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While limiting any negative side effects. Nootropics are commonly referred to as smart drugs, brain boosters, or cognitive enhancers. They have become increasingly popular over the last few years because they hold the great promise of improving your memory, your attention span, your mental energy, basically everything in your life.
Your brain is the control center for everything in your life. From your physical body functions to your emotions to your thinking, work, and relationships. If you can take a simple pill and improve all these areas in your life it would change everything. Hollywood has even made a movie about nootropics called Limitless. The movie was awesome, but not based in reality.
In the following article we are going to address what are good versus bad nootropics, what should you look for, what you should avoid, and show you exactly how to start improving your life with nootropics.
• memory storage and recall
• cognitive function or the ability to pay attention and comprehend ideas
• reasoning ability
• the ability to communicate
And, most importantly, it is believed that nootropics can help improve your overall health! Sounds like a magic pill, which it isn’t, but you should think of nootropics like this, your brain controls all the functioning organs in your body and from your metabolism to your nervous system; your digestive system and every organ in your body is controlled by your brain. When your brain is healthier and functioning better your entire physical well-being is improved. Not to mention your emotional makeup. Many of modern life’s maladies such as depression, anxiety, ADD, and addictions can be traced to unhealthy brains!
A critical definition of nootropics is that they convey some benefit to the brain and that they are almost completely non-toxic. This is your brain we are talking about, not something you want to experiment on. Warning: You need to be aware that many so-called nootropics available today contain stimulants like caffeine, ephedrine, or any other psychoactive drugs that temporarily increase your alertness. They do have a powerful effect on your brain, but not necessarily positive. They do not have any long-term health benefits (documented).
Adderall is specifically a schedule II controlled substance prescription drug prescribed for patients typically suffering from the effects of Attention Deficit Disorder, ADHD, and in some cases used for narcolepsy. Adderall is considered a stimulant drug with effects similar to cocaine. Because of this many people take Adderall without a prescription, illegally, and run a high risk of becoming addicted to the drug. You can also develop a tolerance for Adderall where the effects are felt less and less over time. The primary of these is Adderall, which is a medical drug associated with significant side effects and toxicity damage to your brain’s dopamine neurons, certainly not what you want!
Another commonly mislabeled nootropic is Modafinil. Many people think Modafinil is a natural and safe nootropic, but it too is a prescription drug known as Provigil. This is a prescription drug used to treat narcolepsy and other sleeping disorders. Although it has been written extensively online as a safe nootropic, it is considered a smart drug! Modafinil is regarded as a safe wakefulness inducing compound as it doesn’t produce the same withdrawal or tolerance as most stimulants have. The list of side effects of Modafinil is long and not to be disregarded, these include chest pain, anxiety, and hallucinating. Other Modafinil related side effects include stomach ache, anxiety, depression, dyskinesia, and in one documented case, psychosis.
While Modafinil is widely regarded as safe, it is still a prescription drug and should be administered and managed by a licensed physician.
By definition, according to Mr. Giurgea, nootropics are safe as they have no negative side-effects. This was the original definition and as with most things in life, it has both expanded and diluted as the research into nootropics pours in. Part of the challenge when talking about nootropic safety is that it covers such a wide range of substances and ingredients. In the following section we dive into the two main branches of nootropic interest and research, and quickly they are:
1. The immediate, short-term ‘help me today’ class of nootropics.
2. The long-term, healthier improve my brain functioning school.
You can guess where we fall in this world! While there are many prescription drugs and over the counter substances, as well as natural nootropics that have incredible positive impact on your thinking and mental well-being, we tend to favor the long-term, you can read more below about our beliefs on nootropics. So yes, nootropics are safe if you follow both professional guidelines and the extensive research on most of the major nootropic substances. The trend that we see is that there is a bit of a cult mentality around nootropics that stems from the biohacking movements. That by creating the perfect ‘stack’ of smart-drugs you can achieve super-human results in your life. In order to discover ‘the perfect stack’ one has to do a good deal of experimentation. You either have to try many different supplements and dosages or take the word of some other biohacker that this will work for you. This greatly increases the safety risks associated with nootropics. Due to the incredible number of different nootropic substances you will have to do you own research on the individual ingredients you want to try.
Studies suggest that Bacopa Monnieri supplements increase the cerebral blood flow and activates choline. Choline affects the dopamine receptors in your brain which gives you a sharper focus and attention. Ginkgo improves blood flow to the brain and acts as an antioxidant.
Specifically, in the last 50 years, Bacopa monnieri has been the focus of a great deal of scientific research on brain health, memory improvement, cognitive enhancement, and anxiety reduction. This recent science is pointing to bacopa monnieri as one of the most powerful and natural nootropic substances you can find. We would speculate this is why you see it used in such a wide variety of traditional treatments.
Which has been shown to promote cognitive function and reduce mental fatigue. It’s very safe and effective.
One, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of the effects of Rhodiola rosea on students during an examination period showed “.. the overall conclusion is that Rhodiola rosea gave significant results compared to the placebo group”. Another study documented the anti-inflamitory and neuroprotective effects of Rhodiola Rosea in microglial and neurons. They found that “The protective effects of R. rosea against neurotoxicity may provide the pharmacological basis of its clinical usage in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.” Study after study shows the incredible effects of Rhodiola Rosea. Folic Acid is essential for many biological functions. It has also been found to improve cognition in health adults. Folic acid may lower the risk of cognitive decline.
B vitamins, particularly vitamin B-12, have been shown to positively influence brain functions. Vitamin B-12 is a brain nutrient that appears that it may lower both the risk and rate of cognitive decline. Data suggests that Vitamin B-12 supplementation may have a positive impact on global brain functioning particularly on performance of memory tasks.
Our Olive Leaf Extract is a high hydroxytyrosol extract. This is a type of phenolic pytochemical with potent antioxidant properties. Olive Leaf Extract helps lower odds of cognitive decline.
Green Tea Leaf Extract, specifically polyphenol extracts are powerful antioxidents.They are known to improve memory, executive function and information processing speed as well as cognition. Some studies have also shown that green tea may reduce cognitive decline.
The goal of taking nootropics is for long-term brain health improvements. You want to experience the benefits of better memory, thinking, and focus. Have sharper attention. Be more mentally awake while protecting your brain from the ravages of time and disease. Don’t invest in any brain enhancing pills who’s ingredients are not backed by science. You will have a risk of side effects, and toxicity. You definitely do not want to take prescription medications or other dangerous stimulants which make you believe you are mentally sharper but are burning out your brain at an ever increasing rate.