Dear Doctor Ferzola,
What is Vinpocetine? I heard that it improves memory. Is it an herbal product?
Vanessa B. Lakeland Fl.
Vinpocetine is an alkaloid derived from the leaves of periwinkle (Vinca minor L) that was first developed in Europe over 20 years ago. Helpful for cognitive support and for maintaining cerebrovascular health, one possible mechanism of vinpocetine involves an increase in cerebrovascular blood flow, thus allowing for better oxygen distribution to cells. Studies have suggested that vinpocetine blocks calcium-calmodulin dependent cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase, which could result in an increase of cyclic GMP within the smooth muscle. A higher level of cyclic GMP can promote healthy vascular flow. Furthermore, studies have reported that in addition to its neuroprotective feature, vinpocetine acts as an antioxidant and provides cellular protection. In a double-blind placebo controlled clinical trial, 84 elderly subjects were given vinpocetine or a placebo over a period of 90 days. Results indicated that those supplementing with vinpocetine scored better on all cognitive examinations.
Well tolerated, vinpocetine is absorbed in the small intestine and then processed in the liver. Once in systemic circulation, vinpocetine is absorbed by most tissues in the body and crosses the blood brain barrier. Absorption is much better when taken with food, usually around 60% versus just 7% when taken on an empty
General dosing recommendations range from 5-10 mg 1-4 times daily . Vinpocetine may be contraindicated for those taking warfarin/coumadin or who have any type of bleeding disorder or low blood pressure. This product is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women.
For more information on Vinpocetine and how to obtain a formulation. Contact me at