Whether it’s holing up in Bapst for an all-nighter or hiding on the third floor of O’Neill with vending machine coffee, all BC students have their own methods to focus on studying. A new supplement from Princeton University undergrad Hafiz Dhanani, however, could change how students get their work done.
The psychology and computer science major developed the natural supplement Luminate after trying several other supplements and cognitive enhancements. With a little research, Dhanani found that products currently on the market tend to either be ineffective at increasing focus, or are paired with long-term health repercussions.
Dhanani solved his problem by creating Luminate, which he describes as “a mix of herbs and extracts that give you clear focus for six to eight hours without the negative side effects of prescription drugs like Adderall and the jitters of caffeine.”
Dhanani separately ordered the natural ingredients and combined them to form his own personal blend. Ingredients include a mix of amino acids and botanical extracts, like artichoke extract, forskolin, and L-theanine, which helps with “focus, concentration, motivation and mental acuity.” His ingredients come from plants, protein rich foods, fruits and vegetables, and green tea.
According to Dhanani, Luminate works by raising the brain’s levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate, or cyclic AMP. Pharmaceutical studies signal this molecule as an important factor to the manipulation and understanding of memory.
The young entrepreneur developed the product after stumbling upon the “nootropics community” on the Internet, which is a group of people who use nootropic drugs (or “smart drugs”) to increase their cognitive and focusing abilities.
While prescription drugs like Adderall and Ritalin are widely abused in the name of academic achievement, they are dangerous when not properly prescribed by a doctor and illegal to obtain otherwise. Available on Amazon, Luminate may offer a safer (and legal) solution for students looking to make the most of their study time.
Several Princeton students, including several of Dhanani’s friends, have already seen positive results. Effects kick in within about 90 minutes and last for several hours. “Any outside thoughts coming into my head were blocked off,” says Martin Nevarez, Princeton ’16. “It wore off about four or five hours after.”
Amazon reviewers also cite positive results. “‘Focused’ is a hard feeling to describe, but I notice when I’m working that I stay engaged with what I am doing longer,” says user GoBIGRED7.
Although Dhanani has no plans to revolutionize the scientific community, he hopes that his supplement will help people be as productive as possible so they can reach their full potential.