Nootropics: How to Keep Your Brain Smart & Resilient to Aging.
Nootropics are defined as “substances that boost and improve overall brain health.” In other words, nootropics are designed to make our brains smarter and healthier.But what is a nootropic? How can nootropics boost your intelligence? Which ones can you take safely?In the early 1970’s, a now famous scientist, Dr. Giurgea, coined the term “nootropic.” (from the Greek “nous,” or “mind” and “treeing,” or “to bend”). He developed the first nootropics that showed great promise in improving memory and protecting the brain from Alzheimer’s disease.Dr. Giurgea believed that: “Man is not going to wait passively for millions of years before evolution offers him a better brain.” He wanted to find ways that make humans smarter.
The Search for Nootropics that WorkOf course the search for these types of substances goes much farther back than the 1970’s. The ancient Indian health system of Ayurveda includes many herbs that improve mood and memory. The Chinese discovered the mind-clarifying action of certain teas over a thousand years ago. Many native cultures have used (and still do) a plethora of plants to improve cognition and memory.But the West was slow to see the benefits of nootropics. It took another 20 years after Dr. Giurgea’s discoveries for nootropics to catch the popular imagination. Dr. Dean Ward and John Morgenthaler’s groundbreaking book, “Smart Drugs & Nutrients,” was published in 1991, and soon students, novelty seekers, and the anti-aging community began self-experimenting with various substances to improve their brain health.Nootropics in the New MillenniumNootropics only started to take off in the beginning of the new millennium. Popular culture was now ready to embrace the idea of enhancing our normal capacities to achieve a faster, stronger and smarter human being.Superheroes were suddenly in many TV shows and movies. Athletes were taking supplements to enhance performance. And the “Google Brain” became an extension of our normal brains.At the same time our dependence on smartphones and technology made ADD/ADHD a common condition even in otherwise healthy people.So, we became thirsty for supplements that could improve our hectic lives. The answer was right there in front of our eyes – nootropics.Not All Nootropics Are Created EqualHowever, this wide exposure of nootropics came with a price. It became harder to tell which supplements really worked and which ones were just hype. Unscrupulous manufacturers promoted cheap herbs as “powerful nootropics.“ Other included tiny amounts of the good nootropics in their products.Moreover, illegal substances that were not approved for healthy adults became available for purchase online, often from shady sources that offered fake “proof” of the purity of their products.Real nootropics are supplements such as Cocoa, dmae, choline, and acetyl-l-carnitine. They are backed by decades of clinical studies, showing they are safe and effective for long term use.These types of nootropics are approved by the FDA and usually produced directly from fruits, vegetables, and natural herbs.