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Are Nootropics Effective? Research and Evidence Revealed

By Dave Wright | |

Both public and scientific interest in nootropics has been
steadily increasing since the first cognitive-enhancing supplement was created
more than 50 years ago. Today, thousands of people around the world use
nootropics to improve cognitive function.

Although a true “limitless” pill doesn’t exist yet, when nootropics
are supported by healthy diet, regular exercise, and proper sleep, they can deliver
an added cognitive boost.

How Nootropics Boost Brain Power

The human brain is one of the most complex things we know of,
and even the most illustrious brain scientists don’t know much about how it

But we do know the brain relies on a wide variety of
vitamins, micronutrients, and other elements in order to function properly.
Nootropics can supply vital nutrients that are lacking from poor diet,
age-related decline, stress, and other influences.

Nootropic compounds help enhance cognitive function by
affecting on or more brain mechanisms, including:

  • Balancing neurotransmitter levels in the brain.
  • Improving cerebral blood flow
  • Stimulating neurogenesis
  • Accelerating nerve growth rate
  • Enhancing cell membrane fluidity
  • Moderating synaptic activity

Nootropics can encourage positive changes within the brain to help promote optimal mental performance.<1> Also referred to as brain boosters or cognitive enhancers, nootropic supplements can improve four key areas of cognitive function:

  • Memory
    short term, working memory, learning
  • Mental Performance
    processing speed, attention, focus,
  • Mindset
    mood, stress resistance, anxiety relief,
    creativity, motivation
  • Structure
    brain cell membranes, injury repair, neurogenesis,
    anti-aging, neural protection

And they can do this by supporting 6 different brain

  • Brain
    supports memory,
    processing speed, mood, attention, and motivation
  • Brain
    fights brain fog and fatigue and boosts mental flexibility,
    quick thinking, and focus
  • Brain
    helps maintain and
    repair brain cells and encourages neuroplasticity and nerve growth
  • Brain
    regulates brain oxygen,
    flushes toxins, and improves nutrient delivery
  • Brain
    fights toxins and inhibits
    long-term damage
  • Brain Waves – promotes alpha brain wave
    frequencies that encourage relaxed awareness


Some popular nootropics are relatively new, but they are backed
by stacks of research. Others have been used for thousands of years but have
very little clinical support.

Most people would rather try something that has been well
researched, and many want an all-natural substance. Others want a strong,
instant boost they can feel and are willing to take chances to get it.

But the best nootropics target both long and short-term
mental performance to boost overall cognitive function on a daily basis while
reducing the future effects of age-related cognitive decline.

An effective combination of the right natural nootropics can
boost mental performance, protect brain function, and promote brain health.

Blood Flow, Oxygen and Energy

The brain uses around fifteen percent of the body's total
blood and oxygen supplies, so efficiency and supply is crucial for superior cognitive
function. Some nootropics widen the small arteries and veins in the brain, improving
brain blood flow for better oxygen circulation and more brain energy.

  • In animal studies, bacopa monnieri has been shown to increase brain blood flow regardless of blood pressure.<2>

The brain generates energy by burning glucose, and neurons depend on a continuous supply of oxygen and nutrients to do that. Phosphatidylcholine (PC) helps protect healthy brain oxygen circulation and improves glucose metabolism to enhance brain cell energy and aid nutrient absorption.

The brain energy generated from glucose is crucial to maintain brain cell integrity, support electrical impulses and synaptic transmission, and balance neurotransmitter levels.

Choline supplements like Citicoline can encourage PC production to protect the brain from inflammation that can damage nerve cells and obstruct brain pathways.


Some nootropics stimulate choline uptake and cholinergic transmission, and others modulate acetylcholine or glutamate receptors or stimulate dopamine release.<3>

Better neurotransmitter activity supports long-term
potentiation (LTP)
for better learning and long-term memory.


Nootropics can protect the brain from toxins and minimize age-related cognitive decline by stimulating new neurons, thereby improving brain function. The stimulated cells boost brain activity and improve brain plasticity, including thinking and memory abilities.

Who Benefits from Nootropics?


Nootropics help students study better by enhancing learning, memory, and related cognitive functions like attention, concentration, focus, storage, and recall while improving mental resilience and stress resistance.

And the same brain boosting actions can help with exams too,
making nootropics a good choice for any academic level, from undergrad to
doctorate. And they can help improve continuing education outcomes too.


Brain supplements can boost both mental and physical performance
for success on the field and in the gym. From the weight room right up to game
time, athletes use nootropics to promote optimal brain chemistry for more motivation,
intensity, and discipline.

Some nootropics help with important physiological markers that can improve physical performance too, like blood flow, blood oxygen, energy, endurance, and stress resistance.


Cognitive enhancers target specific cognitive functions that
can help competitors across all games and sports triumph. Nootropics support a
calm mindset, sharpen critical thinking, promote pattern recognition, and improve
memory and recall – invaluable skills for any victor.


