7,8-Dihydroxyflavone – Health benefits, side effects, how to use, and more!

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Key Information

7,8-DHF mimics BDNF in the brain

7,8-DHF is a natural compound that activates the TrkB receptor, which mediates the effects of BDNF, a protein that supports neuron health and function.

7,8-DHF enhances cognitive and mental health

7,8-DHF improves memory, learning, mood, motivation, and resilience by stimulating neuron growth and communication

7,8-DHF protects the brain from degeneration and injury

7,8-DHF reduces neuron cell death and promotes neuron recovery in various models of neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke.

7,8-DHF is safe and bioavailable

7,8-DHF has a strong safety profile in animal studies and easily crosses the blood-brain barrier. However, human studies are still lacking.

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7,8-Dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF) is emerging as one of the most promising new nootropics for enhancing cognitive function and promoting brain health. This powerful yet safe compound works as a TrkB receptor agonist, activating BDNF pathways in the brain.

Early research suggests that 7,8-DHF may benefit conditions like Alzheimer’s, depression, ADHD, and more while improving memory, mood, focus, and neuron growth. Read on to learn the science behind 7,8-DHF, examine its key benefits, and consider if adding this unique nootropic to your stack could help you unlock your brain’s full potential.

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What Is 7,8-Dihydroxyflavone?

7,8-DHF is a naturally occurring flavonoid compound found in certain plants such as Godmania aesculifolia. Scientists first isolated 7,8-DHF in the 1990s but it has only recently emerged as a supplement due to discoveries about its potent effects in the brain.

Specifically, 7,8-DHF acts as a TrkB receptor agonist. The TrkB receptor plays a key role in the function of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), a protein involved in neuron growth, differentiation, and survival. By activating the TrkB receptor, 7,8-DHF triggers downstream BDNF pathways that support cognitive health.

In studies on mice and rats, 7,8-DHF has replicated many of the key benefits of BDNF itself. But unlike BDNF supplements, 7,8-DHF easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and stimulates BDNF pathways directly in the central nervous system.

This rare combination of being both potent and bioavailable is what makes 7,8-DHF such a promising nootropic compound.

7,8-DHF: A Natural Nootropic: 7,8-DHF is a plant-derived compound that activates BDNF pathways in the brain, supporting cognitive function and health.

Benefits and Effects of 7,8-DHF

Though still an emerging nootropic supplement, early research highlights incredible potential for 7,8-DHF to benefit cognitive function and brain health. Observed and hypothesized benefits include:

Benefits and EffectsDescription
Enhanced Memory, Learning, and Cognition– Improved spatial memory, object recognition, and fear memory in rodent studies.<br>- Linked to BDNF pathway activation enhancing synaptic plasticity and long-term potentiation.
– Supports neuron communication and growth in key memory centers like the hippocampus.
Neuroprotection and Repair– Reduces neuron cell death.
– Promotes dendrite growth and synapse formation.
– Potential benefits for conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and stroke recovery.
Enhanced Mood, Motivation, and Resilience– Counters helplessness behaviors.<br>- Increases resilience to social defeat stress.
– Potential applications in addressing depression, anxiety, and mood stabilization.
Additional Potential Benefits– Potential applications for ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, addiction, epilepsy, chronic fatigue, and traumatic brain injuries.<br>- Taps into crucial pathways for neuronal health and function.

Enhanced Memory, Learning, and Cognition

Multiple rodent studies demonstrate 7,8-DHF improves performance on tests for spatial memory, object recognition, and fear memory. These effects are linked to BDNF pathway activation enhancing synaptic plasticity and long-term potentiation.

By supporting neuron communication and growth in key memory centers like the hippocampus, 7,8-DHF shows promise for improving memory consolidation and recall in healthy adults.

Neuroprotection and Repair

Through BDNF pathway stimulation, 7,8-DHF has been shown to reduce neuron cell death while promoting dendrite growth and synapse formation. These neuroprotective and neurodegenerative effects could have profound implications for individuals with age-related cognitive decline or neurodegenerative diseases.

