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Nootropics: Doping for the brain?

In medicine, nootropics are substances that improve impaired brain function. This can occur, for example, as a result of neurological diseases or the ageing process. Furthermore, nootropic literally means "directed towards the mind" (Greek nous = mind and Greek tropus = turn/direction). The name goes back to Corneliu E. Giurgea. The pharmacologist and doctor developed the drug piracetam in the 1970s. This then novel substance is considered the first nootropic and is used to treat dementia. Nootropics include both synthetic and usually prescription drugs (e.g. racetams) and herbal substances such as ginkgo.

Table of contents:

  1. The substance class nootropics
  2. Vital substances for more concentration and mental performance

The nootropics substance class

In a broader sense, the term nootropics today refers to a class of substances that positively influence the performance of the brain without causing undesirable side effects. The terms neuro-enhancers, brain doping or smart drugs are also frequently used in this context. However, it is not legally regulated what may be labelled as a nootropic. For this reason, a wide variety of substances can be found on the internet under this term. However, strictly speaking, a substance only has a nootropic effect if it improves cognitive performance, simultaneously protects the nerve cells (neuroprotective effect) and no undesirable side effects occur. However, other substances such as caffeine, L-arginine, magnesium or some secondary plant substances can also influence mental performance and concentration. Strictly speaking, they are not classed as nootropics, but they do appear under this heading from time to time.

Vital substances for more concentration and mental performance

Our Nutri-Plus Brainfood combines nootropics and other vital substances (e.g. caffeine, caffeine, caffeine, caffeine, and other vital substances). e.g. caffeine, L-arginine, magnesium, OPCs), which influence mental performance. Taking several nootropics at the same time (the so-called "stack") is intended to increase the effect of the substances. Which nootropics are combined ultimately depends on the desired effect. For example, we recommend the ginkgo, ginseng and acetyl-L-carnitine stack to improve concentration and performance.


The best-known representative of herbal nootropics is ginkgo extract. Ginkgo biloba is also known as a "living fossil", as the tree has been growing on our planet for over 300 million years. The plant originally comes from South East Asia. As a result, specimens that are said to be over 1,000 years old can still be admired today in China and Japan. In addition, the leaves of the ginkgo tree contain a high concentration of secondary plant substances (e.g. flavonoids, ginkgolides, terpenes). Studies show that the extract from ginkgo leaves influences memory performance and learning ability and protects nerve cells. It also improves the flow properties of the blood and promotes blood circulation.


Ginseng is the number one medicinal plant in Asia. The root has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years and was once even more valuable than gold. The ingredients of ginseng root - known as ginsenosides - are said to increase the brain's ability to concentrate, perform and resist stress.


Furthermore, acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) belongs to the substance class of nootropics. Carnitine is known to many for its role in energy metabolism. What few people realise: The substance not only affects the body, but also the mind. To do this, however, it must be absorbed in the form of acetyl-L-carnitine, as otherwise carnitine cannot pass the blood-brain barrier. Studies have shown that acetyl-L-carnitine reduces cognitive decline in Alzheimer's patients and improves the mental performance of healthy seniors.


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash