iQuzil Nootropic Review – A Dodgy ‘Learning Accelerator’

By on August 3, 2015

iQuzil is a nootropic, ‘learning accelerator’, that comes from thoughtfoods.co.uk. Branded as the ‘Best Nootropic’ (obviously for the benefit of the search engines) it has all the hallmarks of being… as dodgy as you like. But it’s also a little bit interesting? And I couldn’t find an objective review on the web, so I thought I’d make one.

One of the things I found interesting about this supplement? It’s free! Or at least the first three tabs are. Obviously a loss-leader, marketing strategy on the company’s part but it does mean you can try before you buy (if you’re in the UK at least). Which is nice!

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About iQuzil

iQuzil is perhaps best described as a clusterfuck of ingredients…

The website describes the cocktail as being:

  • Picamilon
  • N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT)
  • Alpha-Lipoic Acid (LA)
  • Taurine
  • Vinpocetine
  • Huperzine A
  • Caffeine Anhydrous
  • DMAE
  • B complex
  • ZMA complex
  • ALCAR
  • Alpha GPC
  • Bioperine
  • Vincamine
  • Niacin
  • Adrafinil
  • Phenyl-racetam (phenylpiracetam)

That’s pretty much… everything then? Seriously, that’s an insane combination of ingredients that doesn’t appear to have much thought put into it.

What do I base this on? Well, there’s ‘phenyl-racetam’ in there, which is pretty much one of the stronger racetams. Racetams (including the likes of aniracetam, piracetam) are mainly thought to improve the memory, attention and possibly creativity, awareness and senses. While the precise mechanism of action is not known, what is known is that it increases the brain’s ability to use acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a fundamental excitatory neurotransmitter and thus you can this way improve your alertness etc. this way. The Huperzine A at least makes some sense as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine freeing up what’s left). And Alpha GPC is in there too, so that’s also good.

But phenylpiracetam despite being one of the most potent racetams is water-soluble and takes a repeat dosage for you to feel its full effects. Adrafinil on the other hand is a legal alternative to modafinil (which is prescription only usually) and has very pronounced, acute effects. Designed as a drug for narcolepsy, adrafinil will eradicate tiredness and make you somewhat ‘wired’ but without the jitteriness of caffeine (though caffeine is in there too of course!). In other words, you probably wouldn’t want to use adrafinil regularly, whereas many of the other ingredients here are intended to be used every day – such as the N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine which improves mitochondrial function. Adrafinil hasn’t been studied over the long term and if you’re taking it at the wrong time of day it can damage your sleep. There are no mentions of the potential risks involved with this heavy duty stuff and it shouldn’t be so casually sold to a commercial market online.

Likewise, I find the inclusion of ZMA very strange. ZMA is zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. These nutrients can help brain health but they’re more often used by athletes and bodybuilders to improve sleep and thus boost testosterone levels. When do you normally take it? Just before bed. Why on Earth is it in a supplement designed to increase wakefulness then?

A lot of other stuff here works as a vasodilator (vinpocetine for instance), meaning it increases bloodflow and oxygen to the brain. Which is fine. But it’s also just weird and too much blood thinning can cause issues if you’re taking other medication or if you have low blood pressure. Again, no mention of this stuff on the site. Then there’s the antioxidant DMAE…

It’s all just different, random stuff that doesn’t belong in the same product at all.

There are more worrying signs about iQuzil too. For instance, the fact that you can’t find anywhere a breakdown of how much of each ingredient is in there. Each capsule is 700mg and they recommend taking three at a time, which is a lot of stuff. For all we know, there might be 600mg of adrafinil in each cap, or there might be 1mg.

Most likely, seeing as there’s such a long list of ingredients, you would expect there to be absolutely microdoses of everything. This is one of the big problems with products like this that throw a thousand things at the wall instead of trying to focus on providing one useful benefit. Why do they do this? Because it looks good on their website to have a ton of stuff listed. In other words, this once again suggests that the company put zero thought into the list other than thinking how they could quickly make a buck.

Oh and the official website spells ‘adrafinil’ wrong (they call it ‘adafinil’). They also include this sentence:

Adafinil was added to provide wakefulness without caffeine crash and phenyl-racetam to further amplify the before mentioned benefits through in a very synergistic way.

Which, in case you hadn’t noticed, makes no freaking sense.

Reassuring.

Anyway, I tried some.

My Experiences

I can criticize the ingredients all I want but it’s not really fair without giving it a try.

So I ordered the free sample and gave it a go. What did I find?

Well, the first thing I noticed was that I felt sick. Probably because I’d just dumped a shit-ton of different micronutrients and active agents into my system. Which is always smart with stuff you get online.

Later on, I noticed that I did indeed ‘feel’ something. And in one of those ‘this is definitely not a placebo’ kind of way.

This tells me that there are decent quantities of phenylpiracetam and adafinil in there. I’ve used modafinil before and I must say that the experience was familiar – lights looking a little brighter, focus improved, lip biting. Phenylpiracetam is also one of the strongest racetams, so combining these two together was always going to give a bit of ‘oomph’.

