Vinpocetine is a synthetic compound created from the leaves of the periwinkle plant (Vinca minor). Manufacturers gain vincamine from the leaves and process it to make Vinpocetine. Although this medication is only available through prescription in some countries, in the United States, it is a dietary supplement. This product claims to improve mental status and alertness. Clinical trials have sustained the effectiveness in particular cerebrovascular disorders, such as stroke and vascular dementia. Research indicates it has a positive impact upon damaged areas of the brain. Vinpocetine is being explored as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The drug acts as a vasodilator to increase blood flow.

What is Vinpocetine ?
Vinpocetine (pronounced vin-poe-ce-teen) is a synthetic compound derived from vincamine, a substance found naturally in the leaves of the lesser periwinkle plant (Vinca minor). Vinpocetine was developed in the late 1960s. Vinpocetine is available as a prescription drug in Europe and Japan. In the United States and Canada, it’s sold in health food stores and online as a dietary supplement. Vinpocetine is reported to have cerebral blood-flow enhancing and neuroprotective effects and is used as a drug in Eastern Europe for the treatment of cerebrovascular disorders and age-related memory impairment.

Vinpocetine is widely marketed as a supplement for vasodilation and as a nootropic for the improvement of memory. In other words, Vinpocetine may help support brain functions such as concentration and memory by activating cerebral metabolism. Vinpocetine has been identified as a potent antiinflammatory agent that might have a potential role in the treatment of Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer’s disease

Where it is found?
Vinpocetine is synthesized from the alkaloid vincamine, which is extracted from the leaves of the periwinkle plant Vinca minor.

See Vinpocetin related videos:
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Benefits / uses
Stroke and vascular dementia
Vinpocetine is thought to increase blood circulation in the brain, which may explain why some preliminary studies suggest that it may reduce brain impairment and dementia after an ischemic stroke. Although promising, well-designed human studies are needed.

Alzheimer's disease
Vinpocetine is also being explored as a complementary treatment for people with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s thought to enhance the brain's use of oxygen, protect brain cells against damage, and increase blood flow to the brain by inhibiting an enzyme called phosphodiesterase.

Although preliminary studies on the use of vinpocetine for Alzheimer's disease showed promise, a critical review of previously published studies found that the evidence as a whole was too weak to rely on, due to limitations in the design of the studies. More research is needed.

Studies suggest that vinpocetine may help with tinnitus after trauma to the ear.

To boost brain function
Vinpocetine is marketed in North America as a supplement that can boost memory and brain function in healthy people, but there is no real evidence yet that it can help.

Research has typically used 30 to 60 mg per day of vinpocetine. Taking vinpocetine with food appears to dramatically improve its absorption.

Possible Side effects / Precautions / Possible Interactions:
Side effects of vinpocetine may include indigestion, nausea, dizziness, anxiety, facial flushing, insomnia, headache, drowsiness and dry mouth. Vinpocetine may also cause a temporary drop in blood pressure.

Vinpocetine shouldn’t be taken by pregnant or nursing women. The safety of vinpocetine in people with liver or kidney damage isn't known. People with bleeding disorders, low blood pressure or seizure disorders shouldn't use vinpocetine. It also shouldn't be used two weeks before or after a surgical or dental procedure.

Possible Drug Interactions
Vinpocetine shouldn’t be taken by people who are taking drugs or herbs that “thin” the blood (anticlotting or antiplatelet medications), such as aspirin, Plavix (clopidogrel), Ticlid (ticlopidine), (Trental) pentoxifylline, vitamin E, garlic or ginkgo. It should not be used with Coumadin (warfarin).

Research studies / References

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