Nootropics cognitive boosters

Nootropics can help increase your memory, boost learning ability, improve your mood and assist overall brain function. If you’re new to nootropics, or wonder about the difference between a nootropic and a smart drug, then this page is for you.

Here you’ll find the definition of a nootropic, how to pronounce the word “nootropic”, the origin of the word nootropic, other names or synonyms you’ll come across when referring to nootropics, a brief explanation of nootropic ‘stacks’, if they really work, how they work and what nootropics can do for you.

You’ll also find information on nootropic safety. And if they have any side effects. Use this guide as a primer to clear any confusion, and get started safely with nootropics.

In just a few minutes you’ll have a better understanding of each topic. And links through to pages in more detail when an in-depth explanation is needed.

You can even click each of the titles in the Table of Contents and go directly to that section if you’re pressed for time.

What are Nootropics?

Nootropics are a class of substances that improve brain function. Also referred to as neuro-enhancers, cognitive boosters, or memory enhancers. Nootropics can be natural or synthetic.

Experienced bio-hackers often make a distinction between nootropics and smart drugs. For our discussion and to help you understand what they are and how they’re used, we’ll cover the latest in nootropics research.

Nootropics are used to improve focus, motivation, memory, mood, and cognition. Each of these depend on different processes in your brain. And different substances can be used to affect each of these functions.

This idea of altering brain function is not new. Our ancestors were using herbs and alcohol to alter brain function for the last few thousand years.

Origin of the word ‘Nootropic’

The term “nootropic” is relatively new. Romanian psychologist and chemist Dr. Corneliu Giurgea synthesized Piracetam in 1963. And coined the term “nootropic” in 1972.[i] It is derived from the Greek nous (“mind”) and trepein (to bend).

Definition of Nootropic

Dr. Giurgea gave us a list of five criteria that a substance must have to be considered a ‘true’ nootropic.

A true nootropic:

  • Enhances memory and the ability to learn
  • Assists brain function under disruptive conditions such as lack of oxygen and electroconvulsive shock
  • Protects the brain from chemical and physical toxins like anticholinergic drugs and barbiturates
  • Increases natural cognitive processes
  • Must be non-toxic to humans, nor stimulate or depress the brain

Most of the time, when you hear the term ‘nootropic’ used, people loosely mean “cognitive enhancer”. A substance or compound that improves memory, increases cognitive processing speed, boosts alertness, concentration and focus, or a combination of these qualities.

At Nootropics Expert, I do my best to stick to the original definition of nootropic. And when a substance or compound strays from this strict definition, I’ll tell you the reasons why. And things to avoid when choosing a nootropic supplement.

How to Pronounce the word “Nootropic”

The formal or ‘correct’ way to pronounce the word “nootropic” according to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a few in the nootropic community is:


Which sounds a little like ‘Noah’ as in the biblical Noah. And ‘tropic’ with the ‘tro’ rhyming with ‘go’.

However, most in the nootropic community pronounce the word ‘new-tropic’. With ‘tropic’ rhyming with ‘living in the tropics’ (which I did for many years).

There is no absolute ‘correct’ way to pronounce nootropic in my opinion. And anyone who takes issue with the pronunciation of the word likely needs an extra dose of Phenylethylamine. Or 30-minutes of meditation. Just to calm down and get on with building their stack.

Nootropic Synonyms

With the rapidly growing popularity of nootropics and other cognitive enhancers, you will come across many terms generally referring to the same thing. And it can get confusing especially for someone new to nootropics.

Nootropics are commonly referred to as smart drugs, brain drugs, memory enhancers, neuro-enhancers, cognitive enhancers, intelligence enhancers, racetams, nootropic supplements, brain supplements, neuroceuticals, nutraceuticals, and cognition-enhancing supplements.

Most experienced neurohackers simply refer to them as “nootropics”.  And here at Nootropics Expert, I make the distinction between a “nootropic” and a “smart drug”.

Natural vs. Synthetic Nootropics

You can boost brain power in a variety of ways. Your end goal will often dictate if you should use a natural or synthetic nootropic. Let’s illustrate this with some examples.

First we’ll look at a synthetic nootropic, and then we’ll look at a natural nootropic. These are only two of dozens of nootropics in each category.


