What is Nootropics? Are They Really Smart Drugs?


Although the term nootropic originally described synthetic compounds that were supposed to enhance mental abilities, the term is now being used more broadly to describe anything that supports cognitive function– including nutrients and botanicals in dietary supplements.

The word nootropic is originated from 2 Greek words: “nous,” which suggests mind, and “tropein,” which means to flex or turn.

You’ve probably heard the term “nootropic” talked about a lot recently. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, a nootropic is a compound that improves cognition and memory and facilitates learning.

Slang dictionaries incorrectly call them “smart drugs.”

Hollywood Even Made a Movie Based on “Smart Drugs” with Limitless (2011)

Would you take a “Smart Drug” if given the opportunity like the filmĀ Limitless?


A little history lesson

The term “nootropic” has actually ended up being a hip term, it’s not brand-new. It was coined by a Romanian chemist and psychologist, Dr. Corneliu Giurgea, numerous years ago– sometime in the mid-1960s or early ’70s. The story goes that he was trying to develop a sleeping pill and wound up rather with a compound he called a nootropic– piracetam.

Dr. Guirgea described a number of particular conditions for something to be called a nootropic. It required to:

Using Ginkgo might even go back further than that because Ginkgo trees are the earliest living trees on Earth, dating back 250 million years.

1. Boost memory
2. Improve habits under negative conditions
3. Shield the brain from injury by physical or chemical methods
4. Improve tonic cortical/subcortical control mechanisms
5. Demonstrate a low toxicity and side-effect profile

Even though the advent of modern-day nootropics just dates back 50 years, there is evidence of using plants being used to affect state of mind and cognition, such as Ginkgo and coca leaves, dating back more than 10,000 years earlier.


Who uses nootropics?

The items appeal to trainees who are cramming for examinations or young, upwardly mobile experts in high-powered jobs trying to find the psychological edge to enhance imagination and performance in a competitive environment.

Much of the components you may find in a so-called nootropic, which in the past might have been discovered just on grandmother’s bedside table, can now be discovered in the book bag of a Gen-Z-er or the brief-case of a Millennial.

What are some common nootropics?

What would be consisted of on a list of typical nootropics depends upon whether you follow the strict definition for nootropics initially outlined by Dr. Giurgea 50 years ago, or whether you specify the term more loosely to incorporate anything that may support any element of cognitive function.

what is nootropics?
Nootropics can lead to increase mental attributes.

Substances frequently described as nootropics:

Besides, the word “nootropic” as well as its meaning was invented by Dr. Guirgea to describe piracetam.

Adderall is an amphetamine, and Ritalin, although not an amphetamine, is a powerful stimulant. Adverse effects can consist of insomnia, anxiety, headaches, and anorexia nervosa. When used in high doses, both can trigger hypertension, heart arrhythmias, heart attacks, hallucinations, and seizures.

A few of these medications, such as Ritalin and Adderall, have a big capacity for abuse and are not without side effects, particularly when taken in higher-than-recommended doses.

Is it a nootropic? Because it has a low side-effect profile, piracetam fits the meaning of a nootropic.

Ritalin and Adderall: It’s popular for people who wish to enhance their mental focus to utilize prescription medications usually recommended for ADHD. This practice is especially popular among Millennials and those more youthful.

A substantial body of research study indicate the benefits of dietary supplements– including different botanicals and nutrients– for supporting cognitive function, memory, focus, performance, imagination, and neurological health.

Are they nootropics? Since they can have possibly severe side effects and withdrawal symptoms, neither fits the true definition of a nootropic.

  • Botanical extracts (e.g., Panax ginseng, Ginkgo biloba, Bacopa monnieri, and Rhodiola rosea).
  • Special dietary components (e.g., creatine, L-theanine (particularly when combined with a little caffeine), acetyl-l-carnitine, resveratrol, and phosphatidylserine).
  • Prescription drugs (Adderall, Ritalin).
  • Unregulated substances (e.g., the racetams– piracetam being the most widely used).

Are “clever drugs” really nootropics?

Dietary supplements as nootropics

Caffeine– is it a nootropic? Caffeine has GRAS (normally acknowledged as safe) status as an FDA food additive.2 Although caffeine can be considered a nootropic when consumed in small amounts, in larger amounts it does not satisfy all of Dr. Giurgea’s guidelines because it can have side effects and withdrawal symptoms.

It is a prescription drug (Nootropil) in some countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, and Italy, it is not regulated in the United States as a drug or as a dietary supplement; rather, it is sold as a “research study compound” that can’t be marketed as a supplement for human intake.1.

Piracetam: Piracetam is one of a group of substances described as racetams that likewise includes phenylpiracetam, oxiracetam, and aniracetam, of which piracetam is the most commonly utilized and easily available (although, apparently not as available as in the past). It is an artificial GABA-like compound that was established by the creator of the term “nootropic”– Dr. Guirgea.

These dietary supplements are taken alone or as a “stack,” another trendy term for integrating numerous nootropics. You can find stacks that concentrate on one element of cognition; for example, motivation, healthy brain aging, or focus.

Because of their low side-effect profile and lack of dependency and withdrawal signs, supplements much better fit the true meaning of a nootropic than the so-called clever drugs, although their effects are more subtle and progressive.

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