Vinpocetine – A Novel Brain-Boosting Nutrient
Friday, November 12, 2010
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist Byron J. Richards,
Vinpocetine is synthesized from the periwinkle plant. Since 1978 it has been used widely in Europe, Russia, and Japan due to its ability to improve blood flow to the brain. It helps protect brain cells from excitotoxic stress while boosting energy levels in the brain. A number of human studies support the use of vinpocetine to boost cognitive performance. It has recently demonstrated the ability to regulate the core inflammatory gene signal, NF-kappaB Protein complex that controls DNA transcription and is involved with cellular responses to stress, cytokines, free radicals, UV radiation, oxidized LDL, and infections. , while also working to boost the primary neurotransmitter related to memory, acetylcholine.
The process of excessive inflammation during aging is the hallmark of cognitive decline as well as virtually all poor health conditions associated with aging. For the first time vinpocetine has been identified as a potent regulator of NF-kappaB Protein complex that controls DNA transcription and is involved with cellular responses to stress, cytokines, free radicals, UV radiation, oxidized LDL, and infections. 1 and TNFa Cytokine involved with systemic inflammation and regulation of immune cells. It is able to induce cell death, and inhibits tumorigenesis and viral replication. When dysfunctional it is associated with a number of disease processes.. This effect was demonstrated in a variety of cells, including macrophages, endothelial cells Single layer of cells that line the internal lining of blood vessels. They are involved with control of vascular tone and blood pressures along with exchange fo gas and metabolic products and extravasation of immune compounds., and muscle cells. Previously it has been demonstrated that vinpocetine can reduce excitotoxic brain stress2 via antioxidant and energy-enhancing attributes3 that rejuvenate acetyl-choline neurotransmitter function. This new understanding of the NF-kappaB Protein complex that controls DNA transcription and is involved with cellular responses to stress, cytokines, free radicals, UV radiation, oxidized LDL, and infections. -regulating mode of action of vinpocetine now makes it a significant nutrient option in the preservation and enhancement of cognitive function. The researchers concluded, “These studies thus identify vinpocetine as a unique anti-inflammatory agent that may be repositioned for the treatment of many inflammatory diseases.”
Last year Hungarian researchers tested vinpocetine in 40 patients with chronic cerebrovascular disease4. They demonstrated that the nutrient improved the condition of the blood so that blood could flow to the brain easier. Animal experiments have shown that administering vinpocetine following an experimentally induced stroke5 reduced the amount of brain damage by 42%., limiting the chain reaction of excitotoxic injury. A 12 week study in 60 patients admitted to a hospital for a high blood pressure crisis6 showed that vinpocetine improved their circulation and blood flow while boosting levels of the artery-relaxing friendly nitric oxide (eNOS Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase. Type of enzyme involved with various physiological signals and maintenance activities with nitric oxide. ).
British researchers tested vinpocetine in 203 patients with mild to moderate cognitive impairment7 (10 mg three times per day for 16 weeks). A statistically significant improvement in general brain function and cognitive performance were demonstrated. In a 12 week study Hungarian researchers demonstrated that patients with mild cognitive impairment8 improved blood flow to their brains and improved cognitive performance. In a small group of healthy young women just two days of vinpocetine supplementation was found to have a significant impact on memory9.
Young or old, getting blood to your brain as efficiently as possible is always a good idea. Stress, toxins, infections, and other issues all work to reduce blood flow an increase excitotoxic situations in the brain. Vinpocetine is a nutrient that helps restore balance while boosting brain energy and function.
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