Dr. Giurgea’s piracetam is a cyclic derivative of GABA. GABA is naturally produced by your body. (But because it is not “natural”, piracetam cannot be sold in the USA as a “dietary supplement”. And since piracetam is not approved by the FDA for medical use, it also cannot be sold as a drug.)

Piracetam has been shown to support memory[ii], learning capacity, reduce mental fatigue, and improve concentration. It is sold as the prescription drug “Nootropil” in many European countries.

Clinical trials with piracetam have shown it may help your brain in several ways. Including increasing the effectiveness of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.[iii]

Acetylcholine is a chemical messenger that allows neurons to communicate with each other. It is vital for memory, focus, concentration and mental alertness. But piracetam is not the only way to boost acetylcholine function in your brain.

Your body naturally makes acetylcholine from healthy fats in your diet. Good sources of choline – the precursor to acetylcholine – include:

Milk Cheese Eggs Soy Lecithin
Fatty fish Beef (esp. liver) Almonds Cauliflower
Pistachios Spinach Wheat germ spirulina

Natural Nootropics: Milk Cheese EggsYou can also use supplements like Alpha GPC, CDP Choline, and choline citrate to boost choline.

So there is no best source for nootropics. Natural and synthetics work. Some work better than others. And everybody’s body really is different. It often depends what you’re trying to achieve.

Do Nootropics Really Work?

There is no question nootropics work. But opinions vary across the board how well they work. Decades of clinical studies and nootropic user comments and reviews show improvement in many areas. It depends on the person and the specific nootropic.

Personally, I was able to get off of ADHD meds (Ritalin) for a year. And manage my condition just as well with nootropics.

Nootropic Stack

Many university students will tell you their high grades are directly related to a stack like aniracetam, Pramiracetam, ALCAR, L-Theanine and caffeine.

Users report the ability to:

  • Interpret and retain complex information
  • Learning is faster and more efficient
  • Signal to noise ratio gets better
  • Emotions are affected generally in a positive way
  • Anxiety levels drop
  • Sociability can be affected either way.

In the Nootropic community the big proviso is always “your mileage may vary”. Dosage can influence the desired (and undesired) effects of many nootropics. With some of the newer nootropics (smart drugs in particular) the jury is still out on how well, or even if they work.

This includes stacks put out by companies who either don’t disclose individual dosage of each ingredient. Or companies who have poor quality control over, and amount of the ingredients used in a capsule.

The underlying lesson is research and experimentation. Read what others say and research clinical trials. But always remember more is definitely not better.

For an in-depth dive into how nootropics work including influencing brain energy, signaling, cell health & repair, cerebral blood flow, brain waves and fatigue, see my post on:

How do Nootropics Work

What is the Best Nootropic?

It depends on what you mean by “best”. And maybe not the answer you’re looking for. But we have a lot of variables in play here. And especially for someone new to nootropics, this is what you need to consider…

If you are a university student, an entrepreneur, a business executive, a stay-at-home mom or dad or a senior – what are you trying to improve?

By using nootropics, you can benefit from improved memory, focus, learning, mood or motivation. Some even have anti-aging benefits. You have several options for each benefit you’re trying to boost or correct.

Here are the…

Best Nootropics for Learning & Memory

Best Nootropics for Depression

Best Nootropics for Anxiety

Hacking Motivation with Nootropics

Hack Your Flow State with Nootropics

But to be perfectly honest with you, from my personal experience, one nootropic to boost memory may work better for you and not as well for me.

As a general rule, we’re all the same. And generally one nootropic will work better for focus for most people. But I have found each nootropic can have a different effect at different doses on different people.

Each one of us has variations in cognitive “wiring”. Our chemical and genetic makeup is different. We’re influenced by the foods we eat, where we live, the air we breathe and the genes we inherited from our parents.

Science hasn’t yet developed the “magic pill” to solve all cognitive issues. It’s why we experiment, read reviews, and listen to other neurohackers. There is no one-pill solution!

It’s why I created and continue to develop Nootropics Expert®. To help you in your journey in creating the perfect nootropic stack for you at this time in your life.

Learn How to Create the Best Nootropic Stack for You here.

Best Nootropic Stack for Beginners

If you are new to nootropics, and don’t know where to start, here’s a few things to keep in mind.

