Smart pills

I see ads every day for pills that greatly improve
brain function. There are testimonials from doctors
and users, diagrams of the brain with important
areas marked off. Some are giving free samples. The
regular price varies. One that I saw was $300 per
bottle. I think it was 30 days worth.

Like the old advertising joke, everybody who takes
these will become above average. One question is
why do I need a pill to focus my mind? See every
detail clearly, grasp logic faster, don’t get mentally
tired? Sounds like things anyone can do with practice.

What kind of pills are they? Vitamins are a concentrate
of the good things found in foods. The ads claim all
natural ingredients but don’t specify which. A mixture
of things found in nature but combined in a new way.

What do the pills do exactly? Cause better circulation
to the brain? Clean it by flushing? Spur growth?
Internet exploring leads me to believe there is some
demonstrated improvement in brain receptors but
these new items called nootropics are drugs, not food.
They affect, not nourish.

Some studies show safe doses have a positive effect
on brain function for a predictable period then it
recedes. Some of the pills helped impaired brain
functions but did not show any positive effect on
healthy people.

I suspect those pills that do help would be mentally
addictive like caffeine or nicotine. Short burst of
energy then more is needed. Three things come to

1. Advertising is designed to get my money. People
have been claiming or implying non-existent or
minor benefit forever. If Nootropics are really
good they will be around in the future. There is no

2. Vitamin supplements to help a less than optimum
diet may help but don’t hurt. They have a long history
and usually don’t cost much.

3. The long term effect of new drugs may be a
gamble. Good thoughts about gambling are what
could I lose? Can I afford it? Is the payoff worth
the risk? I’m messing with my brain here.


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