This archived forum used to be called 'Peatarian' (in reference to Ray Peat).

What are your thoughts on nootropics??

Now obviously this is a broad topic, so, what I'm thinking is that people should post their thoughts on specific substances, the "nootropics community" as a whole and what nootropics are particularly good, harmful and interesting.

The most common "nootropics"

mct oil
lions mane
gingko biloba

Now onto my personal opinions on the substances, I think some are good and safe (l-theanine, caffeine, creatine), while many others need way more research (like Sunifiram, no human studies, at all, but people still take and recommend, what the fuck?) before they should even be considered and it's amazing how many people are taking these substances willy-nilly like it's 100% safe. Many are also contaminated with heavy metals, bacopa in particular.

It seems to me that 99% of nootropics are placebo or have very little effect (not worth cost), while potent nootropics have harmful side-effects and require ridiculously meticulous dosing+cycling.

It's also important to note that pretty much all studies with nootropics are done on unhealthy people, IE, people most likely eating a high-PUFA + other toxins diet. People already eating a good diet + exercise, I believe, would probably get way less of an effect with most substances.

It seems to me that all the weak/inconclusive nootropics are a waste of time and money, the Peaty "nootropics" are good and safe (aspirin, bag breathing, vitamins+minerals, l-theanine, caffeine, gelatin, creatine, salt, urea, baking soda, etc) and that if you REALLY want to get shit done you might as well cut the crap and go all the way, I'm talking low-dose modafinil, shrooms, lsd, nicotine, etc. Of course, these have their side-effects as well but considering how well-studied they are, it's definitely more comfortable than taking possibly-contaminated unknown barely-researched chemicals made in China sold by a sketchy online company and probably-estrogenic herb extracts.

Peat's opinions on a few i could find

Centrophenoxine, Piracetam & DMAE
[What is your opinion on Centrophenoxine/Meclofenoxate, piracetam or DMAE, for lipofuscin removal? The former particularly seems to have interesting effects on neurotransmitters in the brain.] I don't think there's nearly enough knowledge about its interactions with diet, stress, and hormones.

Many health food stores are now selling melatonin, to induce sleep and “prevent cancer.” They have taken some information out of context, and don’t realize how dangerous melatonin is. It makes the brain sluggish, causes the sex organs to shrink, and damages immunity by shrinking the thymus gland. It is the hormone of darkness and winter, and is produced in the pineal gland by any stress which increases adrenalin. Adequate sun light suppresses the formation of melatonin.

So post your thoughts, I can't wait to hear what you guys think on the topic.
It's a very big topic so feel free to take your time, express your controversial opinions and post walls of text. :)

Some informative links ... -analysis/
asked Apr 15, 2015 by gbe300
Every time I have ever read an article about nootropics it's been in the context of sleep deprived people trying to grind it out harder and longer on dumb office work for years on end.

I'm sure there are drugs that are good for that. It just seems better to structure your life differently. I'm skeptical any drugs are especially useful if you're not looking to work 60 hours a week, or burn the candle from both ends.

I mean, do the best pro musicians use these drugs? I doubt it. From what I gather they mostly talk about how essential good sleep is. I gather just six or seven hours of practice a day is pretty typical among the very best classical musicians.

Drugs that aid the maintenance of a solid circadian rhythm and good, deep sleep would probably be a more useful than these various pseudo-stimulants.
@gbe300, great first post! I learned a lot! Thanks!

2 Answers

@4a55...  I'm sorry I seem to agree with you all the time, but again, yes...

The "hard" or quantifiable criteria I can find in Peat's work for "creativity" and "productivity" are body temperature, reaction times and slow wave sleep.

The "softer" criteria might be bliss, euphoria and the effect of being with people.

In my own, surely limited experience, I think Peat is right and these are the true "nootropics". Things that enhance these are good.

@gbe300, I've experimented with many of the things you mention, and I think the most important I've found so far, surprising to me, are copious perspiration, very bright redlight, a germ-free gut, and emulated high altitude. None of these are really magic bullets you swallow.

I'm experimenting right now with pranarupa's head and hand stands and urea enemas. I'll let you know how it goes!
answered Apr 16, 2015 by visionofstrength
edited Apr 16, 2015 by visionofstrength
Thyroid, pregnenolone, coffee, aspirin, etc. are the best and safest nootropics. Everything else is BS. :)
answered Apr 16, 2015 by John Frusciante
Agreed.  Also some meds like Cyproheptadine, bromocriptine, lisuride, etc.
Yes, but they're less safe and more specific for some situations. The one I listed you can use them everyday according to metabolism, food intake, feelings, etc.
I use a lot of aspirin and have started worrying about going blind.
Irrespective of whatever discussions there's been, I honestly can see it happening. (no pun intended)