Each nootropic supplement has a unique mechanism of action in your brain. As soon as you add just one more nootropic, it may have some impact on how the first nootropic works in your brain.

Sometimes this combination of two or more nootropics is intentional. For example, Piracetam boosts the sensitivity of acetylcholine receptors in your brain. Which causes your brain to demand more acetylcholine to satisfy this demand.

Experienced neurohackers have learned that ‘stackingPiracetam with a choline supplement like Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline boosts the effectiveness of Piracetam. With even more focus, learning and memory improvements.

But sometimes the interaction between two or more nootropics taken together is unintentional. And could cause adverse side effects like depression, irritability or insomnia.

Huperzine-A is a classic example because it acts as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor which means it boosts levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in your brain.

So if you add Huperzine-A to your stack, you may want to reduce your dose of a choline supplement like Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline. Or you could experience the side effects of too much acetylcholine.

You’ll also want to keep in mind that some nootropics have a cumulative effect in your brain. They ‘build-up’ over time. Especially if you take them everyday. Take Huperzine-A for example which has a half-life of 10 – 12 hours. If you took Hup-A every day, your body wouldn’t have the chance to flush the old Huperzine-A out of our system before you took your next dose.

Some nootropics are water-soluble while some are fat-soluble. What does this mean?

To help you if you’re just getting started in nootropics and building your first stack, check out this article on:

Beginners Guide to Nootropic Stacks

The guide will take you through building a nootropic stack step-by-step. And show you how to avoid the many pitfalls and mistakes many new neurohackers make when first getting started with nootropics.

How do Nootropics Work?

Nootropics can affect your brain by influencing brain waves, cerebral blood flow, cellular energy, hormones, neurotransmitters, neuroplasticity or growth factors.

Dozens of natural and synthetic substances have nootropic properties. Each can affect one or more of several categories affecting your brain. Nootropics work by affecting:

  • Brain energy
  • Brain cell signaling
  • Brain cell health & longevity
  • Brain blood supply
  • Brain Waves
  • Brain fatigue
  • Brain repair

For a detailed overview of each of these categories, go to my post called:

How do Nootropics Work 

You’ll find how each affects your brain, what can go wrong, and examples of nootropics that can address each issue.

You can also get detailed explanations of dozens of nootropics here on Nootropics Expert. Each article explains what the nootropic is and where it came from, mechanisms of action on how it works in your brain, why you may want to add it to your nootropic stack, dosage recommendations, forms each nootropic comes in, references to dozens of clinical studies, and where to buy the supplement.

Visit the “List of Nootropics” page and scroll through the Table of Contents. Each nootropic summary on that page links to a detailed article on that nootropic and how it works.

What Can Nootropics Do for Me?

What can nootropics do for me?Referring to a section near the beginning of this article, the right nootropics can help you:

  • Interpret and retain complex information
  • Learning is faster and more efficient
  • Signal to noise ratio gets better
  • Emotions are affected generally in a positive way
  • Anxiety levels drop
  • Sociability can be affected either way

Nootropics may also help to repair years of damage to your brain, and possibly find a healthier alternative to ADHD meds.

For more on ADHD and ADD, check out my post on:

Best Nootropics for ADHD & ADD

For athletes or anyone maintaining a serious exercise regimen some nootropics can help up your game. And give your body and brain the fuel it needs to operate at your peak.

Hack Motivation with Nootropics

Hack Your Flow State with Nootropics

Best Nootropics for Learning & Memory

Best Nootropics for Anxiety

Best Nootropics for Depression

Need more energy to power through your day? Mitochondria are where your body’s energy is produced. Allowing you to hear, feel and see. Mitochondria beat your heart, stimulate your sex drive and allow you to think.

Your brain has a higher concentration of these little cellular powerplants than most other cells in your body. You can have several thousand mitochondria in each brain cell. They even have their own DNA.

You can hack your mitochondria with nootropics. Learn how here:

Hack Your Mitochondria with Nootropics

If you are dealing with anxiety or depression and conventional prescription anti-anxiety meds, or antidepressants just aren’t helping…

Check this… are you also battling with abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea? Your brain fog, anxiety or depression could be a gut problem. Recent research has established a strong gut-brain connection

And when you address gastrointestinal issues, you’ll often find that depression, anxiety and brain fog are gone too. Learn how here…

Psychobiotics: The Gut-Brain Connection

Are Nootropics Addictive?

