Nootropics are substances that provide you with a range of benefits involving your mental functioning. They improve your performance in any of the following areas:
Nootropics include both synthetic and natural substances. For example, vitamin B, vitamin D, phosphatidylserine (PS), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are all natural substances with nootropic properties.
The B vitamins reduce homocysteine levels, an amino acid associated with impaired cognitive function. Regular supplementation with B vitamins reduces your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It also sharpens your memory and allows you to learn new skills in the same way a child does.
Studies show that you can improve your focus in performing daily tasks by taking B vitamins regularly. This property lets you concentrate more effectively while working, studying or learning a new task.
Patients who are suffering from depression often receive vitamin B supplements as part of their treatment. B vitamins are also natural sleep aids, allowing you to recover from a tiring, stressful day.
Vitamin D is necessary for the production of brain cells such as neurons. It also benefits your cardiovascular health and may also have separate benefits for cognitive function. A 2009 study reported by shows that the active form of Vitamin D, vitamin D3, may improve brain function in adults and the development of the brain.
Researchers believe that vitamin D3 improves cognitive function by increasing the levels of protective antioxidants and key hormones in your body. It also suppresses an overly immune system, which can impair your neurological functioning.
The sun can also provide a nootropic effect by stimulating the production of vitamin D3. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun causes a chemical called 7-dehydrocholesterol that’s found on your skin to turn into vitamin D3, which your body then absorbs.
PS, DHA and EPA
A 2003 study examined the effects of the phospholipid PS, and the omega-3 oils DHA and EPA. This study showed that supplementation with PS and omega-3 oils has the potential to improve cognitive functioning.
Omega-3 oils are involved in the creation of neurons, especially while the brain is developing. Supplements of omega-3 oils also significantly reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Most of the benefits of omega-3 oils come from DHA, although this component has a stronger fishy odor.
Life Extension Magazine