Anyone who has seen the film ‘Limitless’ has probably wondered whether a similar product exists in real life, one that will make a person smarter overnight, ideally without the crippling and (nearly always) fatal side effects featured in the film. There is no drug or supplement that can make you smarter automatically, increase your IQ, or make you a senator. However, there are some nootropics that can help to boost certain aspects of brain function such as memory and learning, which will give you the tools to make yourself smarter.
Nootropic is a term for certain plants and chemicals that offer cognitive benefits to the human brain when consumed. Nootropics can be naturally occurring, or can be man-made and manufactured in a lab. There is also a cross-over section of ingredients that are naturally occurring, but can be replicated in a lab as a much cheaper cost.
The term Nootropic was coined by Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, the doctor who first synthesised Piracetam.
He stated that nootropic drugs should have the following characteristics:
- 1. They should enhance learning and memory.
- 2. They should enhance the resistance of learned behaviours/memories to conditions which tend to disrupt them (e.g. electroconvulsive shock, hypoxia).
- 3. They should protect the brain against various physical or chemical injuries (e.g. barbiturates, scopalamine).
- 4. They should increase the efficacy of the tonic cortical/subcortical control mechanisms.
- 5. They should lack the usual pharmacology of other psychotropicdrugs (e.g. sedation, motor stimulation) and possess very few side effects and extremely low toxicity.
Since 1972, when Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea first put together his definition of what a nootropic should be, the general definition of what qualifies as a nootropic has broadened somewhat.
In the original definition, a nootropic is limited to enhancing learning and memory. These days, nootropics are sold under the guise of performing a range of functions, from lowering stress to improving sleep quality. To keep it simple, just think of any supplement that changes brain chemistry and cognitive functioning as a nootropic!
Not all nootropics are created equal: that’s where we come in! This website contains a library of nootropics that we analyse for effectiveness, quality, price and business standards. We look for companies that offer strong money back guarantees and present clear information on ingredients and ingredient quantities, on top of a high quality effective nootropic product, and those that qualify get added to our approved nootropics list.
Although all nootropics have a similar effect of boosting aspects of cognitive function, they can work in a myriad of ways to achieve this. Some nootropics increase the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the brain, whilst others increase the brain’s acetylcholine levels, the neurotransmitter that is largely responsible for the brain’s memory, learning, and mood functions.
Some may be associated with decreasing levels of cortisol (a hormone tightly linked with stress levels), whilst others can increase the production of Nerve Growth Factor, making communication across the central nervous system faster (and therefore making your reactions and thought processes faster and smoother).
The low prevalence of side effects is incredibly important to us as a key defining point of a nootropic. No matter how effective a supplement is at boosting any element of cognitive function, if it can cause serious side effects that threaten the consumer’s health, or frequently causes unpleasant side effects, then we will not recommend it.
Avoiding any ingredients that can cause dependency is also incredibly important. Any supplement that provides a mental boost but at the expense of the body’s natural resources is not a real nootropic, and is not the sort of supplement that we recommend. There should be no symptoms of withdrawal, or negative side effects that occur when the consumer stops taking the supplement, and there should be no energy crash or slump that leaves you feeling worse than when you started.
So what are Nootropics?
In conclusion, a nootropic is a supplement that improves at least one aspect of cognitive function, or helps you to work with peak mental performance. A real nootropic does this whilst causing no side effects, and without any negative effects being caused by long term or regular use.
When it comes to nootropics, effectiveness is obviously incredibly important, but never at the expense of safety.
Disclaimer: Our reviews and investigations are based on extensive research from the information publicly available to us and consumers at the time of first publishing the post. Information is based on our personal opinion and whilst we endeavour to ensure information is up-to-date, manufacturers do from time to time change their products and future research may disagree with our findings. If you feel any of the information is inaccurate, please contact us and we will review the information provided.