Vinpocetine is a derivative of vinca alcohol. It is obtained from the leaves of the Vinca minor plant or from the seeds of Voacanga africana. In many countries (Japan, Mexico, Russia) Vinpocetine is considered a drug for the treatment of stroke and dementia, and in the US and Canada it is marketed as a dietary supplement. It was first used in 1975 and first registered in 1978. In the past, it has also been used to increase blood flow to the brain in the treatment of cognitive decline, epilepsy, and in the treatment of stroke.
When taken at appropriate (low) doses, Vimcamine has the following benefits:
- increases circulation and oxygenation
- slows down cognitive decline and thus the progression of dementia
- can also improve reaction times, memory, headaches and hearing loss
Better circulation and oxygenation of the body
In one study performed on six healthy men, a 20 mg dose of vinpocetine caused a 7% increase in blood flow to the brain. Another study also showed an improvement in oxygenation in brain flow without a change in mean blood pressure in 700 people. A pilot study conducted on thirty people further showed that Vinpocetine improves blood viscosity. Due to the listed properties, Vinpocetine is especially suitable for recovery after a stroke.
It slows down cognitive decline and thus the progression of dementia
Numerous studies conducted on people with dementia or the elderly have demonstrated an improvement in cognitive performance. With the use of Vinpocetine and the consequent improvement in cognitive efficiency, people subjectively assessed that their health condition is now better or that their disease is less serious. However, one study using the TPSO system (sensor for brain damage and microglial activation), which is disordered in people with cognitive impairment or brain trauma, showed that using Vinpocetine could reduce the activity of this system and thus cognitive decline.
It can also improve reaction time, memory, headaches, hearing loss
According to some studies, Vinpocetine is said to improve memory and also prevent memory impairment. In one small study performed on 12 people, 40 mg of Vinpocerin per day improved their reaction time from 610 ms to 430 ms. In 73-80% of people who lost their hearing, taking Vinpocerin alone and in combination with other substances caused an improvement in hearing. According to some reports, Vinpocetine alone and in combination with other substances relieves headaches, improves heart health, improves liver function, has anti-inflammatory effects, improves mitochondrial function, relieves pain and in mice, also slows tumor growth.
Vinpocetine side effects
Skeptics say there is too little research on Vinpocetine, that it is not FDA approved, and that it can have detrimental health effects when taken at higher doses. Taking overdoses of Vinpocetine can cause sudden spikes in blood and heart pressure and can result in death. However, only one case with side effects has been reported with 15 mg.
Vinpocetine vs Vincamine vs Nicergoline
Vincamine is an alkaloid obtained from the Vinca minor plant. It is considered a dietary supplement in the United States and is a drug for the treatment of primary degenerative and vascular dementia.
Nicergoline is a derivative of ergot. It is used to treat senile dementia, various disorders of the desired origin, vascular disorders and oto-vestibular problems. as a dietary supplement it is used mainly because of its positive effect on the brain.
So there are three very similar dietary supplements, all of which are used to treat cognitive impairment, but still differ in some effects on the body. A study conducted on rats covering all of these so-called dietary supplements found it dealt with the onset of hypoxia caused by a lack of learning. In the aforementioned study, Vinpocetine completely prevented the disease, followed by Vincamine, and the worst was Nicergoline. None of the above dietary supplements significantly improved learning in normoxic conditions.
Vinpocetine should be taken with a meal, as this increases its usefulness from the initial 6.2-6.7% by 60-100%. By using it with a meal, we also increase its absorption into the body. Vinpocetine is completely broken down in the body’s metabolism and is no longer present in the body.
How does Vinpocetine work
Vinpocetine has the most effective effect on our brains. Vinpocetine in the brain works by blocking excess dopamine and glutamate in the sodium, potassium and potassium L channels in the brain. If there is an excess of dopamine and glutamate in the brain, this can lead to the destruction of cells in the brain. Vinpocetine also reduces the amount of PDE1 in the body, giving it cardioprotective and cognitive-boosting properties. By increasing the concentration of cGMP, it dilates blood vessels and prevents inflammation by inhibiting the activation of IKKβ.
The half-life of Vinpocetine is 1.46 hours. Vinpocetine is detected in the blood after only 20 minutes, but after 2-3 hours it can no longer be detected in the blood.
Vinpocetine can be prescribed to a patient by a doctor, and if Vinpocetine has been prescribed by your doctor, follow its recommendations for use. If you have bought Vinpocetine as a dietary supplement, you can still consult a doctor, and in principle, Vinpocetine is taken three times a day with each meal. The low dose of Vinpocetine at each meal is 5 mg and the highest is up to 20 mg.