The problem with using prescription medication to boost some aspects of cognitive function is not only that there can be severe side-effects but also the brain down-regulates certain key neurotransmitters in a classic homeostasis reaction, meaning that the boost is only temporary.

The biochemistry of the brain is extremely complex; thus it is highly unlikely any single compound will yield sustainable improvements in any executive function. Equally, supplements such as ginko biloba contain a wide range of compounds, many of which have not been studied at all. It is therefore unclear what may be giving rise to any apparent effect; furthermore such studies as have been done tend to have been poorly designed and lack statistical significance.

Back in 2014 a company called Cognutria Foods developed a product utilizing natural ingredients calibrated to deliver clinically-proven necessary levels of 15 different micro-nutrients that ought to be present in a normal diet but today are largely absent. A 90-day double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted by the Brain Performance Nutrition Research Center under Professor David O. Kennedy comprising more than 120 participants showed this formulation yielded in the experimental group between 100% and 800% improvements versus the control group over a range of 7 different cognitive functions and this effect did not, unlike the case with almost all nootropics, attenuate over the duration of the study. The p-score was 97.8.

Sadly the company was unable to raise expansion capital and went out of business in 2015.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.