Animal models indicate 7,8-DHF may benefit disorders including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and stroke recovery. More research is still urgently needed in clinical human populations.

Alzheimer’sReduced tau protein tangles in mice overexpressing Alzheimer’s mutations
Parkinson’sProtected dopamine neuron damage; improved motor function in rodents exposed to toxins
Huntington’sImproved BDNF transport in Huntington’s mouse models
StrokeDecreased infarct volume, enhanced motor recovery in rodent stroke models

7,8-DHF Boosts Brain Power: 7,8-DHF enhances memory, learning, mood, motivation, and resilience by stimulating neuron growth and communication.

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Enhanced Mood, Motivation, and Resilience

As a critical mediator of neuron survival and adaptation, BDNF is closely linked to mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. Impaired BDNF signaling likely plays a causal role in psychiatric conditions.

Rodent studies show 7,8-DHF counters helplessness behaviors while increasing resilience to social defeat stress. By potentially addressing core BDNF deficiencies, 7,8-DHF shows exceptional promise as an antidepressant and mood-stabilizing compound.

Anecdotal self-experimenter reports similarly indicate benefits for motivation, well-being, and anti-anxiety effects. More research into clinical applications for 7,8-DHF on psychiatric health is urgently needed.

Additional Potential Benefits

Early evidence and hypothesized mechanisms point to even more possible beneficial applications for 7,8-DHF:

Potential BenefitMechanism/Link to BDNF or Neuronal Health
ADHDPromotion of dopamine signaling critical for attention and focus.
Autism Spectrum DisorderImprovement in social and communication deficits linked to BDNF.
Addiction and Substance AbuseModulation of reward pathways mediated by BDNF.
EpilepsyStabilization of neuron firing activity.
Chronic FatiguePotential addressing of low brain energy metabolism.
Traumatic Brain InjuriesNeuroprotective and regenerative capacities.

As an agonist for a receptor crucial for neuronal health and function, 7,8-DHF taps into the very pathways that allow our brains to thrive and open exciting new doors for cognitive enhancement.

How Does 4-DMA-7,8-DHF Differ from 7,8-Dihydroxyflavone?

7,8-Dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF) is a natural flavonoid that can activate the TrkB receptor, which is responsible for the effects of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the brain. BDNF is a protein that supports the survival, growth, and function of neurons and is involved in various aspects of cognitive and mental health. By mimicking BDNF, 7,8-DHF can enhance memory, learning, mood, motivation, and resilience, as well as protect the brain from degeneration and injury.

However, 7,8-DHF has some limitations as a supplement, such as low bioavailability, short duration of action, and poor stability. To overcome these drawbacks, researchers have developed synthetic derivatives of 7,8-DHF that have improved pharmacological properties. One of these derivatives is 4-DMA-7,8-DHF, also known as eutropoflavin.

4-DMA-7,8-DHF differs from 7,8-DHF by having a dimethylamino group attached to the 4′ position of the flavone ring. This modification increases the affinity and selectivity of the compound for the TrkB receptor, making it more potent and effective than 7,8-DHF. Moreover, 4-DMA-7,8-DHF has a longer half-life and better stability than 7,8-DHF, meaning that it can exert its effects for a longer period of time and resist degradation.

Both 7,8-DHF and 4-DMA-7,8-DHF have shown promising results in animal studies, demonstrating neuroprotective and neurogenic effects in various models of neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, stroke, and depression. However, 4-DMA-7,8-DHF has not yet been tested in humans, and its safety and efficacy in humans remain unknown. Therefore, more research is needed to confirm the potential benefits of 4-DMA-7,8-DHF as a novel nootropic and therapeutic agent.

7,8-Dihydroxyflavone Discussions on Reddit

On Reddit, users have shared extensive discussions and experiences with 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF), a small molecule TrkB receptor agonist.

