Nootropics are drugs, supplements, and any other substances that function as cerebral enhancers. Also known as smart drugs, they work to improve the human brain’s capacity for storing and processing memory, building creativity, and sharpening mental focus and motivation in healthy persons.
The supplement industry has seen a rapid surge within the category of nootropics, generating billions of dollars worth of sales throughout the globe in acquisitions. Many over the counter nootropics are generally considered safe by the US Food and Drug Administration, while others, such as amphetamines, are can have serious side effects. Racetams, for example, which are often imported into the US, are regarded with scrutiny due to their largely unknown qualities.
Nootropic is a word that was first used in 1972 by Romanian psychologist and chemist Corneliu E. Giurgea. Its origins come from the Greek words meaning “mind” and “to bend or turn.”
Drugs & Effects
The following are well known substances classified as nootropics:
Over The Counter
A vast line of Nootropics that have both the benefit of being
easily available and classified safe by the US Food and Drug Administration. These nootropics contain many different ingredients, such as caffeine, oxiracetam, and citicoline, ect.
Highly addictive and sometimes deadly substances which enhance the
processing of memory and attention in its user. Studies made in 2014 showed that low doses of this substance improved the state of memory recall within the brain, and also enhanced an individual’s motivation to perform tasks, especially those that asked for a higher degree of effort. But these come with a warning these are DEA Schedule II substances. Meaning they have a “high potential for abuse,” can “lead to severe psychological or physical dependence,” and are considered “dangerous”
Eugeroics (Armodafinil & Modafinil)
Classified as a wakefulness substance and available via prescription only, modafinil has been shown to increase an individual’s mental alertness, especially in sleep deprived persons, but has a wealth of serious side effects.
A working memory enhancer, methylphenidate has been
written to have decreased the learning potential in users when used at above recommended dosages, making it highly unsafe.
Highly addictive and sometimes dangerous, as well as the #1 cause of heart disease in the United States, nicotine has been the cause of slightly minor improvements in a person’s fine motor abilities and memory.
Found most commonly in caffeine, a 2007 study recorded that
xanthines were able to enhance an individual’s mental alertness and performance. Those (children and adults) who took minor doses of this substance gained increased mental properties, but needed higher doses to improve performance.
Racetams (Piracetam, Oxiracetam, Aniracetam)
Gray market supplements
which are often imported to the United States. Their mechanisms are still poorly understood, and according to the US Food and Drug Administration they are often classified as banned, due to the fact that they are not widely recognized as safe and effective in the manners prescribed, recommended, or suggested in their labeling. In stark contrast are supplements such as Iso Brain, which are developed and marketed throughout the US while also being classified as safe.
The adverse effects of pharmaceutical drugs also apply to nootropics, especially in instances when the drugs are used in a manner opposite from what has been prescribed by a physician.
Because it is legal in the United States to market dietary supplements as long as a manufacturer can provide evidence that a product is generally recognized as safe, it’s important to read and understand the properties and potential effects of any nootropics obtained. It is also advised to speak to a qualified physician for any additional information on a supplement being consumed.
Dietary supplements do not make claims that using them will help in the treatment or prevention of diseases or mental condition