Piracetam was the first Nootropic supplement ever developed way back in 1964. In fact the lead scientist on the project, Dr Corneliu Giurgea, was the guy who came up with the name Nootropic, meaning ‘affecting the mind’. Piracetam capsules were soon made available throughout Europe and are still used by millions of people around the world.
Piracetam can be bought in bulk powder form or prepackaged in capsule form. If you are looking for piracetam capsules it is worth looking at the various stacks available which combine piracetam with other synergistic supplements such as choline.
What Are Piracetam Capsules Taken For?
Piracetam is primarily used by people to improve memory, cognition (thought processes) and protect the brain.
The effectiveness of piracetam at improving cognition is understudied at the moment but so far the evidence seems to be that older people will benefit most. Anecdotal reports are really pretty mixed when it comes to piracetam – some see a great benefit, others no benefit and some people experience cognitive decline. This post on selfhacked.com has a list of 70 reported negative experiences with piracetam. Interesting reading but keep in mind millions of people have taken piracetam since the 1970s with success.
Piracetam can also be used to treat Breath Holding Spells (BHS) in children.
Other racetams, such as Aniracetam, are likely to work better for cognitive enhancement.
How Does Piracetam Work?
The exact mechanism of action is not fully understood. The key effects on the brain are an increase in glucose and oxygen consumption plus enhanced cellular membrane fluidity.
Cellular membrane fluidity is important as it the way cells can adjust in response to pressures from heat and, well…pressure actually. In short your brain needs to be able to adapt to the circumstances it find itself in.
Piracetam improves glucose and oxygen consumption more significantly in brains experiencing cognitive impairment. This means it works best in older people who already have some cognitive decline. Young people may get a slight improvement in working memory.
In addition to the above there is some limited evidence that piracetam has the following affects:
- Increased rate of forming new neural connections leading to increased synaptic plasticity in the brain
- Acetycholine reduction in the hippocampus
- Modulation of glutamate receptors increasing the influx of calcium into the brain. This is believed to be important for long term potentiation – the process of encoding memories
How To Take Piracetam
Piracetam dosage and recommendations
Piracetam is considered safe and non-toxic however as with all supplements we strongly advise that users start with a low dose and increase over a few days if needed.
- The standard dose for adults is between 1,200mg and 4,800mg per day. If taking the higher dose then it should be spread out to 1,600mg three times a day to give the total 4,800mg.
- For use a treatment for Breath Hold Symptoms a dose of between 40mg – 100mg per kilogram of bodyweight should be used. Start with the low end of this range. Children are delicate!
Note that piracetam is water soluble so does not need to be taken with food. Piracetam capsules are absorbed slower than a powder so should be taken on an empty stomach.
Piracetam interactions with Choline
Taking piracetam causes a decrease of acetylcholine levels although the exact reason for this is unknown. It is a good idea to supplement your piracetam with a choline that is available to your brain such as Alpha GPC.
Piracetam Benefits And Evidence
There is evidence to show that piracetam is clinically effective at reducing the cognitive decline from aging and also from diseases such as dementia.
Piracetam have also been shown to be of use for reducing the acute decline in cognitive function typically seen with coronary bypass surgery.
Memory and cognition
This is the area which is of interest to most users of piracetam capsules but to be completely honest the evidence is not strong that is will help otherwise healthy young adults much.
A matched pair study was conducted using 16 healthy subjects which showed improvements in short term working memory. The subjects were given 400mg three times a day. After 14 days use the piracetam subjects performed better at a test of backwords word recall.
Another study was conducted on 18 healthy people aged 50 plus. The subjects were given a much larger dose than the previous study of 1,600mg three times a day and did show an improvement in general cognition on a range of tests.
Breath Holding Spells (BHS)
The following paragraph is taken from www.examine.com as this condition is not something I was aware of before writing. However, the evidence seems good enough to include here.
Piracetam is tested for alleviating BHS in children. One study of 40 children (5-60 months; average 32.5) using 50mg/kg Piracetam daily via Stimulan syrup for a period of 4 months was associated with significantly improved symptoms. While both groups had 5-5.5 attacks per month at baseline, placebo maintained at an average 4-5 attacks per month while Piracetam was assocaited with 0-1 attacks, with 72.08% symptoms reduction within one month and 83.85% symptom reduction after 4 months; 5-6 patients seemed to have a delayed response, taking two months to be affected. This study builds off previous non-blinded studies where Piracetam (50-100mg/kg daily, only 100mg/kg was used if no effect was observed at 4 weeks) over 3-6 months (with supplemental Iron is too low, as that is tied to pathology; no differences between iron treated and untreated groups) abolished BHS in 81% of children, attenuated attacks in 9%, and had no significant effect on 10%. A much earlier double-blind study with 40mg/kg (divided into two doses daily) Piracetam where 92.3% of children reported benefit; compared to 29.7% of placebo.Pri