User /u/Unlikely-Ostrich-851 describes 7,8-DHF as having potent effects, noting:

7,8DHF is one of those impressive and surprising supplements. It is potent enough that, in my experience, you should be careful when stacking it with other supplements.


However, some users like /u/verifitting report more subtle or no noticeable effects:

I cant claim anything drastic. Perhaps when I don’t take any I’ll notice baseline is worse? To be seen…I’ll try to remember to edit here! 🙂


I noticed it immediately. But it’s not to use everyday I think.


When it comes to dosage and administration, sublingual dosing seems preferred.

I get pretty acute effects, dosed sublingually. Subtle, but definite and noticeable


In terms of effects, users like /u/itrn7rec cite improvements in areas like mood, focus, energy levels, and sociability:

It makes my brain more awake and focused. Even when half paying attention during meetings, I am able to understand what is going on and respond quickly with useful information.


However, some users like /u/Steeled14 warn about potential side effects like sleep disruption:

4-DMA (eutropoflavin) is a synthetic flavone while normal DHF occurs naturally. As quoted above, it has higher agonistic activity and lasts longer. The chemicals mimic activity at the TrkB receptor similar to BDNF and BDNF seems to not last very long.


To mitigate issues, cycling protocols are suggested by users like /u/Op-Toe-Mus-Rim-Dong:

Well I take on weekdays or just 5 days and then 2 days off. I ran out of the 30 day supply, and was out for 2 weeks. You will see the difference the stuff makes it general cognition and ability to just do things.


So in summary, discussions indicate that 7,8-DHF is a potent compound that may provide cognitive benefits but requires careful dosing and cycling. Further validation of effects and safety in humans still appears necessary based on users’ mixed experiences so far.

Is 7,8-DHF Safe? Overview of Safety Data

A supplement can only be effective if it is safe. So what do we know about possible side effects or long term risks from taking 7,8-DHF?

In general, 7,8-DHF displays a very strong safety profile in animal models. Mice tolerate high doses over several months without issues. Minor side effects like reduced appetite and temporary weight loss only occurred at extremely high doses unlikely to be replicated in humans.

Despite the structural similarity to estrogen compounds, 7,8-DHF does not appear genotoxic or interact significantly with hormone pathways in rodents. Tests also confirm that 7,8-DHF does not inhibit cytochrome enzymes and is unlikely to trigger adverse drug interactions.

Most concerning is the potential impact on seizure threshold at high doses, as BDNF is known to modulate neuronal excitation. However, enhanced excitation is generally considered an indicator of improved brain plasticity rather than a worrying risk factor in healthy individuals. Those with epilepsy or other neurological conditions should exercise caution with 7,8-DHF.

Always consult your doctor before beginning any new supplement routine. But current safety data suggests 7,8-DHF offers a substantial benefit to risk ratio in healthy adults when used responsibly.

Nootropic Categories: Nootropics can be classified into racetams, cholinergic compounds, adaptogens, nootropic peptides, and stimulants. Each category has different effects and benefits for the brain.

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7,8-DHF Beginner’s Guide and FAQs

Interested if adding 7,8-DHF to your daily nootropic stack could help unlock your cognition and empower brain health? Here is a quick-start guide to 7,8-DHF supplements with answers to frequently asked questions.

What Forms and Doses Should I Take?

Most products provide 7,8-DHF in capsule form, with doses ranging from 5mg to 50mg per capsule. Powder is also available but less common.

For cognitive benefits, a daily dose of 25-100mg appears effective and is well tolerated. Doses up to 200mg could provide even more robust BDNF activation.

Start low at 25mg daily for 1-2 weeks, then increase cautiously while monitoring effects and side effects. Take first thing in the morning before or with breakfast.

What Should I Stack it With?

Synergistic nootropic stacks may include:

-CDP-Choline or Alpha-GPC (choline donors to support synapse formation)
Vitamin D3 (enhances BDNF benefits)
-Omega-3s like DHA (partners with BDNF for neuron growth and survival)
-Racetams like Piracetam or Aniracetam (compound cognitive boost)
-Ayurvedic herb Bacopa (may have downstream impacts on TrkB)

Avoid antidepressants or stimulants that already potentiate monoamine neurotransmitters like dopamine or serotonin.

