Reader question: What is your opinion on nootropic supplements, such as Alpha Brain?

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What is your opinion on nootropic supplements, such as Alpha Brain? Studies have shown that it can significantly boost energy levels, mental speed, memory, creativity and focus. Do you think taking something like this could be risky? Is it worth it?

-Clouded in Clapham

 

I’ll keep this one short. I wouldn’t take any such supplements. The “studies” in support of the supplement that you’re asking about were funded by the company that sells the supplement. Studies like that should be immediately disregarded.

I’m not aware of any compelling evidence in favor of “cognitive enhancer” supplements. And that’s not because there is some vast conspiracy among the scientific community to keep potentially helpful things from the public. If these supplements worked, there would be proper studies supporting them.

And you should be careful: while drugs need to be proven safe before they can be sold that is not true of supplements, so the risk associated with taking them is totally unclear.

The best cognitive enhancers are a healthy diet and lifestyle!