Nowadays the pharmaceutical market for improving the brain activity is flooded with supplements and drugs. A large part of these substances are completely natural and derive from the most common herbs or flowers.
Few people could imagine that a little flower of Europe contains an almost unknown dietary supplement with great potential, which is called vinpocetine. Vinpocetine is a kind of alkaloid, synthesized by the vincamine molecule. It can be naturally found in the flower Vinca minor, also known as periwinkle in Europe.
Vincamine is the plant’s main constituent and its concentration reaches 25-65% of the total alkaloids. Periwinkle has been used in traditional European medicine for treating headaches.
Vinpocetine has been used in European medicine for the treatment of brain diseases and for improving memory for decades. That is why vinpocetine is categorized as a nootropic. Successfully improves blood flow to the brain, which is due partly to the moderate vasodilatory effect.
Furthermore, there is a slight improvement of the oxygen levels in the brain. People who have suffered a heart attack have more drastic improvement of the oxygen status of the brain.
One dose of 40 mg, 1 hour before mental activity dramatically improves memory in the Sternberg test. Vinpocetine improves mood, focus and reaction time. Positive action is noted in a higher dose and gets a short-term effect.
Table of Contents
What Is Vinpocetine?
Vinpocetine is a kind of alkaloid, synthesized by the vincamine molecule. It can be naturally found in the flower Vinca minor, also known as periwinkle in Europe. Vincamine is the plant’s main constituent and its concentration reaches 25-65% of the total alkaloids.
Periwinkle has been used in traditional European medicine for treating headaches. Vinpocetine has been used in European medicine for the treatment of brain diseases and for improving memory for decades. That is why vinpocetine is categorized as a nootropic.
Vinpocetine still hasn’t been deeply studied in the modern science. There are mostly in-vitro studies conducted, not direct human studies. At this stage, resources for the action of vinpocetine can be found mostly in the Russian scientific literature.
Western researches are too limited. It is, however, considered that vinpocetine has an enormous potential and it is yet to be studied on humans. Vinpocetine has relatively low digestibility in the human body, reaching 6.2-6.7% at intake in aqueous solution.
In animals, however, assimilation can reach 52%.
It is interesting to note that the lower digestibility of the substance can be detected in the hungry state of the body while intake of food may increase the assimilation up to 60-100%, respectively 10-13% of the total amount vinpocetine.
How Does Vinpocetine Work?
After getting in the body, it is being metabolized in into apovincaminic acid that appears to be its active metabolite. Oral intake of vinpocetine leads to a rapid increase in the serum levels after only 20 minutes of intake, and the half-life of the active substance is 1 hour and 46 minutes.
Vinpocetine cannot be detected in the blood two to three hours after oral intake. After getting into the blood, almost all of the vinpocetine bonds to proteins in the blood plasma. The apovincaminic acid reaches its peak quickly, thanks to the rapid metabolism of vinpocetine.
Peak levels of apovincaminic acid occur 1 hour after oral intake and get normalized 3-4 hours later. Vinpocetine and its metabolites get easily disposed out of the body and there is no accumulation with regular consumption.
Vinpocetine has the ability to smoothly pass the blood-brain barrier. Vinpocetine reaches the brain very quickly when nearly 3-4% of the administered substance is absorbed. That is the equivalent to 50-60% of the total vinpocetine utilized.
The substance is easily detected in the brain but has its impact on specific areas such as the visual cortex, thalamus, basal ganglia and striatum.
The main action mechanisms are four:
Potential and Proven Benefits In People
Side Effects and Contraindications:
How to Combine Vinpocetine?
Where Can We Find Vinpocetine?
Vinpocetine can be found as a standalone product - in the form of a dietary supplement or in pharmacies.
Available in capsules or tablets, as the concentration in one capsule; ranges between 5 mg and 10 mg.
Vinpocetine is frequently used in complex formulas, the most common of which are brain stimulators and memory enhancers.
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