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Nootropics are smart drugs which are formulated in order to help people enjoy a range of benefits, such as mental acuity and improved memory function. These drugs are normally comprised of drugs, dietary supplement ingredients, and super foods, all of which are purported to give the brain nourishment that boosts mental functioning.

People with attention deficit disorders or other brain-related disorders may benefit from taking nootropics regularly. The term, nootropic, was invented in the 1970s, by a doctor named Cornelius E. Giurgea. Typically, nootropics work by changing the availability of key neurochemicals within the body, such as neurotransmitters, enzymes and hormones. They may also boost the brains’ oxygen supply, thereby ameliorating nerve growth.


According to Dr. Giurgea, nootropics must fit certain criteria in order to earn their name. For example, these drugs and/or supplement formulas must enhance learning capacity and boost memory function. They should also boost the ability to learn, even in the most disruptive conditions, such as environments where the air is thin and hypoxia may occur. Hypoxia is a brain/body disorder that occurs due to oxygen deprivation.

In addition, nootropics must protect the mind from injuries related to physical trauma or interaction with chemicals. Nootropics should also improve functioning of the brain’s tonic cortical and subcortical control mechanisms. These types of drugs should trigger very minor, or no, adverse side effects, and they should be non-toxic.

Availability and Popularity

At the moment, there are many nootropic formulations available in the marketplace, which supposedly fit all criteria as true brain-boosters. These drugs may be marketed as formulas which allow people to concentrate more intensely, while also allowing them to resist impulsive actions which are potentially negative or harmful. Currently, research and development for a range of nootropic drugs is occurring worldwide. Typically, nootropic formulations are considered to be in the stimulant class of drugs.

Diseases and Disorders Treated with Nootropics

Examples of diseases and disorders which may benefit from treatment with nootropic stimulants include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. These days, the usage of nootropic stimulants is expanding in order to encompass the treatment of other illnesses, or simply as aids to better overall health. Commonly, the drugs are marketed as health aids for anyone who wants to enjoy optimized cognitive function, even if they are fundamentally healthy i.e. don’t have a cognitive or physical disorder that impairs mental functioning.

Risk Factors

Risk factors associated with the usage of pharmaceutical nootropics are largely unknown. Since many of these drugs are new to the marketplace, it will take time before long-term health risks that may be linked with specific formulations of nootropics are revealed and analyzed. If a person chooses to take dietary supplements or other formulas of nootropic supplements, which are not approved drugs, they may be at risk for unwanted side effects and symptoms.

Natural Nootropics May be Found in Everyday Foods

While Nootropics are commonly associated with drugs and supplements, there are natural foods that may also have nootropic benefits. Examples of foods which contain natural, brain-boosting compounds include green tea and chocolate, which contain phenethylamine and L-Theaninee. Certain medicinal plants are also sources of nootropic compounds, including piracetum.

Figs, licorice, peppers and mushrooms are other examples of nootropic foods. These foods are relatively inexpensive, and they also contain a range of secondary benefits, such as antioxidants and vitamins, which may contribute to better health. Those who prefer to get nootropic benefits without investing in nootropic drugs or nootropic supplements may benefit from adding a variety of nootropic foods to their daily diet.

Getting active compounds via healthier choices, such as figs and peppers, may be more beneficial than overindulging in calorie-dense chocolate. However, all of the foods listed here should help to improve mental acuity and memory, whether they are considered healthy choices or treats.

Nootropics may be available by prescription only or over the counter. Supplements that are marketed as brain-boosters are available through a variety of popular online retailers, such as Amazon.com. Bear in mind that few dietary supplements marketed as nootropics are approved through the Federal Drug Administration agency. Therefore, it’s important to study ingredient lists carefully before deciding which formula is right for you.