Vinpocetine and vincamine are two closely related compounds that have gained popularity for their potential cognitive-enhancing effects. Vinpocetine in particular has long been a popular ingredient in natural nootropic stacks, and has frequently been used by itself by dedicated nootropics users.
But how do Vinpocetine and Vincamine compare to one another?
In this article, we will examine both compounds, exploring their origins, mechanisms of action, nootropic benefits, and differences. We will then compare their efficacy, safety, and dosages to help you make an informed decision about which compound may be best suited for your cognitive enhancement goals.
See The Best Nootropics For Brain Health
Protecting your brain is of the upmost importance, especially as you get older or if your lifestyle is one that tends to put stress on your brain cells. Using natural nootropics like vinpocetine or vincamine can promote brain cell health over the long-term. But if you're looking for something even more potent, check out our current rankings of the best nootropics for brain cell health on the market.
Vinpocetine: A Potent Synthetic Nootropic
What is Vinpocetine?
Vinpocetine is a synthetic derivative of vincamine, an alkaloid found in the leaves of the lesser periwinkle plant (Vinca minor). Vinpocetine was first synthesized in the 1970s and has since been extensively researched for its potential neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancing effects (Gulyás et al., 2011).
How Does Vinpocetine Work?
Vinpocetine's primary mechanism of action is enhancing cerebral blood flow. It does this by inhibiting an enzyme called phosphodiesterase type 1 (PDE1) and promoting vasodilation, which results in increased blood flow to the brain (Bonoczk et al., 2000). Enhanced cerebral blood flow leads to improved oxygen and nutrient delivery to brain cells, supporting overall brain function.
Vinpocetine also exhibits antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may contribute to its neuroprotective effects (Tretter et al., 2008).
Nootropic Benefits of Vinpocetine
Vinpocetine has been associated with various cognitive-enhancing effects, including:
Improved Memory and Learning: Studies have shown that vinpocetine can enhance memory and learning processes in animals and humans (Valkanova et al., 2013).
Increased Focus and Attention: Vinpocetine may improve focus and attention by promoting cerebral blood flow and optimizing brain function (Szilágyi et al., 2005).
Neuroprotection: Vinpocetine's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can protect brain cells from damage and support overall brain health (Tretter et al., 2008).
As is the case with many of the best nootropics for brain health, the benefits of Vinpocetine are generally only observed when it is taken on a daily basis for several weeks. This is because the benefits of reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow are not immediate; rather, they make little difference in the short term but have enormous, compounding effects ion the long-term.
Just like with Bacopa monnieri and Lion's Mane Mushroom, the benefits of Vinpocetine become stronger the longer you take the nootropic. Obviously dose is also a factor.
Vincamine: A Natural Nootropic from the Periwinkle Plant
What is Vincamine?
Vincamine is an alkaloid found in the leaves of the lesser periwinkle plant (Vinca minor). It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for its potential cognitive-enhancing and vasodilatory properties. Vincamine is the natural precursor to vinpocetine, which is synthesized from vincamine through chemical modifications (Gulyás et al., 2011).
How Does Vincamine Work?
Similar to vinpocetine, vincamine works primarily by enhancing cerebral blood flow. Vincamine promotes vasodilation, allowing for increased blood flow to the brain and supporting overall brain function (Szilágyi et al., 2005). Additionally, vincamine has been shown to possess antioxidant properties, which may contribute to its neuroprotective effects (Zhang et al., 2016).
Nootropic Benefits of Vincamine
Vincamine has been associated with a range of cognitive-enhancing effects, including:
Improved Memory and Learning: Some studies suggest that vincamine can improve memory and learning in both animals and humans, although the evidence is less robust compared to vinpocetine (Bhattacharya et al., 2001).
Increased Focus and Attention: Vincamine's ability to enhance cerebral blood flow may contribute to improvements in focus and attention (Szilágyi et al., 2005).
Neuroprotection: Vincamine's antioxidant properties can protect brain cells from damage and support overall brain health (Zhang et al., 2016).
Obviously the nootropic benefits of vincamine are practically identical to the benefits of Vinpocetine. The latter is a synthetic derivative of the former, and the two substances are incredibly similar both in terms of their effects and how they are metabolized in the body.
