A group of supplements that have a pyrrolidone nucleus, racetams have no recognized system of action as of this moment.

Some of these substances, such as piracetam, are nootropic drugs that have cognitive stabilizing effects, while others, like oxiracetam and phenylpiracetam, are brain stimulants. They are collectively known for enhancing memory, learning, mood, focus, and energy levels, along with favorably influencing many of the fundamental elements of brain health.

Racetams generally show poor affinity for central nervous system receptors, but when they do reach them, the acetylcholine and glutamate compounds are positively affected. A few of them demonstrate abilities on muscarinic receptors, while others are yet to show any main, observable mechanisms. However, this does not mean that they do not have any advantages, nor gain any results.

All racetams are synthetic in nature, and have no severe repercussions when taken. Similar to a few ampakines, certain racetams, like aniracetam and piracetam, are good allosteric modulators of the AMPA receptor. These groups of drugs are known to function by inducing glutamate receptors that happen to be co-localized with cholinergic receptors. This increases the frequency of activation of the cholinergic receptors.

Some experts claim that racetams also enhance memory through their connection with the glutamate and cholinergic receptors in the central nervous system. In tests conducted on old rats, trial groups were given piracetam and had noticeable development in their cognitive tasks. Efficiency was further improved when the substance is coupled with a choline source.


Piracetam is the foundation of the racetam group. This supplement provides a boost in a variety of brain performances, and is used to address numerous cognitive disorders.

As outlined by a meta-analysis on humans, the substance enhances overall cognition when provided to people with general cognitive deterioration or decline – the type associated with aging.

Although it can be a helpful supplement for brain enhancement, it provides minimal advantages for healthy people, as they encounter little to no mental advantage. Initial results on its effects on healthy adults indicate that they work best on seniors, and on those who have existing, cognitive-associated problems. However, further researches are yet to confirm this finding, as this topic is still quite understudied.

Nonetheless, this synthetic compound is generally safe for everyone to consume, and is even given to infants to minimize breath holding. It also improves cell membrane permeability, allowing absorption of nutrients while keeping toxic, harmful materials out of the cell.


Oxiracetam is among the first-tier racetam compounds, along with Piracetam and Aniracetam. Though this compound falls short on human tests, some evidences and initial studies suggest that it can stimulate excitatory neurotransmitters, and can certainly help in memory development.

This man-made molecule is among the few racetams in the family that is structurally distinct from piracetam, because of one hydroxyl group. It is usually used in nootropics to enhance learning and to protect against cognitive deterioration. In a number of human trials, oxiracetam was also proven to minimize dementia and slow down the processes of aging.

However, a study conducted on individuals with Alzheimer’s disease revealed no clear advantage during its supplemental intake, but it does protect the brain from the cognitive plunge, is fairly identical in efficiency with Alpha-GPC, and appears to be more effective than piracetam.


Originally produced for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, fasoracetam was created by a scientist named Nippon Shinyaku. It is known as one of the gold standards for learning, and acts on three kinds of receptors, namely the cholinergic, glutamate, and the GABA receptors – all linked to the development and storage of new memories.


Coluracetam is a cognitive enhancer that would likely improve the choline uptake of neurons, especially when they are damaged. It plays a role in the high-affinity choline uptake (HACU) procedure, the rate-limiting phase of attracting choline towards a neuron for synthesis into the acetylcholine neurotransmitter, while boosting the cholinergic receptor function in the process – making it a preferred supplement for cognitive development. Most brain supplements only use a minimal amount of racetams simply because it is expensive. MXEL, on the other hand, uses the maximum amount of Coluracetam despite being 13,000$ a kilo, increasing the potency of the supplement.


Created as a piracetam derivative, phenylpiracetam has a similar structure and effects as the original, with the inclusion of a phenyl group as its only adjustment. However, unlike its mother compound, it appears to necessitate reduced quantities and seems to possess psychostimulatory abilities.

Due to its enriched neuronal environment, some studies indicate an improved physical efficiency, and much more neuroprotective qualities when compared to piracetam. Usually used for over a month, research also shows that it works as well in remedying the natural rate of cognitive decline as others in its family.


Aniracetam is among the most prevalent compounds of the racetam family. It is proclaimed to be more efficient than piracetam, caters more on enhancing creativeness and pure thinking, and is also known for relieving anxiety and depression.

It works as a great modulator of the excitatory AMPA receptors to reduce the pace of its desensitization, resulting to its enhanced state. It also frequently exhibits a regulated and extended neurological activation effect, and should be taken with a healthy, fatty meal, as it happens to be fat-soluble in nature.


N-phenylacetyl-L-prolylglycine ethyl ester, more commonly known as noopept, is a nootropic molecule that has identical effects with piracetam.

It helps reduce cognitive deterioration, and gives gentle, brain enhancing abilities, especially when taken as a dietary supplement. Used in lower dosages than piracetam, it offers psychostimulatory and neuroprotective effects on oxidative pressure and physical training than most nootropics. However, at this time, more research is needed to test its effects on healthy individuals.

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