Nootropics can boost performance and heighten productivity at
work by enhancing focus, improving the ability to multitask under stress, and
expand creativity and problem-solving abilities.

And certain brain supplements can help with interpersonal
interactions at the office or in the conference room by reducing performance anxiety,
balancing mood, and helping you stay positive and productive in stressful

Active 55+

A high quality nootropic stack can make a world of
difference for adults seeking additional cognitive support for everyday brain
functions that can decline with age.

Many adults – even those with mild cognitive impairment or neurological disorders – find that nootropics can assist with memory, mood, communication, and overall mental clarity.<4> This added mental boost can greatly improve quality of life for many people age 55 and over.

How It Works

Acetylcholine is one of the brain's key components involved in learning and memory.<5>

Learning and memory are crucial to all other cognitive functions, and the ability to learn, store memories and recall them with ease greatly affects mood and other aspects of mental health and performance.

Mind Lab Pro® delivers the best natural acetylcholine boosters and protectors available, including Cognizin®, a patented brand of citicoline that boosts brain energy, improves mental performance, and supports memory without the crash from stimulants.

  • Human research studies show Citicoline can help improve attention, focus, mood, and memory. And Cognizin® may help preserve aging brains from age-related physiological changes and cognitive decline.<6>

Citicoline helps energize brain cells and optimizes the neural electrical impulses that power all cognition. And it helps in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine (PC), a phospholipid and major building block of brain cell membranes.

By combining brain energy with phospholipid synthesis, citicoline is one of the best nootropics for brain cell repair and regeneration. It also supports neurotransmitters like acetylcholine and acts as an antioxidant to protect the brain from free radical damage and inflammation caused by oxidative stress.

Phosphatidylserine is another key ingredient in Mind Lab Pro®, and it complements Cognizin®'s biomechanisms by helping maintain cell membrane fluidity, promoting neurotransmitters like dopamine and acetylcholine, and enhancing receptor functions.

PS is a phospholipid compound found in brain cell membranes that supports brain function by:

  • Enhancing glucose metabolism to support brain cell energy.
  • Increasing nerve growth factor (NGF) to encourage brain cell formation, maintenance, and repair.
  • Aiding disposal of damaged, toxic brain cells

PS and other phospholipid levels decline in the brain as we
age, along many cognitive functions.

Studies have shown that supplementing PS levels may help preserve memory, delay cognitive decline, improve mood, reduce anxiety, and support mental clarity as we age. Today, PS is the only nootropic approved by the FDA for reducing the risk of cognitive decline.

Mind Lab Pro® contains today's most effective, well-researched nootropics, including Lion's Mane Mushroom.

Formally titled Hericium erinaceus, this brain-boosting mushroom’s active compounds (called hericenones and erinacines) promote neural regeneration and cell membrane synthesis by promoting Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) production.

NGF may encourage neuroplasticity by providing more storage for new learning and memories by encouraging the production of new brain cells and maintaining myelin sheath integrity.

  • A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial linked Lion’s Mane Mushroom to significant cognitive improvements in adults over 50 with mild cognitive impairment. Research suggests Lion’s Mane may also help balance mood.<7>

“The anxiety-reducing nootropic” L-Theanine induces alpha brain wave activity,
accompanied by a calm state of alert relaxation and enhanced creativity.

L-theanine is a naturally occurring compound found in green tea and some mushrooms that has been used for thousands of years to heighten alertness, promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, enhance creativity, and boost general cognitive functioning. Now we know why.

L-theanine calms
excitable chemicals like cortisol and
adrenaline and stimulates soothing
neurotransmitters like serotonin,
, and GABA, possibly
protecting neurons from stress-related damage and preserve mental clarity
during the aging process.

  • Mind Lab Pro®’s premium Suntheanine® has been shown in human clinical research to enhance Alpha brainwaves.<8>

Theanine’s is one of the safest nootropics, and its gentle
psychoactive properties make it particularly effective for studying, learning, artistic endeavors, creative problem solving, and other mental tasks
that benefit from quiet contemplation.

Athletes and competitive gamers may find that combining l-theanine
with caffeine can improve memory, mental endurance, and reaction time. <https://blog.worldcampus.psu.edu/2014/04/the-many-benefits-of-l-theanine/>

Bacopa monnieri, also called Brahmi or Water Hyssop, is an ayurvedic herb that has been used to enhance cognition for thousands of years.

One of the best natural nootropics, Bacopa contains antioxidant bacosides like superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), which augment other neural antioxidants.

This collaborative antioxidant activity helps protect brain
cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, including premature aging.
Bacopa complements citicoline, PS, and l-theanine by stimulating acetylcholine,
GABA, and serotonin – neurotransmitters that affect focus, memory, and mood.

Bacopa works by regulating acetylcholine levels, a brain chemical that is critical for good memory and attention. It also helps increase alertness by improving nerve impulse transmission.