Top Vinpocetine Alternatives
Nooceptin is a complete cognitive enhancer which stacks clinically-proven, potent nootropics at optimal doses to give you total brain optimization without any of the side effects usually associated with synthetic brain drugs. Like Vinpocetine, Nooceptin is primarily indicated for promoting long-term brain function and health, improving memory retention and recall, and giving users sharper focus on a daily basis. It is 100% natural and our top rated nootropic overall.
Vyvamind is a powerful neurostimulant and study aid specifically designed to help you stay focused, motivated and productive throughout your working day. Many people have taken to referring to Vyvamind as "natural Vyvanse", owing to its ability to keep you focused, mentally sharp and motivated for hours on end. Like Vinpocetine, Vyvamind quickly clears brain fog and accelerates processing speeds without causing side effects or an energy crash.
Feedamind is a brand new nootropic stack designed to improve multiple aspects of cognitive performance. The formula combines herbal extracts with natural stimulants to produce both immediate and more long-term cognitive benefits. Using Feedamind daily should produce significant improvements in focus, memory, mental energy levels and mental clarity. This makes it a great alternative to Vinpocetine and other synthetic nootropics focused on brain health.
Comparing Vinpocetine and Vincamine
Clearly, both Vinpocetine and Vincamine are very similar compounds. Any comparison of vincamine and vinpocetine demands that you recognize that the compounds have more in common than they have differences.
That said, there are key differences between vinpocetine and vincamine. We will now go through the main things that separate vincamine and vinpocetine, before comparing them directly head-to-head as nootropics.
Differences in Mechanism of Action
While both vinpocetine and vincamine enhance cerebral blood flow, vinpocetine's additional mechanism of action, inhibiting PDE1, distinguishes it from vincamine. This difference makes vinpocetine potentially more potent and effective at promoting blood flow to the brain and overall cognitive enhancement.
When comparing the nootropic efficacy of vinpocetine and vincamine, the available research suggests that vinpocetine may be more potent and effective. Vinpocetine has been more extensively studied and has consistently demonstrated cognitive-enhancing effects in various domains, including memory, learning, focus, and attention (Valkanova et al., 2013). While vincamine also shows potential cognitive benefits, the evidence is less robust compared to vinpocetine.
Both vinpocetine and vincamine are generally considered safe when taken at appropriate doses. However, due to its greater potency, vinpocetine may have a higher potential for side effects, especially when taken at high doses or in combination with other medications. Common side effects of vinpocetine may include headaches, dizziness, and gastrointestinal issues (Szilágyi et al., 2005). Vincamine is generally well-tolerated but may also cause similar side effects.
The recommended dosage for vinpocetine typically ranges from 15 to 60 mg per day, divided into three doses. For vincamine, the suggested dosage is around 30 to 40 mg per day, taken in two or three divided doses. It is essential to start with the lowest effective dose and gradually increase as needed to minimize potential side effects.
Vinpocetine Pros & Cons
Vinpocetine, a synthetic derivative of the periwinkle plant, is often used as a nootropic for its potential cognitive-enhancing effects. Despite its benefits for brain health, there are concerns regarding potential side effects, limited long-term research, and contraindications with certain drugs and conditions.
Vincamine Pros & Cons
Vincamine is a natural nootropic derived from the periwinkle plant, used for improving memory and cognitive function. Despite its potential benefits, it has possible side effects, limited scientific research, and may interact negatively with certain medications.
Conclusion: Should you use Vinpocetine or Vincamine?
Both vinpocetine and vincamine offer potential cognitive-enhancing benefits, with each compound working primarily through enhancing cerebral blood flow. However, vinpocetine appears to be more potent and effective due to its additional mechanism of action and more extensive research support.
When considering which compound to choose for cognitive enhancement, vinpocetine may be the better option for most individuals, given its greater potency and demonstrated efficacy. However, it is essential to consider individual preferences, potential side effects, and interactions with other medications or supplements. Always consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions or are taking other medications.
Paul Tardner is the Head Writer at IJEST.org. Paul is a former academic and research scientist. He now dedicates his time to his own research into nootropics, with a particular focus on cognitive enhancement in old age. You can learn more about Paul from his profile page.