Is there a clinically-researched and tested encyclopedia (or similar resource) covering all available nootropics currently known?

The Wikipedia article was a helpful first stop; but I'm searching for something more comprehensive and specifically for medical professionals.

The closest I could find was the Encyclopedia of Mind Enhancing Foods, Drugs and Nutritional Substances, by David Group.

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    $\begingroup$ You might be interested in watching this TED video by Ben Goldacre, "Battling bad science". $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Oct 18, 2012 at 19:43

1 Answer 1


Edit (09/14) -- Two years after writing this answer, I need to alter it slightly. Examine.com is a website dedicated to aggregating information on nootropics and other supplements/chemicals. It is often incomplete, but having a singular hub for academic/industrial research is nearly indispensable. I don't know if it satisfies what you're looking for, OP, but if you haven't, take a look at it.

I am not a "medical professional", but honestly I strongly doubt something like this exists.

"clinically-researched and tested" would require huge amounts of money and time in a coordinated fashion. This isn't something often performed for 'nutritional supplements'. Ever seen the warning on vitamin bottles, something along the lines of "These statements have not been verified by the FDA"?

That's only for the supplements.

For newer pharmaceuticals, the process is HUGELY complicated. Multiple animal trials, regulatory approval, multiple courses of human trials, more regulatory approval, and even more hoops to jump through before it can be sold by pharmacies (this process is easier in Countries will more lax regulation - hence why, for example, Modafinil is obtainable in a number of countries outside the US; well, that and lax patent laws).

Moreover, nootropic supplements are more touchy/personalized than most drugs. For example, we don't exactly know how SSRI drugs work, yet we prescribe them by the millions (if not billions). We know even less how some nootropics work.

And finally, we have not reached a point of diagnostic science to be able to say, "You could use a course of DrugA and DrugB, but stay away from DrugC and Foods fA, fB, and fC".

Until we're closer to that point, it's all a guessing game.

(one last thing - from my understanding, a lot of doctors have no idea of the deeper details of the drugs they prescribe; they're given all the 'info they need to know' by the pharma reps - another reason why a comprehensive compendium doesn't exist)


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