective effects on the brain. One study found that methylene blue can in fact protect cells from free radicals.10M J Kelner, R Bagnell, B Hale, N M Alexander, Potential of methylene blue to block oxygen radical generation in reperfusion injury Basic Life Sci. 1988

Methylene Blue

Another study, carried out by researchers at the Max-Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine, showed methylene blue to be effective against neuroinflammation caused by microglia. Microglia are immune cells located in the brain whose job is similar to white blood cells – they attack threats like infections. But when there is nothing to fight off, their presence can cause inflammation leading to problems like Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease (Parkinson’s Disease Treatment & Management). This means methylene blue might serve as an effective treatment for conditions involving harmful levels.11Payam Dibaj , Jana Zschüntzsch, Heinz Steffens, Jörg Scheffel, Bettina Göricke, Jochen H Weishaupt, Karim Le Meur, Frank Kirchhoff, Uwe-Karsten Hanisch, Eike D Schomburg, Clemens Neusch, Influence of methylene blue on microglia-induced inflammation and motor neuron degeneration in the SOD1(G93A) model for ALS nPLoS One. 2012

As an antioxidant, it has been shown to reduce tau protein aggregation while improving energy metabolism. These actions are of particular interest for treating neurodegenerative diseases with tau protein aggregates known as tauopathies.12Claude Michel Wischik,Damon Wischik, Peter Bentham, Kwang Meng Seng Tau aggregation inhibitor (TAI) therapy with rember™ arrests disease progression in mild and moderate Alzheimer’s disease over 50 weeks Alzheimer’s & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association . 2008

MB improved the behavioral abnormalities in one study and reduced tau pathology, inflammation, and oxidative damage in mice by upregulating Nrf2/ARE genes.13Artem P.GureevaMikhail Yu.SyromyatnikovaTatyana M.GorbachevaaAnatoly A.StarkovbVasily N.Popov, Methylene blue improves sensorimotor phenotype and decreases anxiety in parallel with activating brain mitochondria biogenesis in mid-age mice Neuroscience Research. 2016

This is exciting considering all the benefits Nrf2 activation can elicit.14Artem P. Gureev, Ekaterina A. Shaforostova, Vasily N. Popov, Regulation of Mitochondrial Biogenesis as a Way for Active Longevity: Interaction Between the Nrf2 and PGC-1α Signaling Pathways Front. Genet., 14 May 2019

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Mood- Enhancement

Methylene Blue
Methylene blue can also help improve mood disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

One study found that methylene blue could even effectively improve symptoms of bipolar disorder.15Martin Alda,Margaret McKinnon,Ryan Blagdon,Julie Garnham,Susan MacLellan,Claire O’Donovan,Tomas Hajek,Cynthia Nair,Serdar Dursun and Glenda MacQueen, Methylene blue treatment for residual symptoms of bipolar disorder: Randomised crossover study Cambridge University Press:2018

Anxiety and Depression

Methylene blue shows promise in combatting anxiety and depression precisely due to its effectiveness at preventing oxidative stress-related cell damage.16Martin Alda , Margaret McKinnon , Ryan Blagdon , Julie Garnham , Susan MacLellan , Claire O’Donovan , Tomas Hajek , Cynthia Nair , Serdar Dursun , Glenda MacQueen, Methylene blue treatment for residual symptoms of bipolar disorder: randomised crossover study Br J Psychiatry. 2017

This can avoid the harmful effects of chronic stress, which increases anxiety and other harmful physical changes like increased risk for heart disease or obesity.

One animal model suggests that methylene blue may also be helpful as an alternative treatment for schizophrenia.17S I Deutsch , R B Rosse, B L Schwartz, M Fay-McCarthy, P B Rosenberg, K Fearing, Methylene blue adjuvant therapy of schizophrenia Clin Neuropharmacol. 1997

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Anti-Aging Effects

Methylene Blue

Methylene blue works by helping your mitochondria produce more energy. This extra energy helps protect cells from damage – including the kind of damage that leads to aging.18Oana M Duicu , Andreea Privistirescu , Adrian Wolf , Alexandra Petruş , Maria D Dănilă , Corina D Raţiu , Danina M Muntean , Adrian Sturza, Methylene blue improves mitochondrial respiration and decreases oxidative stress in a substrate-dependent manner in diabetic rat hearts Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2017

Because methylene blue boosts this anti-aging effect, it has slowed some signs of aging in animal models.

One study published in the journal Cell showed that methylene blue could extend the lifespan of worms by up to 20%.19Alexandra Vaccaro, Shunmoogum A. Patten, Sorana Ciura, Claudia Maios, Martine Therrien, Pierre Drapeau, Edor Kabashi, J. Alex Parker, Methylene Blue Protects against TDP-43 and FUS Neuronal Toxicity in C. elegans and D. rerio pLos One. 2012

Another study on fruit flies showed that methylene blue could extend their lifespan by up to 15%.

And finally, a study published in The Journals of Gerontology showed that methylene blue can increase the lifespan of mice by up to 14%.

While more research is needed, these studies suggest that methylene blue might be able to help you live a longer and healthier life.

Several studies suggest methylene blue could have an anti-aging effect on humans too! And unlike many longevity treatments, methylene blue’s low price tag makes it a cost-effective way to fight the signs of aging.

Mitochondrial Energy

Methylene blue is a mitochondrial booster. This means that it helps mitochondria produce more energy. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells, and when they have more energy, they can do a better job protecting us from damage.

This extra energy methylene blue can help protect cells from damage. Even better, methylene blue can help protect mitochondria themselves from harm. One study published in the journal Redox Biology showed that methylene blue could protect cells and increase energy production even when exposed to a toxin.

