12 Chemicals to Enhance Brain Function – Benefits and Effects

Aside from the use in industry, chemicals are also found in the body parts of living being, including human. Human needs the chemical elements in human body in human body to be able to run some functions needed to live. Certain chemical runs certain functions in each of body’s organs.

One of body parts that contain chemicals the most is brain. Brain is the central of activity as it controls the functions of each body’s organ. In other words, brain is the steering wheel of a human’s body. It needs chemical to function, yet sometimes to improve performance; an external injection of certain kind of chemical is needed. What chemicals can do that? Here are chemicals to enhance brain function.

1. Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)

Docosahexaenoic Acid or well-known as DHA, is a popular brain enhancer chemical that can be found in many brain supplements. DHA is an organic chemical that occurs naturally on some species such as fish and mothers’ milk. This chemical is crucial for the development of brain in infants. It consists of structural membranes in the central of the nervous system.


The benefits of Docosahexaenoic Acid or DHA are, it helps the brain cells to communicate with each other. As a result, the cells will have better coordination in reacting to stimulant. Furthermore, doctors advise parents to give daily intake of foods that contain DHA as the chemical will help to enhance the development of brain cells. The chemical can improve learning ability and develop logical thinking. DHA in food is among.

2. Acetyl-L-Carnitine

Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a chemical compound consists of amino acid as a result of carnitine reaction with acetyl. Experts label the chemical as stimulant despite not being as strong as caffeine. The difference between caffeine and acetyl-l-carnitine is this chemical mainly centers its activity on brain and considered to be a much more stimulant more than others with less side effects.


The chemical works its way into the brain and help to improve the neuron system, strengthen the bond of each cell and improve alertness. People who consume acetyl-l-carnitine will be more alert and lose fatigue. Certain study also reveals the chemical can help patient with alzheimer as it helps to regenerate brain cell and improve memory. Definitely, acetyl-l-carnitine is a beneficial chemical to enhance brain function. To benefits from this chemical, it usually comes as supplement or from fish oil. 

3. 2-Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE)

Another chemical that can benefit the brain is 2-dimethylaminoethanol or DMAE is a tertiary amine that belongs to primary alcohol groups. It is also involved in a series of acetylcholine formation reaction. Acetylcholine itself belongs to neurotransmitter inside the brain. Therefore, this chemical mostly center in brain’s activities. The commercialized name for this chemical is deanol. Deanol is commercialized as brain supplement. (Related to Uses of Organic Chemistry in Medicine).


The benefits of deanol are, it acts as neurotransmitter booster as it has acetylcholine substance in it. It is said to be an effective chemical to increase alertness and clearer vision. The deanol will help the neurons in the brain to be more receptive to stimuli. It will need more research to prove its effectiveness. Still, the chemical is included already in some of products that claim to be able to enhance brain function. 

4. Nootropic

A brain enhancer that is made to be a drug supplement is nootropic. Nootropic is a stimulant whose effects mostly affect the brain. There are many sub chemicals under nootropic group that has the similar function as neurotransmitter enhancer. For this one, it plays on the cognitive function in which instead of just a stimulant, but also an enhancer for cognitive system. There are no definite substances that make up the most of the chemical as each varies with each other.


The benefits of nootropic are its act as stimulant in which it increase alertness, reduce pain, and for better, improve cognition function. There are only few substances that are able to reach the cognitive system as it is complicated and need strong reactor. That is why manufacturer starts to use nootropic as a drug for enhancing cognitive ability in which only few chemical can do. Indeed, nootropic is a chemical to enhance brain function.

5. Modafinil

Modafinil is generic drug for brain enhancer. Coming as a commercialized drug, modafinil is a chemical with 62 percent rate of protein binding and an atypical inhibitor of dopamine reuptake. It works by influencing the neurological process within a brain. It also works on the wakefulness part of the brain and has been a known brain stimulant with various commercialized names.


The first intention of modafinil is to treat narcolepsy. Further use later include stimulant to keep wakefulness for workers and armies as well as to treat sleep disorder. Moreover, modafinil is similar to nootropic in which it works on the cognitive function of the brain. Improving focus and attention, modafinil is then commercialized and sold for public use. However, it is effective only for specific tasks.

Also read: Natural Chemicals Used in Daily Life

6. Methylphenidate (Ritalin)

Methylphenidate or known as ritalin is a chemical that works on human’s brain. It belongs to the methyl class of chemical. Known more as ritalin, the mechanism of how it works start by its influence in calming certain over activity within a brain. However, this chemical is a weak stimulant that after time, human gets persistent to its effect and start to lose the impact it formed.


Ritalin is known as a treatment for ADHD. ADHD is a mental disorder resulting in hyperactivity. In addition, it helps to calm some overactive cells within the brain and direct it to work in a more focused manner. It is also used to aid studying since it can elevate concentration. While other brain enhancer try to increase the activity of the cells, methylphenidate helps to control them.

Meanwhile, please read about Chemistry of Love Based on Scientist. 

Other Chemical to Boosts Brain Function Include:

Here are more chemicals to enhance brain function:

  1. Amphetamine
  2. Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitor
  3. Caffeine
  4. Fluorenol
  5. Adrafinil
  6. Metamphetamine

Overall, some of the chemicals can really enhance the brain function but it is undeniable that some of them will have some side effects that people should be aware of. Indeed, there are 12 chemicals to enhance brain function.

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