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Human brains are such complex organs that after centuries of research and clinical experiments, we have failed to understand it completely. With advancement in our knowledge for this particular organ of our body, several new discoveries are made every day. Our brain is a powerful organ- that we know. But how to unlock its full potential- this is yet unknown. Nootropics are one such discovery of the neuro-biological world. Nootropics are actually powerful chemical compounds, usually alkaloids, which have the ability to enhance brain’s cognitive functions. These cognitive functions may range from abstract thinking, short-term memory, increased focus and ability to think critically. In short, these compounds unlock the rusting brain function which can normally be achieved by a healthy person.

We prepared a top list of the most powerful nootropics.

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Table of Contents

What makes nootropics so powerful?

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Have you ever wondered what makes Nootropics powerful? Why are they called “Smart drugs”, why are they considered a hack to the human brain?

In other to unravel the powers behind nootropics, we will critically examine the most important component of the human body that is affected by nootropics at the cause of its actions:

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The Human Brain

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The brain is a very complex organ. Despite all the efforts by so many neurologists, there is so much more to learn about the human brain. You can’t get your hands around the whole parts and functions of the brain. This is why it’s very difficult to comprehend the all-powerful nootropics.

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The average human brain has approximately 100 billion neurons which are responsible for trillions of connections and interactions.

Over the years, experts have learned so much about the functions of the neurons, thus can explain the various effects of “smart drugs” on them. However, it’s important to note that the type of nootropics used determines the effect and will dictate the response obtained. This is to say that different nootropics have different effects on the brain. Some nootropics are known to enhance memory. Others affect mood, focus, and attention.

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Nootropics work with your brain naturally and maintain the chemistry behind its function. All they do is to either encourage the production of neurotransmitters or inhibit its re-absorption. These, in turn, give off those positive effects on your mood and cognition experienced with its use.

For example, Piracetam is the first ever nootropics to be developed man, works on the Corpus callosum( the area that connects the two hemispheres within the brain) by optimizing the transmission of neurons to the different parts of the brain.

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Neurotransmitters And Synaptic Receptors

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You might be wondering what neurotransmitters are and how they function. Neurotransmitters (just like wires in an electric circuit) are chemicals that transmit signals from one neuron to another.

They are produced naturally by your body and transfer specific messages to the requisite receptor sites. Neurotransmitters and their receptors combine effectively to create a system. These individual systems work together to form the central nervous system.

Nootropics are used to target these systems. Powerful nootropics effectively enhance the efficiency of these systems, hence improves your cognitive abilities and function.

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Here are some ways which nootropics enhances the functions and abilities your brain:

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Blood And Oxygen Flow To The Brain

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Some Nootropics supplements work to improve the blood and oxygen flow in the brain. They increase the overall energy of the brain by improving its blood flow, oxygen uptake, and glucose metabolism. When all this happens, the brain functions at optimum capacity.

The increase in nutrients and oxygen in the brain makes you more focused and alert. Your brain functions right from the womb till the day you close your eyes to death. Every day, your natural brain energy reserves continually deplete. And as you know, oxygen and glucose are the core sources of energy within the brain.

The increase in the supply of glucose and oxygen within your brain “hacks” its functions. It improves your cognition, affects your motivation and provides you with a balanced sense of well-being.

This is why nootropics like Pramiracetam are known as the ultimate brain booster. Pramiracetam functions by boosting the brain’s energy levels, thus increasing your focus. Other powerful nootropics like Piracetam improves the brain’s blood flow and glucose metabolism.

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Brain Plasticity

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Nootropics work on the brain by improving its plasticity.  They affect your brain plasticity by altering the synapses in the brain. Synapses are responsible for communication within the brain. They send signals, and your memory capacity is dependent on the complexity of synapses.

With your plasticity improved, these will effectively connect and communicate with each other, there improving your ability to recall memories and information.

Nootropics are not magical pills although they can pass through the modern day magic potions. They are very powerful and can affect the various functions of your vital organs. However, it is worthy to note that these functions spread throughout the different types.

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Piracetam

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Introduction

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Piracetam is known as the Father of racetam class of Nootropics. It is one of the most extensively studied nootropics, and a vast reserve of research is available on it. Scientist used its research to develop new Nootropics which is why this drug is of greater importance.

Piracetam is basically used for enhancing cognitive functions. When taken in prescribed dosages, these drugs give a boost to cognitive functions of the brain. Piracetam is one of the traditional, powerful Nootropics as it has the ability to suppress aggression with a few to no side-effects

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Mechanism

Piracetam provides various cognitive benefits but the exact mechanism is not clear. But it is proven that this nootropic improves cellular membrane fluidity. This fact explains the benefits that Piracetam may provide such as:

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Usage

The standard daily dose is between 1,200-4,800mg. The largest effective dose is 1,600mg taken thrice a day. As well you should notice that Piracetam is water-soluble and you should avoid taking it with food.