A true nootropic as defined here (a natural method of boosting brain performance), are safe and generally non-addictive. Some nootropics can give you long-term benefits even after you stop using them.

Smart drugs which are typically pharmaceuticals can be addictive. Particularly those acting as stimulants.

Nootropics generally have very few side effects, are non-toxic when taken at recommended doses, and do not cause withdrawal symptoms once you stop using them.

To learn more about nootropics vs smart drugs, tolerance, psychological addiction, nootropics and withdrawal, and non-addictive alternatives to smart drugs, see my extended article on:

Are Nootropics Addictive?

Nootropics vs. Smart Drugs — What’s the Difference?

Smart Drugs are not the same as nootropics even though some may have similar benefits.

A smart drug is typically a prescription pharmaceutical used to treat the symptoms of ADHD or narcolepsy.  They are central nervous system stimulant drugs. And the most commonly prescribed are Adderall (dextroamphetamine) or Ritalin (methylphenidate).

These stimulants help with focus and energy in someone who is truly clinically ADHD. They produce spikes in dopamine and norepinephrine.

Adderall, Ritalin and other stimulants are very powerful drugs. And can include side effects such as decreased appetite, irritability, mood swings, anxiety, sleep problems, and cardiac issues. Dependency and addiction is a growing problem with their use.

Two other smart drugs of note are Modafinil and Adrafinil. These are wake-promoting agents that have a different chemical make-up from stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall. But exhibit similar side effects in many people.[xii]

Nootropics are described as having the characteristics of enhancing learning and memory. It should protect the brain while increasing natural cognitive processes. And should not be toxic, nor stimulate or depress the brain.

You could think of a nootropic as food for the brain, while a smart drug is exactly that — a drug for the brain.

Let’s be clear.

Smart drugs can kill you. And
nootropics can heal your brain.

For more on the “dark side” of smart drugs including more detail on methylphenidate (Ritalin), Adderall, modafinil, and prescription ampakines, see my post on:

Smart Drugs – The Bad and the Ugly

Nootropic Safety & Side Effects

One of the qualifications to be called a nootropic is they must be extremely safe, and non-toxic to humans. This from the original definition by Dr. Giurgea who invented piracetam.

For this reason, “smart drugs” like Ritalin and Adderall do not qualify as a nootropic.

Most nootropics have few, if any, drug interactions. And should not complicate existing health conditions. 

But a strong word of caution here… carefully read the dosage recommendations and side effects for each nootropic you’re considering adding to your stack. Every article for each nootropic listed here on Nootropics Expert® goes into detail on what to look out for. Including possible drug interactions.

So care must be taken with anything that alters dopamine or serotonin in your brain. Particularly if you are on any kind of SSRI, MAOI, or other anti-depressant medication.

Nootropics are generally made from plants, or made up of ingredients from plants. Or are purified components or extracts of plants.

The racetam-family of nootropics are derivatives of chemicals naturally produced by your body. For example, piracetam is a cyclic derivative of GABA which is naturally produced throughout your body, including your brain.

Nootropics are generally safe if you use them as recommended. You don’t want to go overboard with Vitamin D, melatonin or zinc because it could cause problems. Likewise, follow directions on the label and get advice from experienced nootropic users.

Many clinical studies have been done on nootropics over the last 40 – 50 years establishing their safety. And no one who has used a nootropic at recommended doses has ever OD’d to my knowledge.

Some nootropics like the racetams can work as a precursor to, or increase the efficacy of acetylcholine in your brain. In other words, they boost the uptake of choline.

So, for example the most commonly reported “side effect” of using racetams are headaches. And they usually occur in a specific part of your brain.

The best way to counteract a “racetam-headache” is to use a good source of supplemental choline such as Alpha GPC, CDP-Choline, or Cognizin®.

Read more about:

Nootropics Safety & Side Effects

Are Nootropics Legal?

In the USA, nootropics are generally classified as “dietary supplements” or “research compounds“. And can be purchased and used legally for personal consumption.

Smart drugs like Ritalin, Adderall, and Modafinil are prescription “drugs” and require a prescription from a licensed medical professional.

