Biohacking Nootropics “Smart Drugs”
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”
By, Brian Rose Founder of KIYA Longevity
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.
This site and its services are for consumer educational use only. Nothing contained in this article is or should be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never start any diet, exercise, or supplement program without consulting your medical provider. This article and its services do not constitute the practice of medicine. Users should always seek the advice of a physician with any questions regarding their health or medical conditions. Never disregard, avoid, or delay obtaining medical advice or following the advice of a physician because of something you have seen or read on this site.
1) Fang Y, Qiu Z, Hu W, Yang J, Yi X, Huang L, et al. Effect of piracetam on the cognitive performance of patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery: A meta-analysis. Experimental and therapeutic medicine. 2014;7(2):429–34. doi: 10.3892/etm.2013.1425 ; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3881046.
2) Abuzzahab FS, Sr., Merwin GE, Zimmermann RL et al. (1977) A double-blind investigation of piracetam (Nootropil) vs placebo in geriatric memory. Pharmakopsychiatr Neuropsychopharmakol 10, 49-56.
3) Stockburger C, Miano D, Pallas T et al. (2016) Enhanced Neuroplasticity by the Metabolic Enhancer Piracetam Associated with Improved Mitochondrial Dynamics and Altered Permeability Transition Pore Function. Neural Plast 2016, 8075903.
4) Modafinil for Cognitive Neuroenhancement in Healthy Non-Sleep-Deprived Subjects: A Systematic Review. R. McLennan Battleday and A.-K. Brem in European Neuropsychopharmacology, Vol. 25, No. 11, pages 1865-1881; November 2015.
5) Caldwell JA Jr, Caldwell JL, Smythe NK 3rd, Hall KK Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2000 Jun; 150(3):272-82.
6) Effect of Chlorogenic Acids on Cognitive Function: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial in Nutrients 10(10):1337 · September 2018
7) Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2008 Apr 16;(2):CD005592. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD005592.pub2. Huperzine A for Alzheimer’s disease. Li J, Wu HM, Zhou RL, Liu GJ, Dong BR.
8) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20166767 2010 Feb 12;70(3):287-312. doi: 10.2165/11319230-000000000-00000. Piracetam and piracetam-like drugs: from basic science to novel clinical applications to CNS disorders. Malykh AG1, Sadaie MR.