Nootropics: Protecting Our Minds While We Age
“If a person’s brain is not functioning at its highest capacity, then it quite literally alters the perception of their environment and themselves.”
A few years ago, a popular movie came out about a drug that made the user far smarter for a limited time. The change in perception, awareness, memory recall and focus that the drug afforded was portrayed to be absolutely life changing. Genius level intellect was suddenly available for writing novels, solving intricate problems, and even observing and predicting complex, evolving patterns. While extremely exaggerated, the drug in the movie would be called a “nootropic” in real life.
Nootropics are defined as “a diverse group of medicinal substances whose action improves human thinking, learning, and memory, especially in cases where these functions are impaired.”[i] Although they appear to be most effective in cases where there is obvious cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, many otherwise healthy individuals – particularly university students – use nootropics on a regular basis. There have been, however, no long-term clinical studies on the use of nootropics by healthy people.
While often labeled “smart drugs,” most nootropics are, in fact, of natural origin. Because of the diverse composition of natural substances, often the results of a natural nootropic can be enhanced by synergistic effects – the idea that the effect of the substances together is greater than the sum of the parts. It is also uncommon for side effects to occur when using naturally sourced nootropics, and they are rarely serious.[ii] Because the herbal/natural ingredients are low in toxicity, the potential of overdose is reduced, and in practice it is common for dosages to be too low.
In order to function optimally, the brain requires a specific profile of nutrients and several key compounds. Maintaining or increasing brain energy metabolism as we age is a primary defense against dementia syndromes, as reduction of brain energy metabolism can be a key indicator of the onset of dementia. “A common feature of dementia syndromes is an energy failure due to reduced energy supply to neurons and is associated with synaptic loss and results in cognitive decline and behavioral changes.”[iii] Keeping our brains as healthy as possible is the best strategy against the devastating impact of dementia.
For those individuals that are otherwise healthy, nootropics can be used for a variety of reasons including improving focus, attention and even creativity. I have been taking high quality nootropics (specifically Neurotransmitter Support by Doctor’s Choice) on a regular basis for just over two years and the results have been significant. I have noticed several differences in my daily life. I have greatly improved mental energy through out the day, feeling more awake and aware of my surroundings. When speaking, my articulation has improved – I rarely have trouble “finding the right word.” My memory has also noticeably improved, and even surprises me on occasion as I remember names or places and events from both the recent and distant past when required. These are the main benefits that I have noticed since I started taking the Neurotransmitter Support.
Much like everything else, the quality of the product will dictate the outcome and results. Products made from the best possible ingredients will always yield superior results. The number of active ingredients will also affect outcomes. Some nootropics contain just one active ingredient. Other nootropics contain several active ingredients which employ the power of synergy as they interact with each other. Nootropics that are comprised of a host of these ingredients formulated to work in a synergistic fashion are rare. I have no doubts that the quality of the product is directly responsible for the effects that I have experienced – the number of high-quality active ingredients in this product is far greater than what is found in the majority of nootropics on the market.
Incorporating several key compounds into a nootropic can also help address challenges in the body that the one or two active ingredients do not. A powerful example of this is a testimonial received by Doctor’s Choice for the Neurotransmitter Support that described relief from the pain of neuropathy. This is may be due to the effects of the key ingredient Acetyl-L-Carnitine which has been reported to help address neuropathy.[iv] A portion of the testimony is as follows:
“I have been suffering from Diabetic Neuropathy in my feet for years. Always painful with spikes of pain that are very bad. Once I started taking this product I found that the constant pain subsided and the spikes of pain became very infrequent. To make sure it wasn’t my imagination I stopped taking the product for a couple months and the pain came back. Once I started taking it again the pain went away within a few days. I can’t tell you how much this product has improved my life.”
When formulated intentionally to create synergistic effects with the highest quality ingredients, a nootropic can be a truly life changing supplement. The sum of our thoughts and emotions are subject to the biological reality that is dictated by the health (or sickness) of our brains. If a person’s brain is not functioning at its highest capacity, then it quite literally alters the perception of their environment and themselves. When we support our brain health with compounds that increase focus, clarity of thought, creativity, understanding and the ability to learn, it has a profound effect on every aspect of life. As we age, it should become a priority to proactively protect our minds against the possibility of deterioration in the form of dementia syndromes. In order to create and maintain the best quality of life available to us, we must take steps today to ensure we are able to enjoy the people and activities we love well into our senior years.
– Kyle Elliott
[i] Nootropics as Cognitive Enhancers: Types, Dosage and Side Effects of Smart Drugs
[ii] Nootropics as Cognitive Enhancers: Types, Dosage and Side Effects of Smart Drugs
[iii] Brain energy failure in dementia syndromes