Is 7,8-DHF Legal and Approved for Use?

In the US, 7,8-DHF is sold legally as a research compound, not a dietary supplement. Human consumption has not been approved by the FDA and 7,8-DHF lacks NDI status.

However many nootropic users self-experiment with 7,8-DHF capsules given long-term safety data in animal models. As a natural compound, 7,8-DHF exists in a legal gray area and policies may vary in other countries.

Consult local regulations and talk to your doctor before using any unfamiliar supplement.

How Soon Will I Feel Effects?

As a long-term neuron-growing compound, 7,8-DHF effects build gradually over days and weeks.
Improved mood, motivation, and well-being may emerge within 1-2 weeks.

Enhanced memory, focus, or clarity may take 2+ weeks.

Neuroprotective effects likely require 1-2 months of consistent use.

Cycle off every 2-3 months to maintain sensitivity. Keep track of start dates, dose changes, and perceived impacts over time.

The Takeaway: A Promising Future for 7,8-DHF?

In an aging world desperate for ways to empower cognition and slow dementia, the need for compounds like 7,8-DHF is increasingly urgent.

While still early in research and testing, 7,8-DHF ticks all the boxes:

Safe even at high doses
Crosses the blood-brain barrier
Activates neuron-growing BDNF pathways
Replicates benefits of BDNF itself

Perhaps most encouraging are early investigational reports from nootropic users. These self-experimenters serve as pioneers – venturing into cutting-edge realms of cognitive enhancement long before large-scale studies and FDA approvals.

The reports coming back from these adventurous neuro-enhancer communities are glowing. Users cite exceptional boosts in memory, motivation, productivity, and general cognitive powers from supplementing 7,8-DHF.

So while more research is still needed, the current risk-reward proposition could be highly compelling. Savvy health hackers, human optimization geeks, or everyday brain-boosting enthusiasts may all find value in experimenting smartly and safely with 7,8-DHF.

Just remember to start low, increase cautiously, cycle routinely, and track effects closely whenever trying novel and potent nootropics like 7,8-DHF for the first time.

Stay tuned as we closely follow the unfolding research around 7,8-DHF, BDNF, and the future landscape of cognitive enhancement. Exciting times lie ahead!


Devi L, Ohno M. 7,8-dihydroxyflavone, a small-molecule TrkB agonist, reverses memory deficits and BACE1 elevation in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2012 Jan;37(2):434-44. doi: 10.1038/npp.2011.191. Epub 2011 Aug 17. PMID: 21844824; PMCID: PMC3237724.

Jang SW, Liu X, Chan CB, Weinshenker D, Hall RA, Xiao G, Ye K. Amitriptyline is a TrkA and TrkB receptor agonist that promotes TrkA/TrkB heterodimerization and has potent neurotrophic activity. Chemistry & biology. 2009 Feb 20;16(2):644-56. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2009.004.008. PMID: 19477412; PMCID: PMC2810777.

Zeng Y, Lv F, Li L, Yu H, Dong M, Fu Q. 7, 8-dihydroxyflavone rescues spatial memory and synaptic plasticity in cognitively impaired aged rats. Journal of Neurochemistry. 2012 Nov;123(3):437-47. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2012.07954.x. Epub 2012 Aug 20. PMID: 22882645.

Zhang JC, Wu J, Fujita Y, Yao W, Ren Q, Yang C, Li SX, Shirayama Y. Antidepressant effects of TrkB ligands on depression-like behavior and dendritic changes in mice after inflammation. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. 2014 Dec 8;18(4):pyu077. doi: 10.1093/ijnp/pyu077. PMID: 25487258; PMCID: PMC4282993.

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Erik Abramowitz is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), Naturopathic Doctoral student, health coach, and father. He is the primary content creator for HolisticNootropics.com and the host of the Holistic Nootropics Podcast.

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