Nootropics is an umbrella term for a class of chemicals– some naturally-occurring, some manmade– that offer cognitive benefits to the human brain.
To get actually technical, in order to be a nootropic, a compound must satisfy 5 criteria set by Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, the guy who coined the term “nootropic.” The compound has to …
- Boost memory as well as capability to learn.
- Help the brain function under disruptive problems, such as hypoxia (reduced oxygen) and also electroconvulsive shock. Safeguard the brain from chemical and also physical assaults, such as anti-cholinergic medicines and barbiturates.
- Raise the effectiveness of neuronal firing control systems in cortical and also sub-cortical areas of the brain.
- Have few or no negative effects and be practically non-toxic.
This is a rather significant checklist of demands for any type of chemical. Actually, anything that fulfills this complete interpretation, can similarly well be called a “wonder medication,” not simply a nootropic.
So still you ask, what is a nootropic? Keep in mind, generally when you listen to the term nootropic kicked around, individuals truly indicate a “cognitive enhancer”. Something that does benefit thinking in some way (improved memory, faster speed-of-processing, enhanced concentration, or a combination of these, and so on). However might not meet the much more strenuous interpretation above. “Smart medicines” is one more largely-interchangeable term.
With this looser definition, conversations about nootropics can vary from innocuous day-to-day substances like high levels of caffeine and also Omega-3 fats to controlled (and deservedly so) substances like Adderall.
We will be releasing more visual learning in the coming weeks about what are nootropics, look into our infographic What Are Nootropics?