By Dt. Shikha Mahajan
Holistic Nutritionist and Founder of Diet Podium
Every person on earth wants to be more innovative, think fast and have good concentration, and for that, lately, nootropics substances are becoming the answer. In an attempt to self-improve people are flocking to nootropics and intaking substances that can boost their mental power.
Nootropics is an umbrella term for a class of chemicals- some naturally occurring, some manmade- that give cognitive benefits to the human brain. Many of these pills or powders contain stimulants, adaptogens, and natural chemicals that promise to reduce brain fog and improve clarity, memory, attention, and mood, ‘a magic pill’, perhaps, that boosts your brain power as if you had a great night’s sleep and a big cup of coffee, without actually doing those things.
In order to be a nootropic, a substance must meet five benchmarks set by Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, the man who come up with the term “nootropic.”: Enhance memory and ability to learn, Help the brain function under disruptive condition, Protect the brain from chemical and physical assault, Increase the efficacy of neuronal firing control mechanisms, Possess few or no side effects and be virtually non-toxic.
However, one shouldn’t assume that taking nootropics results in long-term optimal brain functioning.
There are various potential dangers of nootropics. One should keep in mind that while you may not experience any of these dangers in your usage, brain scans make it clear that certain nootropics are capable of altering the way the brain works. Some researchers even speculate that certain regions may shrink or expand based on nootropic usage. Experts have corelated the custom of nicotine to other nootropics in suggesting that long-term consistent usage may lead to cognitive deficits. When nicotine is used for a short-term, it boosts cognition. However, over the long-term, users get used to fixes and eventually require the same amount of nicotine just to achieve normal cognitive function. It is hypothesized that the brain could adapt to the drug and end up relying on it in order to perform advanced cognitive tasks.
Moreover, the drug is forcing your body to create stamina even when you are tired. This rattles your circadian rhythm and is using up energy stores that could accelerate aging or change the way your body works. Not only could your sleep quality diminish while taking a nootropic, it could stay impaired even after you’ve stopped using it.
The neurotransmission in your brain is very delicate and influenced by many aspects. Taking a drug or supplement over a long period is likely going to deplete certain neurotransmitters. This will result in an “urgency” to take the drug in order to maintain adequate functioning.
Nootropics are not substances devoid of side effects. Anything that influences neurotransmission is going to have side effects, including migraines, dizziness, headaches, skin rashes, which in some cases may be life threatening.
The path to self-enhancement is straight and simple. Rather than tuning our brain through such supplements and substances, a person should look forward for a healthy balanced diet with enough sleep. Using nootropics for a short-term improvement can lead to disastrous side effects.