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Huperzine

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Introduction

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Known as the learning transmitter, Huperzine-A is a powerful and effective Nootropic. It is extracted from a Chinese herb known as Huperzia Serrata Club moss plant.

Huperzine is the extracted compound, and it inhibits Acetylcholine breakdown in brain cells resulting in increased learning ability and mental stimulation. The substance is also believed to treat Schizophrenia, Alzheimers and brain trauma due to its neurogenesis ability- development of new neurons.  It is also used for the treatment of Organophosphate poisoning, also known as herbicide poisoning. The side effects are rarely reported and are seen to be mild.

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Mechanism

Huperzine-A is an alkaloid that ihibits the Acetylcholinesterase enzyme. It promotes neurogenesis & neuroplasticity to the human’s brain. Scientists worldwide are precisely investigating the opportunity to use this poowerfull nootropics as a treatment for diseases characterized by neurodegeneration – particularly Alzheimer’s disease. The benefits that Huperzine provides are very similar to the ones of Piracetam and Aniracetam: cognitive functions enhancement, improving memory, focus and learning abilities.

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Usage

Huperzine A  being one of the most powerful nootropics has really small recommended doses for daily usage. So, the typical daily dosage for Huperzine A is between 100 mcg to 200 mcg. Please note that this is microgram – not a milligram that is used for the great majority of nootropics. The maximum dosage of 400 mcg is used for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

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5-HTP

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Introduction

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Being naturally available as a serotonin and melatonin precursor in our bodies, 5-HTP is an incredibly powerful mood enhancer. Serotonin is hailed as the happiness compound found in our bodies, and it is seen to have many positive effects on our routine mood.

A good dose of 5-HTP not only boosts positivity in the mood but also suppress appetite, reduce nightmares for a perfect body and a sound sleep. It can also be used to treat a number of Digestive disorders such as the leaky gut syndrome.

The side effects are a few. However, Beware of its harmful effects since it can be very dangerous and even lethal if taken in combination with SSRIs.

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Mechanism

5-HTP’s full name is 5-Hydroxytryptophan, and it’s also known as oxitriptan. This nootropic is an amino acid and chemical precursor. It boosts serotonin and melatonin production in our body and this fact explains the benefits it provides:

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It can be used as an antidepressant, appetite suppressant and sleep aid.

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Usage

5-HTP is sold in various countries (the USA, Canada, the UK, Netherlands and other) as a dietary supplement. A standard daily dose of 5-HTP can be between of 300-500 mg, taken either once daily or in divided doses. For appetite suppression purposes 5-HTP is taken with a meal.

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Phenibut

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Introduction

Despite having a different functioning pathway than other Nootropics, Phenibut is an equally powerful and potent compound. The reason is that most of the Nootropics function by Stimulation whereas, Phenibut simply tranquilizes mental anxiety. This is why it is vastly used as an anxiolytic- treating social anxiety in moderate dosages and inducing a good sleep in higher dosages.  Phenibut acts antagonistically with GABA compounds and provokes calmness, tranquility, libido and an increased level of focus.

Phenibut must be taken in prescribed and well-managed cycles otherwise it has the potential to become addictive and worsen the problem.

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Mechanism

Phenibut is known under its commercial names as Noofen, Phenybut, Fenibut. Typically it is used for anxiety control, harmonizing sleep and treating insomnia. It’s chemical name is Beta-phenyl-gamma-aminobutyric acid, and it is a derivative of the neurotransmitter GABA. As well it provides neuroprotective function.

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Usage

Recommended daily dosage is between 250 – 1000 mg per day. For beginners it’s recommended to start with smaller doses so that the organism can adjust to this nootropic.

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Noopept

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Introduction

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Being 1000 times stronger than Piracetam, it is one of the most powerful Nootropics. It is usually included in the Racetam family as it has the same functional pathway of inhibiting Acetylcholine compound as that of Piracetam compounds. However, the inner structure is somewhat different than Racetams.

There is lesser knowledge regarding its side-effects, but they sure are fewer than those of Piracetam and Phenylpiracetam.

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Mechanism

Noopept has stimulatory properties due to its ability to increase blood flow to the brain, which enhances memory and learning ability. It also used a strong anxiolytic and anti-depressant. Apart from these, Noopept also serves a role in Neuroprotection. The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory action of this compound add a cherry to the cake.

