The Truth About Nootropic Supplements

A variety of substances claim to boost mental function, from prescription medications like stimulant drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to natural supplements and herbal remedies such as ginkgo biloba and L-theanine. However, most of these cognitive enhancers have not held up to scientific scrutiny or may pose potential health risks.Resource

While many people use nootropics to improve their memory, they can also help boost mental energy, focus and motivation. In addition, some nootropics are neuroprotective, meaning they can prevent brain damage and slow the progression of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Nootropics are a broad group of synthetic or non-synthetic substances that can be taken orally to enhance cognition and mental performance. They may be prescribed medications or dietary supplements, and are used by healthy adults or people suffering from specific conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Nootropics are sometimes referred to as smart drugs, memory-enhancing substances or cognitive enhancers.

Nootropics 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Unlocking Your Brain’s Full Potential

Prescription nootropics include Modafinil, which is FDA-approved for treating narcolepsy, sleep apnea and shift work disorder and has been found to increase cognition in healthy subjects. The more common dietary supplements are known as “stacks.” Some people choose to create their own home-brewed stacks on the internet, while others opt for ready-made multi-ingredient formulas marketed as cognitive enhancements that have been subjected to regulated and medically reviewed safety and quality testing.

While some of these supplements have been shown to improve cognitive functions, most haven’t been tested in combination and some (such as caffeine) can cause side effects like headaches, stomach upset, and insomnia. For this reason, Guirguis advises that if you do want to try nootropics, choose a pre-made stack supplement such as Mind Lab Pro(r) that is formulated with research-backed ingredients and backed by results from well designed clinical trials.