Cycling Off of Nootropics – 3 Main Reasons
Nootropics are wonderful. They can improve your speed of processing, memory functionality, focus capacity and more.
Most great ones act as synthetic nutritional precursors to particularly brain performance modulating chemicals, like neurotransmitters. There is a great degree of science to back up their efficacy, and they are taking the world by storm with a commanding presence in 2016.
But, there are a few downsides, depending on the chemical, and what type of brain function you’re targeting for specific instances. In this video, we’ll discuss the 3 main reasons it’s important to cycle off of nootropics. They are:
- Neurotransmitter receptor down-regulation. This is when a receiving neuron and or a receptor site for a specific signal in the brain modulates its response to that signal. Typically, this will result in less potency of that signal and thus, a decreased effect. This is essentially what building a tolerance is.
- Liver toxicity. This isn’t the case for a lot of nootropics, and it seems there are many, like Aniracetam, that this notion doesn’t apply to. But there certainly seem to be other compounds out there that fall into the smart drugs/nootropics category that could have some potentially negative effects on the human liver, like Adrafinil and possibly Phenylpiracetam. Adrafinil is questionable, and there is actually some literature on a study done in rodents where they were given Adrafinil for 1-3 months without any apparent toxic effects. This is purely rumor mill (the idea that Adrafinil might be toxic to the liver after continued use), but is something we should all be aware of.
- It’s a lot harder to have epiphanies and make creative connections in the brain when it is in a constantly hyper focused state. Nootropics speed the brain up, and sometimes, the best way to solve a problem that’s been plaguing you or to come to a novel realization, is to slow down.
Now – I want to make this perfectly clear: I take nootropics a great amount of the time in my day to day life. I think there are many nootropics that you can safely take pretty consistently, and only reap great benefits. If we look at the futurist, Ray Kurzweil as an example, we see that he takes intravenous phosphatidylcholine, and otherwise synthetic versions of L-Carnitine on a daily basis, both of which are nootropics.
We have anecdotal situations with guys like Dave Asprey, who reports taking Modafinil pretty regularly for 8 years with no ill side effects.
And then we have surefire examples like Rita Levi-Montalcini, who discovered Nerve Growth Factor and took it via eye drops to cross the blood brain barrier for nearly 30 years, until she died at age 113. Her cognition was not just average either: she functioned intellectually like a 20 year old college student well into her centenarian years.
For these people, we don’t exactly know their cycling strategy, but suffice it to say, it does not seem like they cycled all that much.
I just want to make the point to stay on the safe side with certain compounds, and when it comes to helping the brain to foster creativity, a good break from nootropics might be just what’s needed.