Methylene Blue

Methylene blue has been shown to induce mitochondrial biogenesis, which increases the number of mitochondria inside cells through Nrf2 by stimulating H2O2 production and changing the relation NAD+/NADH, leading to PGC-1α activation through phosphorylation by AMPK.20Artem P. Gureev, Ekaterina A. Shaforostova and Vasily N. Popov, Regulation of Mitochondrial Biogenesis as a Way for Active Longevity: Interaction Between the Nrf2 and PGC-1α Signaling Pathways Front. Genet., 14 May 2019

Methylene Blue and Traumatic Brain Injury

Multiple studies show that MB is a potential candidate for TBI treatment.

One study showed methylene blue could reduce swelling and inflammation in rats after a TBI.21Ashley M. Fenn, John P. Skendelas, Daniel N. Moussa,Megan M. Muccigrosso, Phillip G. Popovich, Jonathan Lifshitz,Daniel S. Eiferman,corresponding and Jonathan P. Godbout, Methylene Blue Attenuates Traumatic Brain Injury-Associated Neuroinflammation and Acute Depressive-Like Behavior in Mice J Neurotrauma. 2015

Methylene Blue

Another found that methylene blue could improve memory, learning, and coordination when administered shortly after a traumatic brain injury.22Lora Talley Watts, Justin Alexander Long, Jonathan Chemello, Samantha Van Koughnet, Angelica Fernandez, Shiliang Huang,1 Qiang Shen,and Timothy Q. Duong, Methylene Blue Is Neuroprotective against Mild Traumatic Brain Injury J Neurotrauma. 2014

Methylene blue even has potential as a preventative measure as this same study showed that it blue could protect rats from TBI-induced damage when given before the injury occurred.

Methylene Blue Side Effects and Toxicity

Methylene blue is generally safe and well-tolerated.

That said, there are some potential side effects to be aware of before you start taking methylene blue. These include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, anxiety, and confusion.

Most of these side effects are mild and disappear after a few days or weeks. However, you must consult with your doctor before starting methylene blue if you have any preexisting conditions that could worsen these side effects.

Methylene blue is also toxic in high doses. It’s essential not to take more than the recommended dose – doing so could lead to serious health problems.

Serotonin Syndrome

Methylene blue can also cause serotonin syndrome.23Kailash Kapadia, Felix Cheung, Wai Lee, Richard Thalappillil, F. Barry Florence,and Jason Kim, Methylene Blue Causing Serotonin Syndrome Following Cystocele RepairUrol Case Rep. 2016

This is a rare but potentially dangerous health condition caused by excess levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin.

Methylene blue causes this because it inhibits an enzyme called monoamine oxidase (MAO).

By inhibiting MAO, methylene blue increases our body’s level of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine – three neurotransmitters that play essential roles in regulating mood.

Too much of one or more of these neurotransmitters can lead to symptoms like rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, sweating, shivering/shaking, nausea and vomiting, confusion and disorientation, agitation, and anxiety.

This is why you should avoid Methylene Blue when taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), or other MAOIs.

It’s also recommended to avoid it while Pregnant or Breastfeeding.

Methylene Blue

Methylene Blue Dosage

Methylene Blue dosage depends on your reason for taking it. The preponderance of scientific evidence shows that low-dose use hits the sweet spot for effectiveness while avoiding issues like serotonin syndrome. 0.5–4 mg/kg taken orally is acceptable in both human and animal studies.24F. Gonzalez-Lima and Allison Auchter, Protection against neurodegeneration with low-dose methylene blue and near-infrared light Front. Cell. Neurosci., 12 May 2015

By IV 0.1 to 0.2 mL per kilogram of body weight.25RxList, METHYLENE BLUE RxList.2021

Contraindications

Avoid Methylene Blue in combination with the following drugs and supplements:

  • 5-HTP
  • Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)
  • Wellbutrin XL (bupropion)
  • Norco (acetaminophen/hydrocodone)

Drugs.com also recommends checking with your doctor about using Methylene Blue if you are using the following medications:

  • alfentanil, fentanyl;
  • buspirone;
  • digoxin, digitalis;
  • dihydroergotamine, ergotamine;
  • phenytoin;
  • pimozide;
  • quinidine;
  • warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
  • an MAO inhibitor–isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others;
  • an “SSRI” antidepressant–citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, and others;
  • an “SNRI” antidepressant–desvenlafaxine, duloxetine, levomilnacipran, milnacipran, venlafaxine, Effexor, Cymbalta, Pristiq, and others;
  • other antidepressants–bupropion, clomipramine, mirtazapine; or
  • Medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection–cyclosporine, sirolimus, tacrolimus.


References
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Author

Erik Abramowitz is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), Naturopathic Doctoral student, health coach, and father. He is the primary content creator for HolisticNootropics.com and the host of the Holistic Nootropics Podcast.

3 responses to “Methylene Blue: Benefits, Dosing, Where To Buy, And More!”

  1. Brooke Daniel Avatar
    Brooke Daniel

    Could I take this in place of vyvance?? I am looking for a healthier solution. I understand you can’t answer medical questions, but I’m confident my doctor will not answer this for me.
    Thanks!

  2. Michael Castillo Avatar
    Michael Castillo

    Why is MB made 0.5% or 5mg/ml, when a 100 kg man needs 0.5 mg/kg (starting0 of MB or 50mg, This means a 50ml bottle last 2.5 days. Am I missing something?

  3. Keith Sutyak Avatar
    Keith Sutyak

    How do I order Methylene Blue?

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