According to the latest research, the supplements displayed as a booster for brain power and memory improvement are made with an extremely high amount of an unapproved drug. The unapproved drug—recognized as “piracetam”—reposed in various supplements was brought to light by the researchers. Though Europe has legalized piracetam as prescription medicine, the U.S. has not approved the drug yet. According to the research published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the U.S. govt. has banned the drug due to its psychological side-effects such as insomnia, anxiety, and depression.
According to the tests, these supplements used for brain-enhancement—categorized as “nootropics”—contained nearly 20% more amount of piracetam than that of the quantified amount on supplements’ label. If a consumer follows the listed dosage regularly, there is risk of over 11,000 mg—extremely high level than any other medicine compounded with piracetam—of the drug consumption daily.
As stated by Dr. Pieter Cohen, Co-author of the study and General Internist, Cambridge Health Alliance and Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, if the dosage labeled is taken into consideration, it is not possible to predict about the impacts on the brain in future.
As per the quality checking policy of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), several dietary supplements and nootropics are forbidden from the strict approval process before their marketing. The supplements are usually categorized as food, instead of medicine, by FDA which makes a way for selling the products into the market without judging their safety. As there are no strict regulations on food items, the supplements are easily launched in the market with the potentially high levels of dangerous drugs in it despite FDA’s warning about the use of banned drugs in nootropics.
Chen further added that the consumers must remain aware of such hidden risks and potentially harmful promises of nootropics. The research is just a small step to detect the risks. The law for approving such a product is needed to be reformed to avoid future risks.