Some nootropics, particularly synthetics are classified as a prescription drug in some countries. For example, Citicoline, which is a supplement in the USA, qualifies as a prescription drug in much of Europe.

Piracetam and other racetam-class nootropics are only available by prescription in Russia, the United Kingdom and Australia. SAM-e is a prescription drug throughout Europe. And Vinpocetine, derived from the periwinkle plant is prescribed as a dementia drug in Japan and parts of Europe.

Dietary supplements are available in the USA without a prescription. And in many other countries. However, please check the status of any particular nootropic and their classification in your country.

See the page on the legal status of nootropics in your country here:

Are Nootropics Legal in My Country?

That page is updated as new information comes in from readers and neurohackers like you. So if you have information about your country that’s not yet listed, please leave a comment at the bottom of the Are Nootropics Legal in My Country page. That page is checked by hundreds of visitors every day. Your input is greatly appreciated.

[i] Giurgea C. “Pharmacology of integrative activity of the brain. Attempt at nootropic concept in psychopharmacology” Actualités Pharmacologiques (Paris). 1972;25:115-56.

[ii] Dimond SJ, Brouwers EM. “Increase in the power of human memory in normal man through the use of drugs.” Psychopharmacology (Berlin) 1976 Sep 29;49(3):307-9. (source)

[iii] Bartus R.T., Dean R.L. 3rd, Sherman K.A., Friedman E., Beer B. “Profound effects of combining choline and piracetam on memory enhancement and cholinergic function in aged rats.” Neurobiology of Aging 1981 Summer;2(2):105-11. (source)

[iv] Magistretti P., Pellerin L., Martin J.L. “Brain Energy Metabolism”Neuropsychopharmacology: The Fifth Generation of Progress  Retrieved February 3, 2016

[v] Swaminathan N. “Why Does the Brain Need So Much Power?”Scientific American April 29, 2008 Retrieved on February 3, 2016 (source)

[vi] Balon T.W., Jasman A.P., Zhu J.S. “A fermentation product of Cordyceps sinensis increases whole-body insulin sensitivity in rats.”Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2002 Jun;8(3):315-23. (source)

[vii] Azevedo F.A, Carvalho L.R., Grinberg L.T., Farfel J.M., Ferretti R.E., Leite R.E., Jacob Filho W., Lent R., Herculano-Houzel S. “Equal numbers of neuronal and nonneuronal cells make the human brain an isometrically scaled-up primate brain.” The Journal of Comparative Neurology 2009 Apr 10;513(5):532-41. (source)

[viii] Kobayashi K., Nagato Y., Aoi N., Juneja L.R., Kim M., Yamamoto T., Sugimoto S. “Effects of L-theanine on the release of α-brain waves in human volunteers” Nippon Nōgei Kagakukaishi 1998, vol. 72, no2, pp. 153-157 (24 ref.) (source)

[ix] Pelsman A. et. Al. “GVS-111 prevents oxidative damage and apoptosis in normal and Down’s syndrome human cortical neurons”International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience Volume 21, Issue 3, May 2003, Pages 117–124 (source)

[x] Erickson K. et. Al. “Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 2011 Feb 15;108(7):3017-22.

[xi] Mattson M.P. “Energy intake, meal frequency, and health: a neurobiological perspective.” Annual Review of Nutrition 2005;25:237-60.

[xii] Kumar R. “Approved and investigational uses of modafinil: an evidence-based review.” Drugs 2008;68(13):1803-39. (source)

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Join The Discussion - 210 comments

David Adolf
August 1, 2019

Hi David,

I can not thank you enough for all the work you have done, i hope you are great and living a great life.