  • Research shows that over time Bacopa monnieri can improve the storage of new information, help with memory consolidation, and increase verbal learning skills.<9>

Bacopa monnieri is one of the safest and most effective memory and mood enhancers available today.

Bacopa does take time to work, and studies show a minimum of four weeks of daily supplementation is required to show noticeable results, but its neuroprotective properties help preserve cognitive function over time, helping the brain stay younger longer.

Researchers suggest Bacopa “demonstrates immense potential in the amelioration of cognitive disorders, as well as prophylactic reduction of oxidative damage, NT modulation, and cognitive enhancement in healthy people.”<10>

Researchers have also suggested it may speed up mental processing, improve cognition under stress, and encourage relaxation.

Mind Lab Pro®’s potent bacopa extract supplies the nine most
active bacoside compounds available.

Rhodiola rosea is popular for its mood-boosting properties, but studies show it can also improve cognitive function, improve memory and learning, and provide neural protection via salidroside, an active component in Rhodiola.

Like Bacopa monnieri, Rhodiola is an adaptogen that can increase stress resistance and enhance mental endurance. And it may protect the cerebral nervous system from oxidative damage, potentially lowering the risk for neurodegenerative diseases over time.

Rhodiola has even been shown to improve learning and reverse memory impairment in people with neurodegenerative disease.<11>

Mind Lab Pro® for Everyone

All of these brain-boosting nootropics and more form Mind Lab Pro®’s highly effective Universal Nootropic™ strategy.

  • Mind Lab Pro® nootropics effectively boost brain energy, regulate neurotransmitter levels, improve cerebral blood flow, and modify brainwaves to promote neuroregeneration and provide neural protection.

Mind Lab Pro® is the world’s first Universal Nootropic™,
with a combination of fast-acting energizers that quickly boost current mental
performance needs and slow-acting nootropics that protect brain health from the
ravages of time.

Unlike most nootropic stacks that only focus on immediate
results, Mind Lab Pro® merges fast-acting brain-boosters with fundamental brain
fuel to support optimal mental performance now and help preserve healthy brain
function for the future.

Whatever your cognitive needs are, Mind Lab Pro® adapts to provide the specific cognitive support you need, when you need it.

Mind Lab Pro® supplies a patented formula that delivers 11 highly effective, well-researched ingredients in clinical dosages designed to work together to promote 100% Brainpower™ for all types of people.


  1. Voronina TA. (1994) Nootropic Drugs in Alzheimer Disease Treatment. New Pharmacological Strategies. In: Giacobini E., Becker R.E. (eds) Alzheimer Disease. Advances in Alzheimer Disease Therapy. Birkhäuser Boston. Doi: 10.1007/978-1-4615-8149-9_45
  2. Kamkaew N, et al. Bacopa monnieri increases cerebral blood flow in rat independent of blood pressure. Phytother Res. 2013 Jan;27(1):135-8. Doi: 10.1002/ptr.4685.
  3. Oyaizu M., Narahashi T. Modulation of the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-channel by the nootropic drug nefiracetam. Brain Research. 1999;822(1-2):72–79. doi: 10.1016/S0006-8993(99)01077-X
  4. Suliman NA. Establishing Natural Nootropics: Recent Molecular Enhancement Influenced by Natural Nootropic. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016. Doi: 10.1155/2016/4391375
  5. Hasselmo ME. The Role of Acetylcholine in Learning and Memory. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2006 Dec; 16(6): 710–715. Doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2006.09.002
  6. Alvarez XA, et al. Citicoline improves memory performance in elderly subjects. Methods and Findings in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology. 01 Apr 1997. 19(3):201-210
  7. Mori K, et al. Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytother Res. 2009 Mar;23(3):367-72
  8. Bryan J. Psychological effects of dietary components of tea: caffeine and L-theanine. Nutr Rev. 2008 Feb;66(2):82-90. Doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2007.00011.x.
  9. Roodenrys S. Booth D. Bulzomi S. Phipps A. Micallef C. Smoker J. Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2002;27:279–281. Doi: 10.1016/S0893-133X(01)00419-5
  10. Aguiar S, Borowski T. Neuropharmacological Review of the Nootropic Herb Bacopa monnieri. Rejuvenation Res. 2013 Aug; 16(4): 313–326.
    Doi: 10.1089/rej.2013.1431
  11. Qu Z.-Q., Zhou Y., Zeng Y.-S., Li Y., Chung P. Pretreatment with rhodiola rosea extract reduces cognitive impairment induced by intracerebroventricular streptozotocin in rats: implication of anti-oxidative and neuroprotective effectsBiomedical and Environmental Sciences2009;22(4):318–326. Doi: 10.1016/s0895-3988(09)60062-3.

These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This article is an opinion and explanation of current research given by the author. It is not an expression of a medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on as such.

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