Nutrition and Nootropics to Increase IQ
Nootropics – also known as smart drugs, memory enhancers, cognitive enhancers and intelligence enhancers – are drugs, supplements, nutraceuticals (a product isolated or purified from foods) that are designed to improve cognitive functions such as memory, attention and intelligence. The use of nootropics for cognitive performance is widespread.
In January, the prestigious science journal Nature launched an informal survey into readers’ use of cognition-enhancing drugs, and found large-scale use (link). One in five respondents said they had used drugs for non-medical reasons to stimulate their focus, concentration or memory.
Nature journal commentary on smart drugs
In 2008, Nature ran a commentary on this topic: Towards responsible use of cognitive enhancing drugs by the healthy. This article is well worth the time it takes to read. The authors outline the evidence in favor of the effectiveness of “smart drugs” and I will quote at length from the section “Paths to Enhancement” which reviews the nootropics known to boost brain power:
Ritalin and Adderall
Many of the medications used to treat psychiatric and neurological conditions also improve the performance of the healthy. The drugs most commonly used for cognitive enhancement at present are stimulants, namely Ritalin (methyphenidate) and Adderall (mixed amphetamine salts), and are prescribed mainly for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Because of their effects on the catecholamine system, these drugs increase executive functions in patients and most healthy normal people, improving their abilities to focus their attention, manipulate information in working memory and flexibly control their responses…
A newer drug, Modafinil (Provigil), has also shown enhancement potential. Modafinil is approved for the treatment of fatigue caused by narcolepsy, sleep apnoea and shift-work sleep disorder. It is currently prescribed off label for a wide range of neuropsychiatric and other medical conditions involving fatigue as well as for healthy people who need to stay alert and awake when sleep deprived, such as physicians on night call. In addition, laboratory studies have shown that modafinil enhances aspects of executive function in rested healthy adults, particularly inhibitory control. Unlike Adderall and Ritalin, however, Modafinil prescriptions are not common, and the drug is consequently rare on the college black market. But anecdotal evidence and a readers’ survey both suggest that adults sometimes obtain modafinil from their physicians or online for enhancement purposes.
A modest degree of memory enhancement is possible with the ADHD medications just mentioned as well as with medications developed for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease such as Aricept (donepezil), which raise levels of acetylcholine in the brain. Several other compounds with different pharmacological actions are in early clinical trials, having shown positive effects on memory in healthy research subjects.
The authors focus at length on the potential risks and ethical concerns of using nootropic cognitive enhancers, but conclude:
Like all new technologies, cognitive enhancement can be used well or poorly. We should welcome new methods of improving our brain function. In a world in which human workspans and lifespans are increasing, cognitive enhancement tools — including the pharmacological — will be increasingly useful for improved quality of life and extended work productivity, as well as to stave off normal and pathological age related cognitive declines23. Safe and effective cognitive enhancers will benefit both the individual and society.
Best brain supplements and IQ supplements
Creatine Brain Supplement
Like glucose and oxygen, creatine can help provide an increased fuel supply to the brain – improving cognitive efficiency and brain functioning, especially under conditions where the brain’s workload is high. Creatine has been demonstrated to promote brain fuel efficiency, increase short term memory and fluid intelligence. It is therefore an excellent IQ supplement. It also counters the effects of cognitive aging and is good for overall cognitive health. Click to learn more about how to increase intelligence here.
Piracetam Brain Supplement
Piracetam is a widely known nootropic supplement. There is evidence that Piracetam brain supplemen enhances memory, increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, slows brain aging, aids stroke recovery and lessens the effects of Alzheimer’s, Down’s syndrome, dementia & dyslexia.
Glutamine Brain Supplement
Glutamine is an important source of energy for the brain and nervous system. If the brain is not getting enough glucose, it compensates by increasing glutamine metabolism for energy. Glutamine users often report less fatigue, more energy and a more positive mood.
Choline Brain Supplement / Lecithin Brain Supplement
Choline is critical during fetal development, when it influences neurogenesis, thereby altering brain structure and function.
Brain supplements may be more powerful in combination. You can find specially integrated brain nutrient formulas that combines all or some of the high performance supplements described above.
Natural brain nutrients & brain foods
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: ‘smart fats’ brain nutrient
Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish oil, linseed oil, butter nuts, walnuts and kiwi fruit seeds.
Folic Acid brain nutrient
Folic acid is found in fortified cereals, beef liver, lentils, orange juice, chickpeas and spinach. Adequate levels of folic acid are essential for brain function.
Berries, apples, red kidney beans, black grapes, peaches, cinnamon, spinach, broccoli, potatoes, nuts, kidney, liver and Tumeric (in curry powder) are all rich in antioxidants.
Vitamins & minerals brain nutrients
Every one of the known essential nutrients except vitamin D plays a role in promoting brain fitness. Here are some of the major brain nutrients.
The B vitamins. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) helps turn glucose (fuel for the brain) into energy.
Magnesium & Calcium are both minerals that help counter irritability, nervousness or aggressiveness: they help the nervous system relax.
Epicathechin (Flavanoids) brain nutrient
Epicathechin (a Flavanoid) is found in high concentrations in cocoa (dark chocolate), tea (green and black), apricots, black grapes and apples.
As a brain supplement, epicathechin has been found to stimulate brain plasticity, and improve overall brain functioning in both the young and elderly.