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What is a nootropic?

Oct 08, 2021

What is a nootropic?

The word "Nootropics" is derived from the Greek roots "intelligence, brain" (noos) and "benefits" (tropein), meaning that it is beneficial to the development of brain intelligence. Nootropics is a collective term for nootropics.

It is generally believed that an ideal nootropic substance should have the following characteristics:

First, it must have the function of promoting learning and memory, helping people improve their adaptability, and reducing the damage to memory caused by external factors;

Second, it can repair the nerve cells of the brain and act on the cerebral cortex;

Third, it is non-toxic and has no side effects.


Nootropic classification

How to improve cognitive dysfunction has become a hot topic of widespread attention by domestic and foreign scholars. There are many categories of nootropics, including drugs that can improve cognition, memory, intelligence or attention, dietary supplements and functional foods, which have the effect of activating, protecting and repairing brain cells. At present, nootropics are mainly involved in improving cognition through the dopaminergic and cholinergic systems, amyloid precursor protein and the second messenger, and there are mainly synthetic and natural types.

(1) Synthetic nootropics

Synthetic nootropics are widely used. Early studies of synthetic nootropics include piracetam, oxiracetam, oxcarbazepine, carbamazepine and oxcarbazepine as synthetic or semi-synthetic drugs. The main synthetic nootropics are as follows:

1. N-methyl-D aspartate receptor activator

2. 5-hydroxytryptamine 3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonist

3. GABA analogs

4. Phosphodiesterase 10A inhibitor

5. Specific PDE5 inhibitor

6. Novel phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor

7. Oxiracetam and other synthetic drugs

(2) Natural nootropic food

In recent years, many Chinese herbal medicines have been found to have good nootropic activity. Compared with synthetic drugs, natural nootropics are natural, highly effective, and low-toxic. Naturally sourced PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone), Alpha-GPC (glycerol phosphorylcholine), pterostilbene commonly found in blueberries and grapes, DHA, etc. are all researched and approved nootropic ingredients. Natural nootropics or ingredients are found in many common foods, such as ginseng, American ginseng, Ganoderma lucidum, Ginkgo biloba, Achyranthes, Polygala, loofah, Purslane, Bacopa monnieri, Rhodiola, Fisheye grass, Butterfly pea , Polygonum multiflorum, okra, figs, etc.