I have been reading a lot on nootropics and i think i am ready to start something, but not sure if the below stack is appropriate. I am just wondering if i could get advice on this, it would be great:

1- Morning Wakeup: Caffeine + L-theanine + Methyllibrine
2- Sustaining Stack:
a) Bacopa Monniere-Synapsa (Bacoside)
b) Cognizin Citicoline
c) Rhodiola Rosea
d) Magtein
e) Longvida Curcumin
*mabye addition of the below not sure how:
f) Ashwaganda KM-66
g) Ginseng
h) Schisandra
i) Gotu Kola

3)Night Stack for sleep:
a) Ashwaganda-Sensirol
b) Lemon Balm Extract
c) Magnesium glycinate
d) Bacopa Monneiri- Bacognize (SABG)

Note on the above:
1- I find it hard to get out of bed and i would be much happier to wake up with alot of energy, so what i currently do is i wake up and swallow caffiene/fat burner pills and go to sleep and wake up 10min later to start my day with great energy

2- I have a very stressful job. I am very sensitive to caffeine – it gives me alot of uncontrolled energy if taken alone

3- When i usually take anything with energy its very hard for me to focus (ADHD/ADD) symptoms unless combined with a calming nootropic

4- I used phenibut 4 years ago with noopept and other racetrams i had good results but i had to stop because i felt i did not have the right stack, specifically did not take any choline with them, but they gave me a huge edge and i probably did not cycle them well also. I am thinking of Phenibut, Noopept, and Phenylpiracetam.

5- It is very obvious that i have a long list, and mabye i should start smaller to understand the effect of each. Any recommendations?

6- its worth noting that i have no vitamin B – which is considered important given i saw most of the nootropic formulas in the market

I understand its a long post, but just trying to make sure i cover everything. i would definitely prefer to start small and increase either dosage or ingredients as i move forward.

Thanks David.


    David Tomen
    August 2, 2019

    Dave, you’re on the right track. But this is something that’d be better served with a personal consultation to I can put in the time for research.

    If energy is an issue I suggest going to the “Reviews” tab in the menu and scrolling through to the posts I did on energy and mitochondria.

Jean-Philippe Raymond
July 30, 2019

Hi David

With all your experience and expertiseI guess you tried neurofeedback?

Have you nootropics recommandations that could boost neurofeedback pottency?

Thanks in advance

    David Tomen
    July 31, 2019

    Jean-Philippe, I haven’t yet tried neurofeedback so can’t honestly provide any advice on boosting its potency with nootropics.

      Jean-Philippe Raymond
      July 31, 2019

      Oh you should may be your list would shrink a bit 😉

July 21, 2019

Hi David,
Thank you so much for all this info. I’m on a health journey for my 8 yo son. He had a rough start in life (c section, antibiotics, reflux, ear infection, tube, tonsillectomy …) Then we decided to switch our way of living (Paleo, Bio, hypotoxic diet, BIO GFLF etc.) and tried functionnal Biomedical approach. He has a diagnostic of speech dyspraxia and developental delay.

Changing our way of living did a lot of thing for us and our family (3years now). Our son it doing great in terms of health now (never get sic) but speech delay is still a problem.

I’m reading a lot of functionnal medecine books and I’m now studying naturopathy. My last book was Primal Body Primal Mind by Nora T Gedgaudas… I never really heard the term nootropics before but I already new some of them without really knowing they where in that category.

Anyway in Nora Book she mentioned to try phosphadyl serine with Omega 3 and I did … I saw a big improvement in his cognition and eye contact. So that start me on nootropics. Now I’m searching for the best stack to see if I could unlock his language.

I found this article from mind lab pro

So I’ve ordered
Ginkgo biloba + PS
Huperz A
CDP Choline
+ Usual Whole Hearth and sea Omega

Do you think it’s a good stack and do you have comments
Thanks in advance

    David Tomen
    July 22, 2019

    Jean-Philippe, first, that’s a great article on language over on the Mind Lab Pro blog. Well done whoever researched and wrote that.

    I’d continue using Phosphatidylserine (PS) and a quality Omega-3. Your other choices are good as long as you closely follow dosage recommendations. You’ll find dosage in each individual review here on Nootropics Expert.

    You’ll notice that Huperzine-A should NOT be used every day because of its long half-life. Once every two or three days is best.

    And DMAE must be used with a choline supplement like CDP-Choline. Same with Piracetam and a choline supplement.

    The key with nootropics is to keep on experimenting until you find what works best for you. It takes patience and plenty of trial and error.

    But once you find the right combination of nootropics you’ll be amazed at what can happen.

      Jean-Philippe Raymond
      August 17, 2019

      We are already seeing improvement in his condition. Speech is more fluent more energy, he’s choosing bigger word. It’s really tempting to experiment further. The only problem is the lack of documentation for young kids. On forums when you ask for nootropics for young kid people get angry and think we want to mess with our kid mind…

      Let’s say we are already doing a full really clean diet and life style change for our kid and if life can be a bit easier with product used in other country without problem we are willing to try them with safety concern and adapted dosage.

