Nootropics are a hot topic in the nutritional and wellness industry. But what is the truth behind these supplements? The answer may surprise you.
In order to understand nootropics, it’s important to first know how they work. Nootropics have been found to improve cognitive function by increasing blood flow and oxygen levels within the brain. This enhances neuroplasticity, or your brain’s ability to change its connections as needed, which results in better memory recall and more efficient thinking skills. Here are 7 things you didn’t know about them explained.
1. They’ve Been Around For Thousands Of Years
The first recorded instance of nootropics can be traced back to the fourth century B.C., where tribes in South America were known to chew coca leaves before battle to increase strength, stamina, and endurance. This practice spread to the Inca empire, where it was ingested for similar reasons.
Also, you can’t have a discussion about nootropics without mentioning coffee, which was first discovered in the ninth century A.D. In the 16th century, it was banned by Ethiopian Orthodox Christians because of its mind-stimulating properties. After that, it was introduced in Mecca and quickly spread throughout the Islamic world. In 1645, a doctor in Marseilles wrote a dissertation on coffee’s medicinal effects. By the end of the 17th century, coffee houses were common in London.
2. They’ve Been Used As Brain Enhancers For Centuries
In 17th century France, people would take colchicine, an alkaloid that can be found in the autumn crocus and is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, to treat gout. After a while, it was discovered that taking colchicine also improved memory and cognition.
One of the most popular nootropic drugs in the last century was Benzedrine or by its more popular brand name, Adderall. It’s still being used today because it enhances mood, improves focus and concentration, suppresses appetite, elevates energy levels, and increases alertness.
3. They Help With Mental Disorders
Nootropics have been shown to benefit a wide range of mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, ADHD (attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder), Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other cognitive impairments. These pills for mental performance can be used without a prescription and do not produce serious side effects. They’re also considered to be more effective than conventional medications because they’re more targeted and specific.
4. They Enhance Long-term Potentiation (LTP)
Nootropics are able to increase blood flow, oxygen levels, and neurotransmitter release in the brain. This results in the better synthesis of proteins within neurons through increased LTP. LTP is the process that occurs when one neuron fires and activates a neighbouring cell through the release of neurotransmitters. When this occurs, long-term memories are created.
Furthermore, LTP affects neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to change and reorganize itself in response to new inputs and experiences. Through this process, you can improve cognitive functions such as memory, learning abilities, concentration, focus, reasoning skills, and decision-making abilities.
5. They Help Form New Neural Pathways
When taking these supplements, it’s important to understand the concept of neuroplasticity. The brain does not grow physically, but rather by creating or building neural pathways as a result of stimuli. This is known as neuroplasticity and it applies to nootropics just as much as any other activity that stimulates the brain.
Nootropics cause neurons to fire and this stimulates the brain to make new neural pathways.
6. They’re Not Regulated By The FDA
Despite the fact that nootropics are fairly well-researched and considered safe, they’re not regulated by the FDA and therefore technically still classified as supplements. This is why it’s important for consumers to purchase these products from reputable suppliers.
7. They’re Safe To Take For Most People
While it’s not FDA-approved, studies have shown that the majority of nootropics and supplements do not cause any serious side effects. However, some may experience minor symptoms such as nausea, headache, and dry mouth. The fish oil supplement omega-3 has been found to cause belching and bad breath, which may be undesirable for some people.
Despite the lack of any serious side effects, it’s important to speak with a physician before beginning any regimen that includes nootropics.
Nootropics are drugs, supplements, or other substances that improve cognitive function. They’ve been used for centuries to enhance memory and cognition. Nootropics help with mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other cognitive impairments. They also increase blood flow, oxygen levels, and neurotransmitter release in the brain which results in the better synthesis of proteins within neurons and the formation of new neural pathways. Despite being well-researched and safe to take for most people, they’re not regulated by the FDA so it’s important to purchase them from a reputable supplier.