Dr Oz: Do Nootropics Smart Pills Really Boost Brain Function?


Dr Oz: Smart Pills Promise Better Brain Function

Dr Oz wanted to discuss pills that promise to make you smarter, help you focus longer, boost your energy, and even clear brain fog. They’re being labeled “smart drugs” and you can order them online and have them shipped right to your door. What he wanted to know, is whether the drugs really do what they say they do.

Dr Oz: Drugs To Boost Brain Power

Dr Oz: Do Nootropics Smart Pills Really Boost Brain Function?

All kinds of people are turning to nootropics to boost their brain function, but what are they and are they safe? (flamephoenix1991 / flickr)


The drugs are known as Nootropics and they’re “all the rage” among CEOs, millennials, and college kids. Could it also be exactly what busy moms are looking for? One advertisement in particular promised pills with scientifically-tested results and almost all offer a money back guarantee. Advocates for the drugs say an upgraded brain “is just a computer away” and positive comments are being seen all over message boards.

If you read the small print, you will find that the claims have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the products aren’t intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. So are the drugs worth it?

Dr Oz: What Are Nootropics?

In the past few years, Nootropics have become more and more popular, and they caught the eye of a woman named Susan. Susan was curious if the drugs could help, and said she was a mother of two so she’s always tired. She said if she sees something that can help her with energy, she’s “all for it.”


Dr Oz then talked to Dr Carolyn Brockington, who said it’s a collection of different agents and compounds that have an effect on the brain. She said the concern lies in the effectiveness as well as the long term effects of the pills. Many of the pills have not undergone rigorous clinical trials to determine their effects.

Dr Oz: Concerns About Nootropics

Dr Oz explained that normally, your brain is functioning just fine. If you take a smart drug, it’s supposed to make your brain work faster. But many of the supplements have multiple ingredients that claim to speed things up, and can sometimes make you jittery or increase your heart rate. The worry is that all of the ingredients together could actually make things worse, rather than better.

Dr Brockington said they’re also concerned about drug interactions and brain development. If a brain is still developing, it could be dangerous to expose it to various compounds. Third, Dr Oz said, “The internet is the wild wild west, and no is regulating these products.”

Dr Oz: Buying “Smart Drugs” Online

Dr Oz reached out to one brand selling the smart drugs, Onnit, and CEO Aubrey Marcus said, “The field of nootropics is an exciting frontier, but as with most frontiers, caution is warranted. Many nootropics are being taken off-label, which means that research has not been conducted on the purpose for which the substance is taken.”

That company claims to have sold more than 21 million capsules without any serious adverse effects reported. Dr Oz went back to Susan, who said she’s still a little skeptical about taking anything that could affect her brain. Dr Oz said he’s concerned about them and said you don’t want to be a lab rat. He suggested avoiding too-good-to-be-true claims and drugs that are only sold online.

Dr Oz said they’re not worth the risk but would you try them anyway? Have you already tried a smart drug you bought online?


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