      Now I’m curious about noopept and other racetam and PQQ. I don’t want it to be too much do.

      What do you think?

        David Tomen
        August 17, 2019

        Jean-Philippe, PQQ should be OK because it is a natural enzyme cofactor already in use in the body. But always use the lowest possible dose in this case.

        I wouldn’t recommend messing with any of the racetams because these are very potent nootropics. And they may interrupt the natural brain development in the young brain. This would be too risky in my opinion.

        Jean-Philippe Raymond
        August 18, 2019

        Ok so including noopept?

        I know dosage of noopept for his weight would be really tiny.

        My 2 main objective are anxiety and speech development.

        Pqq seams interesting
        I’m already giving him Q10 1 day of 2.

        If I do a 1 on 1 call with you do you think you could give me advice on witch noo are too risky for kids ?


        David Tomen
        August 18, 2019

        Jean-Philippe, with enough advance notice I can certainly help steer you clear of things that may harm the developing brain. I’m currently doing more research in the developing human brain and nootropics for kids because I’m getting asked this question by more and more parents.

        August 19, 2019

        Hi David,

        How long in advance do you need ?

        David Tomen
        August 20, 2019

        At least another 2 – 3 weeks.

        August 20, 2019

        OK that seams reasonable. Do you think I could invite one of my friend on a 1h call to split the fees ?

        I don’t know if you figure out with my french name I live in Qc Canada. US currency it not on our side lol.

        I’m the administrator of a FB group (french) helping parents to start on a healthy life style and working with different diet and techniques (GAPS, Feingold, Reid, Nemecheck prototol biomedical and the list go on).

        This way of living gave us hope we can change our kids live by understanding what is happening in their body. In 3 years we tried many thing with good slow result. I never saw a change happen so quickly then what I see now with this stack…

        I’m ordering PQQ now.
        Anyway let me know for the call ?

        David Tomen
        August 21, 2019

        Jean-Philippe, I haven’t a problem with 2 people on a one hour consultation. But you’ll need to figure out how to split the fee on your end because I have not way of doing that.

July 13, 2019


I feel I have irritably/anger issues to the point that any little thing sets me off and it feels like an impulse instinct reaction. I tend to lose control, and immediately instantly regret it afterwards and hate myself for losing control and not being able to better control myself. I feel that because I instantly regret, I know better than to act out and behave it that way but in the moment it feel like all of that is thrown out the window. I just wish that I wouldn’t get angry and had better control enough to not let things get to me and be able to remain cool calm and collected under any situation instead of jumping the gun and fighting back. I was wondering if you had an article on which nootropics are best for anger/irritably that also explain the science behind anger and how the nootropics would help. I just lost my job and my friendship with my boss who is someone dear because I would fight back and not listen and hear them out and I was way out of line, and I really regret that my boss/friend now has a bad opinion of me even though I’m a really good person and a very dedicated worker who really passionate about my job. I wish to recover that friendship and trust even though I may not be able to recover my job that I really love but no longer have. I’m hoping that there’s something I can take to help me not get anger or hostile when I’m frustrated or in intense situations and not let my emotions get out of control to the point that I feel like I’m going crazy. To be honest, I feel like at this point maybe it might be best for me to experience more the “flight” aspect of “fight or flight” or maybe something that will make me more docile I guess LOL. Any help and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

July 1, 2019

You rock! I love it when people take the time to write a well-thought, in-depth, article.

