Nootropic effective
Daniel Safvat

Daniel Safvat

Senior Writer

3 Best Lesser-known Effective Nootropics

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Piracetam has consistently shown positive effects on improving memory. Recent studies suggest it is even more effective in lowering depression and anxiety. A report published in the journal Drugs, in 2010, suggests that Piracetam shows promise in the treatment of central nervous system disorders.

And according to a 2002 report published in Dementia & Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, in analyzing the results of 19 previously published studies, the report’s authors found that Piracetam was superior to placebo in the treatment of older adults with cognitive impairment or dementia. Furthermore, one such study suggests Piracetam can help protect against the formation of blood clots and shield nerve cells and prevent their deterioration, which could benefit stroke patients.


Vitamin B12

According to the Institute of MedicineVitamin B12 is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement and a prescription medication. Vitamin B12 exists in several forms and contains the mineral cobalt,
so compounds with vitamin B12 activity are collectively called “cobalamins.”

Institute of Medicine notes that Vitamin B12 is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis. The most active forms of
B12 in human metabolism are Methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, Vitamin B12 binds to the protein in the foods we eat. In the stomach, hydrochloric acid and enzymes unbind vitamin B12 into its free form. From there, vitamin B12 combines with a protein called intrinsic factor so that it can be absorbed further down in the small intestine.

B12 in its free form (more easily absorbed) can be found in supplements and fortified foods. There is a variety of vitamin B12 supplements available. HSPH points out that although there are claims that certain forms — like sublingual tablets or liquids placed under the tongue to be absorbed through the tissues of the mouth — have better absorption than traditional tablets, studies have not shown an important difference.

It’s significant to distinguish between the available dosage of Vitamin B12 in tablets vs. the amount that will be absorbed, which is usually very different because an adequate amount of intrinsic factor is also needed. In cases of severe vitamin B12 deficiency due to inadequate intrinsic factor (pernicious anemia), doctors may prescribe B12 injections in the muscle.


Noopept is the brand name for N-phenylacetyl-L-prolylglycine ethyl ester, a synthetic nootropic molecule. Derived from GABA.

Noopept has a similar effect to Piracetam, in that it provides a mild cognitive boost after supplementation. Noopept also provides a subtle psychostimulatory effect.

From the second week of treatment, there were reductions in increased fatigue, listlessness, weakness, tiring, apathy, and daytime drowsiness; from the third week, there were reductions in anxiety, depressed mood, and hyperesthesia.

This study compared the effects of Piracetam and Noopept treatment on patients with organic cognitive decline and patients with post-concussional syndrome. While we saw the evidence of positive short-term changes within minutes of absorption in the prior studies, we can see from these studies statistically significant changes in the brain begin to occur between 7-14 days, and continue increasing for at least 56 days.

One study shows that Noopept acts in one way by modulating the firing of neurons in the hippocampus.


Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera, aka Indian Ginsing) has been used in Ayurvedic medicine as a natural treatment for a number of ailments for more than 3,000 years.
In a review published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2014, researchers analyzed five previously published trials on the use of Ashwagandha for anxiety. All five studies found that treatment with Ashwagandha resulted in clinically significant reductions in scores on scales measuring anxiety and stress.

A 2017 study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements reports Ashwagandha may be effective in enhancing both immediate and general memory in people with mild cognitive impairment.

In the study, 50 subjects were given either 300 mg Ashwagandha-root extract twice a day, or a placebo for eight weeks. In addition to improving overall memory, the herb was found to also improve executive function, attention, and information processing speed.

Ashwagandha Lesser-known Nootropic

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