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Usage

Noopept, being an analogue of Piracetam, has a much lower standard dose: it is between 10 to 30 mg when a piracetam standard dose is up to 4800 mg. It is usually taken once day. The optimal human dose is yet to be found.

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Lion’s Mane (Yamabushitake)

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Introduction

Being used as a herbal tea constituent by monks for ages, Lion’s mane is a powerful Nootropic mushroom which has actual brain growth capabilities. Lion’s mane is known as smart mushroom and apart from treatment of neurological disorders; it has been used to improve focus.

This mushroom has brain growth factors and aids the construction of myelin sheath on axons of neurons. This aids in neurological regeneration and growth. It also decreases mental deterioration, alleviates depression, soothes anxiety and reduces cognitive stem decline. Moreover, it also retards symptoms of menopause.

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Mechanism

It was investigated that Lion’s Mane can provide great neuroprotective and nerve growing and repairing functions. The mechanism that provides this function is unique among nootropics: Lion’s Mane enhances cognitive functions by increasing the amount of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in the brain whereas other nootropics improve the production of various neuron transmitters.

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Usage

The dosage recommendations of Lion’s Mane depend on the type of the extract. For a commonly available 10:1 extract (30% polysaccharide content), a standard daily dose is between 500-3000 mg per day.
It may be best to take Yamabushitake with meals as a food supplement.

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Rhodiola

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Introduction

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Also known as Golden Root, Rhodiola is seen to preserve existing cognitive function in spite of increasing them. It is an Adaptogenic herb and boosts overall mental health and function.

In addition to boosting overall physical energies, it has been to increase lifespan up to 20 percent in some laboratory trials.

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Mechanism

Rhodiola (Rhodíola rósea) is a plant that is well-known for its nootropic’s effects. More than 140 components were found in the roots of this herb. This nootropics is slightly stimulatory. Rhodiola is used to get rid of “burnout” effect and  might significantly reduce the effects exhaustion that results in fatigue.

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Usage

For fatigue and stress control it’s recommended to use rhodiola in doses as low as 50mg.

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Vinpocetine

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Introduction

Regarded highly as a semi-synthetic Nootropic, Vinpocetine exhibits powerful Nootropic properties. It is extracted from an alkaloid compound obtain from the Periwinkle plant. In addition to treating cardiovascular diseases, Vinpocetine also treats degenerative mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s. It acts as a neuroprotector, preserving the existing cognitive function and preventing it from declining.

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Mechanism

Vinpocetine is synthesized from the alkaloid vincamine, which is extracted from the leaves of the periwinkle plant Vinca minor. It was synthesized for the first time in the late 60-s of the XX century. Starting from the 1978 it was sold in various countries under its commercial name – “cavinton” and nowadays it’s well known for treating cerebral disorders of vascular origin.

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Usage

The common daily dosage of vinpocetine is 10 mg 3 times, orally or parenterally.

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Turmeric

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Introduction

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Turmeric is amongst one of the most powerful natural nootropic used in medicine.  This ancient herbal medicine has been used for several years.

A member of the ginger group of herbs, turmeric is the flavoring that gives curry powder it’s yellow shading. It’s for quite some time been known for its mitigating and cell strengthening properties. Furthermore, is effectively examined today for use as a nootropic. Nowadays turmeric is utilized as a dietary supplement for inflammation, joint inflammation, disease, stomach, skin, liver, and gallbladder issues and also numerous different conditions.

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Turmeric has been utilized as a part of choice or ordinary pharmaceutical. Turmeric is one of the numerous herbs customarily utilized as a mitigating for interminable fiery maladies, ie. Eternal frustrating aviation route disorder (COPD), asthma, rheumatoid joint pain.

Turmeric has been seen to have calming, choleretic, antimicrobial, and carminative activities. The main clinical focuses of turmeric are the stomach related organs: in the digestive system, for treatment of illnesses, for example, familial adenomatous polyposis; in the insides, for treatment of burning bowl problem; and in the colon, for treatment of colon growth.

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Mechanism

Curcumin is the phytochemical component in turmeric that provides the effects. The mechanism by which curcumin induces its anti-inflammatory effects is yet to be investigated.

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Usage

There are different terms in which turmeric is used:

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Conclusion

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A lot of people don’t understand how Nootropics work. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to that question. Nootropics are powerful substances that come in different varieties. These varieties have made it difficult to tell where the powers lie; this is because different Nootropics works in different ways.

There are no distinct phenomena behind the functions of Nootropics, and we cannot tell what makes them powerful. But it is known that nootropics achieve their positive effects by altering the supply of various neurotransmitters, enzymes, and hormones. These, in turn, have positive effects on the user and bring about the “Hack,” hence the name “smart drugs”.

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