Asma Amir
June 14, 2019

Dear Mr. Tomen,
First off, I sincerely want to thank you for the content on the website. I have been struggling with concentration and focus issues but unfortunately didn’t get the right help. I am 31 and have been stuck with trying to complete my degree for a long time. It also effects my daily life as I have no control over where my impulsiveness and the constant flow of thoughts would take me the next second.
2 years ago I was diagnosed with a prolactinoma. A tiny pituatory adenoma that created excess prolactin in my system. The doc suggested cabergoline (Dostinex 0.5mg twice a week half a tablet) and I’ve been taking it since then. It didn’t help much with the concentration and I continued looking for something that would help. A month ago I got off of my medication as I wasn’t able to schedule an appointment with the doctor and so didn’t have the prescription enabling me to buy it on insurance. In the meanwhile I bumped into articles on smart drugs and nootroopics on the net. After reading mostly positive reviews about mind lab pro, i decided to give it a shot. And my oh my, it felt amazing. I could do things without constant distraction and lack of focus. A week after starting the meds, I got my prescription filled. I took one tab to make up for all the time I had gone without it and I felt it really affected the amazing MLP effects that I had earlier felt. I should add here that I had cycled the supplement with 5 days on and 2 days off approach.
I started reading about Cabergoline and what it does to the brain and discovered its listed as a “dopamine receptor agonist”. Can you please explain what that means. Also, having deep understanding about each ingredient in mind lab pro, do you think there is a possibility of any potential interactions causing a reduction in the full effect of the supplement?
I would be grateful if you could reply.

    David Tomen
    June 15, 2019

    Asma, the neurotransmitter dopamine connects to the dopamine neuroreceptor for various reasons. An “agonist” such as cabergoline increases the sensitivity of that receptor which increase the effectiveness of dopamine.

    Mind Lab Pro contains N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT) which is the precursor needed for the production of dopamine. The NALT in MLP produces more dopamine. And when you increase the effectiveness of your dopamine receptors it works even better.

    There is no contraindication between the two that I’m aware of at the dosages you are using them.

June 7, 2019

Hi David. I have so many questions for you. So, Im a 34 y/o female. Years back, I was diagnosed with PMDD. Eventually, they put me on prozac. I found that the effects kinda gave out. My doctor increased my dosage. Well, after 3 years on this drug taking nothing else, not even vitamins, come to find myself losing my memory significantly. I mean its really bad. I have forgotten really important things and cant believe Im that forgetful.
Thus began my quest for improving my memory. The first thing I did, was decrease my prozac dosage from 60mg, to 40mg, to 20mg over 6 months time period. Im currently on 20mg, but by end of year I want to wean off if possible, by changing my lifestyle and meal choices.
I started taking Bacopa 300mg and have been taking it at bedtime with my prozac for 5 weeks now. I also took Mindforce mushroom together at the same time. This one contains chaga, lions mane, poria, and reishi in one capsule. Also Algal DHA, each capsule is 300mg. I take 2 daily which isnt a full serving, but I have 5 weeks taking this too. So anyway, five weeks into it, not one dose missed and no improvement. I was very concerned. I finished the entire bottle of mindforce mushroom already. I was going to buy another one, but decided on CDP choline instead. I have only 3 days taking this new supplement. Im taking CDP choline around 6 pm. I noticed immediately that around 8pm, I had a strong headache. Nevertheless, Im going to continue trying it until I finish the bottle. I also decided to add Phosphatidylserine 300mg. I have not started it yet. First, I was scared to take too many things because I dont know how my body would react. Im very sensitive to everything pretty much. Regardless, I read somewhere online that Phosphatidylserine is kinda like DHA. Should I be taking both of them together? the Phosphatidylserine & Algal DHA?
Im so frustrated that Im not improving fast enough, I feel frequently fatigued. Slow in the mind, poor recall, I forget so many things still. This really sux. I spent $65 dollars on the two bottles, the Phosphatidylserine  and the CDP choline together. I thought it was expensive but I figured its an investment in myself. I was hoping to speak to you directly, I tried going through your youtube channel but the comments are disabled. I printed out the guide on your website about all the supplements and started browsing it. Ive looked up clinical studies on the Bacopa but it says it takes improvement was seen after 12 weeks and Im barely on week 5 & i dont feel amything yet. Please contact me.

May 21, 2019

I like to purchase the new book Head first !
But only available in digital ?
My question now is…. can I download it on my laptop and also my tablet (tranfer ? ) so I can use either. And would I be able to print a certain part out of book for my own reference.

    David Tomen
    May 22, 2019

    Conrad, Head First is digital-only and yes you can download it to as many devices as you wish. Phone, tablet and laptop and your choice of PDF, .mobi or .ePub depending on the type of e-reader you prefer.

    I have had a few people print out at least part of the book. But printing out nearly 600-pages is a daunting task.

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