Biohacking Nootropics are natural and synthetic compounds that facilitate cerebral circulation, memory retention, and enhanced concentration. They are sometimes called “smart drugs.” The story of nootropics began with Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, the recognized father of cognitive pharmacology.
In 1964, Dr. Giurgea synthesized piracetam, the world’s first nootropic. It is a derivative of the neurotransmitter GABA and has purportedly shown clinical efficacy in treating neurocognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s. At present, the FDA does not recognize the racetam group of synthetic compounds as federally controlled substances. This means that piracetam is not a legally recognized drug. However, there are studies proving its efficacy.
In 1977, a double-blind study found that piracetam improved geriatric memory over a two-month period. Meanwhile, a recent 2013 study indicated that piracetam was key in improving the short-term cognitive performance of patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery.
Still another study in 2016 showed that piracetam improved mitochondrial function, a key strategy in treating early-stage cognitive decline. Considering this, the question begs to be asked: How do consumers recognize a true nootropic from a counterfeit one? To guide us, Dr. Giurgea released his definition of a beneficial nootropic:
A true nootropic must enhance learning and memory ability. It should provide neurological protection against oxidative damage. It should decrease cortical and subcortical dysfunction. It should aid the brain in retaining learned behaviors and memory functions under disruptive conditions.
Are Nootropics Safe?
Many consumers question the safety of these supplements. So, are nootropics safe? It depends. Although nootropics are generally derived from synthetic ingredients, some herbs can also be classified as a nootropic in nature. Such herbs include ginseng, ashwagandha, schisandra, gotu kola, rosemary, sage, calamus, and bacopa.
It’s imperative that consumers do thorough research before including nootropics in their diet. On the other hand, nootropic supplements like Modafinil have been on the US market since 1998; it can be obtained through a doctor’s prescription. One study showed that Modafinil increased the cognitive performance of helicopter pilots who had been awake for two 40-hour periods. It’s no secret that Modafinil is popularly known as the Limitless drug (based on the 2011 Limitless Movie).
Biohacking Nootropics “Smart Drugs”
About the author Brian Rose:
As a Biohacker, I completely submerged myself in neural enhancement, receiving training in a Neuro Performance Program with Vitanya Brain Performance, and completing Vipassana, a 10-day Silent Meditation Retreat. These experiences trained my brain to change its frequency from Alpha to Beta and taught me how to move energy within my body to benefit my mind.
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