Did I have a productive day? Yes actually to be fair – and perhaps above and beyond the norm for me (though placebo can always play a role here). I later socialized that evening and didn’t find myself too wired or jittery, in fact I was pretty on-form I’d say.

One of the things I always liked about modafinil was that it gave me the ability to really focus in on one idea. Increasing dopamine (which modafinil does) is likely to dampen creativity but I find that the ability to really mull a topic over actually works counter to this and can yield some pretty good ideas sometimes. I got this too.

nootropics productivity

But yeah, I also felt a little sick for the first hour or so. And spent the whole time thinking ‘this is a supplement from a company that clearly has no clue’.

And as I’ve discussed at length in the past, I’m not really comfortable with smart pills that work by increasing a couple of neurotransmitters at the expense of others. I actually think this can be counterproductive and is certainly not sustainable. And seeing as we don’t know how a lot of the ingredients actually work, you might also consider the action to be pretty reckless. For all the ‘success stories’ surrounding modafinil and the racetams, there are also plenty of horror stories out there from people who say they ended up with permanent brain fog etc.

So can I recommend this supplement?

Um no, not at all.

What I can say is that it’s certainly a supplement you notice working which is something that can’t be said for all of the smart pills out there. And it was sort of quite good. With a little refinement, I could potentially see it as useful for very occasional use when you need to really focus down.

I can also honestly say I am not dead. So if you wanted to just try something for free, there’s no harm. And while the quantities aren’t listed anywhere, the idea of a supplement with just a little adrafinil in it is somewhat interesting/appealing. Making your own stack is definitely the way to go anyway.

But I’ll be sticking to my nutrient dense diet, exercise and unique brain training for my own cognitive development. I recommend you steer clear too.

 

Update: Tried a second dose and had the same experience + a runny stomach. Which isn’t completely unheard of with modafinil analogs. So yeah… that kind of ruins the potential productivity gains even.

About Adam Sinicki

Adam Sinicki, AKA The Bioneer, is a writer, personal trainer, author, entrepreneur, and web developer. I've been writing about health, psychology, and fitness for the past 10+ years and have a fascination with the limits of human performance. When I'm not running my online businesses or training, I love sandwiches, computer games, comics, and hanging out with my family.

3 Comments

  1. Kestutis says:

    I appreciate your feedback, but I think it is not very nice and quite ignorant to say things like “company that clearly has no clue” or “clusterfuck of ingredients” or “dodgy” as they do not provide any constructive criticism just emotionally driven opinion. In reality we had an actual scientist Sanger Institute with 15 years experience in non communicable diseases leading this project. We spent over a year researching it how these ingredients work by themselves and in combination by running mini trials and giving samples away in exchange for feedback. The formula you took is not the latest formula and the reason you felt sick is because vincpocetine and vincamine dose, which was addressed in the latest formula. We keep adjusting and improving our product and aiming for best nootropic supplement for students and business professionals.

    You are clearly very knowledgeable in this field and I think you may able to contribute to this project.
    I would love to discuss this with you. Please email me or message us on facebook.

    Best regards,

    Kestutis
    CEO
    ThoughtFoods

    • thebioneer says:

      Hi Kestutis,
      I’m sorry to be unflattering about your product – I know that sucks. However, I had to give an honest review and I am afraid I really can’t recommend the product based on my experience, or one what I know about the products – regardless of whether you used an ‘actual scientist’.
      I think I did point out a few criticisms of the ingredients you could work with throughout the article. I only then concluded that it was a ‘clusterfuck’ of ingredients. No doubt with an ingredient list that long, the quantities are microscopic too. You should focus on a few benefits instead of throwing everything at the wall to create a product that sounds good to the uninitiated. Do you really need phenylracetam AND adrafinil in there? In fact I think adrafinil is a bad idea full stop, seeing as it’s as strong as it is with no long-term studies it’s not something people should be able to buy cheaply online.
      Great to hear you’re trying to improve your formulation but shouldn’t this have been the sort of thing you did BEFORE you released to the public? Nootropics are not the kind of product you should be using the public for beta testing. I know you spent over a WHOLE year testing and all…
      Combine all that with the poor spellings on your website and I’m just left with very little confidence in this product of yours. You should really go back to the drawing board. Sorry!

    • Scott Miller says:

      “In reality we had an actual scientist Sanger Institute with 15 years experience in non communicable diseases leading this project.”

      As this is a nootropic, I don’t understand how experience in non-communicable diseases is a useful skillset? Seems like part of a not too well thought out marketing plan: Well, we need a scientist, and a cool sounding company name with matching domain name. Oh, yes, and let’s get every well known nootropic – it can be a work in progress…

      Are the ingredient amounts not disclosed because the formula is “proprietary”, or is the quality control also a work in progress, and you really don’t know how much of each ingredient is actually in each batch? you must realize that we nootropic users are typically thinking people, with decent cognitive function. You should expect scrutiny…

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