Nootropic stimulants and supplements, also known as memory enhancers, cognitive supplements, or even "smart drugs," are becoming more prevalent in our society on a daily basis. From the "Adderall Epidemic" sweeping across college camps, to the variety of natural cognitive supplements derived from B Vitamins and other natural sources, people are interested in finding methods to improve their cognitive function. Many consumers are becoming wary of taking prescription-strength pharmaceutical drugs to increase their cognitive function, as they are mostly made using a combination of amphetamine salts and other synthesized substances that can cause a variety of negative side effects, including loss of appetite, disruption of sleep patterns, depression, anxiety, psychosis, and death. Prescription-strength pharmaceutical nootropic drugs also have high potential for abuse and addiction; Many are classified as controlled substances by governments across the world, and buying, selling, or possessing them without a valid prescription can lead to felony charges.
Fortunately, there are a variety of naturally-occurring vitamins that can help increase cognitive function just as well, without the negative side effects or possible legal ramifications. B Vitamins, especially Vitamins B6 and B12, are extremely important to improving cognition. Vitamin B6 aids chemical reactions that carry oxygen through your brain, providing essential fuel to power your brain. It also helps metabolize glucose into energy. Vitamin B6 can be found in most meats (including fish), bell peppers, potatoes, yams, green peas, broccoli, peanuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, wholewheat bread, chickpeas, lentil, and kidney beans, as well as a variety of over -the-counter Vitamin B Complexes and Cognitive Supplements. Vitamin B12 is another essential vitamin to increase cognitive function and maintain brain health. Vitamin B12 helps stop brain shrinkage by breaking down the amino acid homocysteine, fighting cognitive decline, especially for seniors and Alzheimer's patients, and can be found in salmon, trout, dairy, beef, cheese and eggs.
Many health professionals recommend adding a Folic Acid supplement to a B Vitamin regimen, because it works in conjunction with Vitamin B12 to hunt and break down homocysteine and helps to build and maintain cells in the brain and body. Folic Acid also assists Vitamin B6 in converting food to energy. Folic Acid can be found in foods such as lentils and beans, spinach, asparagus, avocado, peanuts, eggs, corn and most berries.
Alpha Lipoic Acid is another Vitamin that can help increase cognitive function and fight mental decline. It is an antioxidant that attacks free radicals that can damage your brain cells, and also assists in converting glucose to energy. ALA is also water and fat soluble, so it can work in all cells in your body and brain, destroying the bad waste bodies make when converting food into energy. It can be found in red meat and yeast.
Phosphatidyl Serine is quickly becoming known for increasing cognitive function as well.
It is proven to increase thinking skills, improve athletic performance, fight Alzheimer's disease, and is even known to be an effective natural treatment for ADD or ADHD. It helps maintain cellular function in brain cells, and is part of the structure for brain cells. Supplementing your diet with added Phosphatidyl Serine can definitely help to improve cognitive abilities and increase brain health. You can add more Phosphatidyl Serine to your diet by eating cabbage, soy beans, tuna, crayfish, most lean meats, carrots, milk, and potatoes.
There are many cognitive supplements that conglomerate the above ingredients with various other natural vitamins to create effective cognitive enhancers in pill or capsule form. They can provide 100% + of the vitamins needed to maintain and improve cognitive function, and similar to their pharmaceutical siblings, do not have the risk for abuse or addiction, and will not cause death from overdose. These cognitive supplements are being used every day by college and university students, business professionals, active baby-boomers and retirees, seniors looking to increase their memory and energy, and even athletes and bodybuilders who are seeking a mental edge in their performance. While the motives behind use may vary, vitamins to improve cognitive function are here to stay, and will only get more powerful and more effective with further research and design.