Understanding Natural Nootropics Over Aniracetam
Natural Nootropics Over AniracetamNot all nootropics are created equal. Some are more effective than others; some are more legal than others. The legality and “gray areas” of nootropics have caused the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue warning letters against some nootropic manufacturers for false claims or possibly dangerous ingredients. It is possible, though, with a little self-education and research, to use the best nootropics, safely. Here’s how.
Drugs vs Natural NootropicsA supplement can be created in a lab, just like a drug. The best supplements are naturally derived, from foods and herbs. A drug like aniracetam can only be created in a lab. It’s in the racetam family, like piracetam. In Europe, aniracetam is classified as a drug, most often prescribed for muscle twitching. Common drug names include Ampamet, Draganon, Memodrin, Referan and Sarpul. In the US, aniracetam falls into a gray area. It is not listed as a drug and can be sold as a supplement. Supplements get classified as food by the FDA, so they fall under the heading Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). So while it isn’t exactly food, it gets the same categorization as food-based supplements. Aniracetam is a stimulant. But then, so is caffeine. But not all stimulants are created equal. Some manufacturers claim that aniracetam helps with such conditions as motion sickness, depression, anxiety and Alzheimer’s disease. Most of these claims have not been backed by scientific evidence. In animal studies (of mice and pigeons), aniracetam made no difference in memory or learning. One study, however, did show improvement in anxiety in mice. As with all medications, aniracetam has some potential side effects, including:
- Interactions with other medications, possibly increasing the risks and side effects of those medications
Other StimulantsAlso in the racetam family, piracetam was previously used as a nootropic. However, due to a high incidence of psychological side effects, including anxiety, depression and insomnia, piracetam was banned in the US and is not permitted to be sold in the UK (though possession is not illegal, only selling it). Independent studies of nootropics, however, have found piracetam still being sold on the internet. What’s more, many products contained vastly more piracetam than on the label, or inconsistent amounts. Meaning even if a consumer knows they are taking piracetam, they might be taking far more than they think. No real action has been taken against companies selling piracetam, so consumers themselves must be informed and avoid it. Another stimulant, adrafinil, has also been removed from the market in the UK, but sometimes gets sold in the US as a supplement. While adrafinil has not been banned in the US, it is banned for use in athletics by the World Anti-Doping Agency. For non-athletes, adrafinil is readily available over-the-counter (OTC). Adrafinil is not without risks. It converts in the body to modafinil. Modafinil side effects include:
- dry mouth
- upper respiratory tract infection