Vinpocetine is a type of synthetic chemical that is meant to replicate a substance that occurs naturally in the Vinca minor periwinkle plant. It is commonly used in traditional and conventional medicines for a range of different purposes.
How is Vinpocetine Used?
It is believed that vinpocetine could enhance the blood flow to the brain, which can bring about a range of different benefits. This helps to explain why it is often used for improving memory, preventing symptoms and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia and learning inhibiting conditions. It is meant to improve memory and enhance the ability to process information. The improvements to blood flow have also caused it to be used for the reduction of the risk of death and disability from ischemic stroke. Healthcare providers will sometimes administer this ingredient intravenously to treat stroke and seizure disorders.
Other Ways Vinpocetine is Applied
As improved blood flow can mean improvements of the distribution of oxygen to the brain and the rest of the body, it is also used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), treat the symptoms of menopause, and prevent motion sickness.
That said this ingredient in weight loss pills can also be helpful for other purposes such as assisting dieters in their efforts to lose weight. This ingredient does not directly cause fat to be removed from the body automatically, but it can be quite helpful to people who are working to keep up with a healthful eating and exercising routine.
The reason is that in a study called “Examination of a pre-exercise, high energy supplement on exercise performance,” which was published in 2009 in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, it was found that vinpocetine can provide athletes and dieters, alike, with benefits when used regularly and in the right doses. Those benefits include improvements to the mood and ability to focus. This resulted in improved drive and motivation, which is integral to achieving the best possible performance and, as a result, reaching athletic and dieting goals with greater speed and ease.
What Makes This Ingredient Unique?
This makes vinpocetine a rather unique type of ingredient to include in a weight loss supplement, as it does not provide appetite suppression, fat burning, fat blocking, or any of the other traditional forms of assistance that are advertised for this type of product. Instead, it offers dieters the emotional and mood support that they may require in order to cope with the struggles of dieting and not give up before they have achieved their goal weight.
Precautions Before Using a Supplement with This Ingredient
As can be said with every ingredient for every type of supplement on the market, vinpocetine is not appropriate for everyone. It is considered to be possibly safe for healthy adults when taken orally over the short term. That said, it has been associated with certain side effects. These include:
- Stomach pain
- Sleep disruptions
- Facial flushing
Vinpocetine is also considered to be possibly unsafe if used by a woman who is pregnant or who thinks she may become pregnant while using a product containing this ingredient. Research has shown that this substance could potentially increase the risk of miscarriage. It may also be harmful to the unborn baby. It should be entirely avoided by women who are pregnant or who are trying to become pregnant.
Similarly, there isn’t adequate information about whether vinpocetine is safe to take while breastfeeding. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding a baby, it’s always recommended to avoid using this substance, simply to ensure safety.
This ingredient is not typically recommended for people who have bleeding disorders such as blood clotting issues, as this substance may raise the risk of bleeding. It is also believed that this ingredient could weaken the immune system of some people. This could reduce the body’s capacity for fighting off disease and infections. Individuals who already have weakened immune systems due to any number of conditions should discuss this ingredient with their doctor before using it.
It is important to stop using vinpocetine at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery. The reason is that it may slow blood clotting, which could increase the risk of bleeding during the surgery as well as afterward. Moreover, as it may also weaken the immune system, this may also raise the risk of infection following the surgery.
Interactions with Vinpocetine
Vinpocetine is associated with moderate interactions with certain drugs (prescription and non-prescription) and supplements. Be very careful to consider what combinations you may be making before you start taking this ingredient. Discuss with your doctor any drugs or supplements you are taking or will be taking at the same time as this ingredient. This is particularly true if you are taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs (medications that slow blood clotting).