How to Increase IQ
Brain Exercises

Benefits of Meditation
Mental Math

Riddles and Puzzles
Lateral Thinking

Things That Lower IQ

Smoking may lower ones IQ, according to a recent study at the University of Michigan. It is common for smokers to say that they get a mental boost from a cigarette, and they probably do. But the long-term use of tobacco may damage the brain.

A team from the U of M Medical School's Addiction Research Center were looking at alcoholism's long-term effect on the brain and thinking skills. Not surprisingly, they found, as others have, that alcoholism is associated with thinking problems and lower IQ scores. But they also found a similar link between long-term smoking and reduced brainpower. No wonder most people now are switching from conventional smoking to "vaping," due to some health benefits they can get from it. To learn more go to

The results of the study, reported in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, showed that the negative effect on memory, problem-solving and IQ was most severe among those who had smoked for years.

Among the alcoholic men, smoking was associated with diminished thinking ability even after alcohol and drug use were accounted for. More studies will have to be done, and they did not establish a cause-effect relationship between smoking and the diminished mental function, but it seems likely that cigarettes will be proven to cause such damage.

If you want maximum brain function then, and you are a heavy drinker or a smoker, you might have to make some changes.

What else besides too much alcohol and smoking can reduce your brainpower? Let's see...

Other Things That Cause Lower IQ Scores

There are foods which are bad for the brain, particularly if they are eaten in larger quantities. These include artificial food colorings, artificial sweeteners, colas, corn syrup (especially high-fructose corn syrup), frostings, high-sugar drinks, hydrogenated oils, white bread and other white-flour products. The artificial colorings and flavorings negatively affect mental functioning in children according to some studies.

Hydrogenated oils lead to heart disease and general clogging of arteries. This results in diminished blood flow to the brain. The other foods on this list are primarily bad because of the unhealthy fluctuations in blood sugar levels they cause. This results in "brain fog" short-term, and may contribute to the development of diabetes as well. If you don't want to memorize the list, just remember to stay away from all drugs, refined flour and sugar products (potatoes aren't so good either, if you overdo it).

I also think that there are many "personal problems" that result in less-powerful thinking. These include arguing excessively, which causes one to get "set" in ones thinking. Egotism in general also limits ones thinking capacity, as it makes proving ones ideas more important than looking at new data and evidence for other ideas.

Some of you may have noticed that these personal factors may be temporary. This is true of many of the bad foods as well. If you stop letting your ego get in the way of clear thinking, or eat less junk, your mind may return to normal. Unlike the damage caused by alcoholism or smoking, then, these things don't actually lower IQ, but just temporarily lower the efficiency and effectiveness of the brain.

While that's true, the distinction may not be important. These are foods that are commonly and regularly consumed after all, and one can be egotistical and irrational for all of one's life. If one always thinks in a limited way, or if every time one takes an intelligence test the score is lowered because of bad diet, is it really meaningful to say the lower IQ isn't permanent? The effect is the same while it lasts, and it can be a permanent deficiency if not changed.

Try my newsletter. It's free and comes with the ebook, How to Have New Ideas. Subscribe right now...

(Sorry, but the newsletter has been discontinued.)

Like what you see here? Please let others know...


Increase Brainpower Homepage | Lower IQ