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Vinpocetin Overview

Vinpocetine is a chemical derived from vincamine, a constituent found in the leaves of common periwinkle plant, Vinca minor. Vinpocetine is used in about 35 countries in the treatment of stroke and vascular dementia. Its action is to dilate blood vessels to enhance blood flow to specific regions of the brain as well as to reduce damage from free radicals by improving oxygen utilization. In Europe, vinpocetine is marketed as a drug called Cavinton for the treatment of various cerebral insufficiency conditions. It improves cerebral metabolism (glucose and oxygen uptake), increases ATP concentration, and selectively increases blood flow to the brain (without lowering blood flow to other parts of the body); and reduces blood clotting by making red blood cells more pliable and inhibiting platelet aggregation. Vinpocetin is also known as a memory enhancer; a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease; a treatment for stroke; it improves circulation (especially to the brain); and it is a powerful antioxidant.

Research studies on vinpocetine have shown that it enhances overall brain function and cognitive ability in people recovering from stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and age-related declines in memory. It provides significant improvements in cognitive function in patients suffering from mild to moderate dementia and in stroke patients, it significantly improved the transport of glucose (both uptake and release) in the brain and especially in the brain tissue around the area damaged by stroke. These changes appeared to be related to increased blood in the entire region in and around the area of damage. Thousands of patients with different cerebrovascular diseases have shown improvement (75-85% of patients) on measures of cognitive function with the use Cavinton in Europe, over the past 10-20 years.

Dosage: Typical dosage recommendations for vinpocetine are 5-1p0mg, taken 2-3 times per day with meals (to increase absorption and reduce gastrointestinal discomfort).

Side Effects: Side effects of vinpocetine are quite rare, typically minor and disappear with discontinuance of consumption. Rarely, side effects such as gastrointestinal upset; low blood pressure (hypotension), dry mouth, insomnia, headaches and heart palpitations (rapid heart beat) have been reported.


Research Overview

1. Treats early stages of cerebrovascular disease
2. Provides neuroprotection in those with high risk of ishemic stroke
3. Stabilizes cerebrovascular disorders
4. Effective treatment for central nervous system degenerative disorders in elderly people
5. Improves brain blood flow
6. Improves coronary, intestinal and renal blood flow
7. Improves short-term memory capacity
8. Reduces cerebral vascular resistance
9. Effective vasodilator
10. May be of benefit in Alzheimer’s disease treatment
11. May reduce risk of retinal damage associated with hepatitis B infection
12. May have gastroprotective properties
13. May be a quisqualate antagonist
14. Improves glucose metabolism in the brain
15. Improves space motion sickness
16. May be a treatment for Meniere’s disease

Vinpocetin Abstracts (38)