Noopept - An Overview
Noopept (n-phenylacetyl-l-prolylglycine ethyl ester) is a synthetic nootropic that has a proven effect on:
Noopept has a very mild stimulatory effect but also acts as an anxiolytic and neuroprotectant as well. It is used mainly for:
In the nootropics community, noopept is considered one of the most effective supplements out there for overall cognition.
It acts powerfully on a broad spectrum of mental processes with almost no downsides, making it one of the most popular and highly recommended nootropics of all time.
It doesn’t hurt that noopept is also extremely cheap, with a year’s supply costing only a few bucks.
Most popular nootropic
In fact, it may currently be THE most popular nootropic worldwide.
In our opinion, if you were to boil down the entire array of nootropics into one single “prototypical nootropic” it would probably look a lot like noopept.
Noopept is considered an ampakine, similar to the racetam class of nootropics, but it is much more potent than any known racetam.
Compared to piracetam, noopept is actually 1000x stronger, with effective doses starting at just 10mg.
It works in a similar way as racetams, by modulating acetylcholine production and AMPA receptor function.
Noopept was first synthesized in the ’90s by a Russian pharmaceutical company.
It is a prescription drug in some countries but is sold as an over the counter supplement in the US and others.
Noopept can boost nerve growth factor, neuroplasticity, brain wave activity, and downregulate glutamate production and inflammation, which helps protect the brain.
Users report lower anxiety levels, increased focus, and quicker recall when using this nootropic.
Stimulating without the crash
Unlike other nootropics, which can sometimes take weeks of daily use until their effects become apparent, noopept kicks in about 10 minutes after ingestion.
Also unlike more subtle nootropics, noopept has a bit more”oomph” behind it.
While not exactly as strong as drinking a coffee, it’s usually pretty apparent when it starts working.
Most noopept users experience a moderate “lifted” feeling when it hits, with heightened senses, but without overstimulation or anxiety.
It’s become popular for students and professionals around the world, with many people using it as a substitute for “harder” smart drugs, such as Adderall.
If you are new to the nootropics world, noopept should be one of the first options to consider trying.
What Does Noopept Do?
Noopept has several distinct benefits that work together to create a holistic effect on the user.
Learning and memory
Noopept was originally developed to treat some forms of cognitive impairment, but it’s effects also carry over to healthy people who simply want to get an edge.1Ostrovskaia RU, et al. The original novel nootropic and neuroprotective agent noopept, Eksp Klin Farmakol. 2002
Research shows how noopept can help with memory consolidation and recall.
In one animal trial, researchers concluded that noopept helps with “all three stages of memory,” which are encoding, storage, and retrieval.
Encoding is taking the original stimulus (a person’s name for example), and processing it so that it can be recalled later on.
Storage refers to where and for how long information is kept in the brain after it has been successfully encoded.
Retrieval is correctly pulling that information out of memory and into working consciousness.
Unfortunately, there’s plenty of ways for this process to get fouled up.
The information may be overshadowed with other stimuli during encoding, it could get degraded during long-term storage, you may “lose” it and be unable to retrieve it when the time comes.
Noopept can help you avoid all of these potential pitfalls.
With noopept, you will be better able to parse important information from “noise,” and be able to encode that info in a more efficient way that will allow you to access easily in the future.
Users report a greater clarity when attempting to remember information, as if it were at the “top of the stack” rather than in a drawer they have to rummage around in.
Some people report having clear memories of things they hadn’t thought about in many many years after taking this nootropic daily.2Romanova GA, et al. Impairment of learning and memory after photothrombosis of the prefrontal cortex in rat brain: effects of Noopept, Bull Exp Biol Med. 2002
Noopept will help from the first dose, but much of the impact on memory will come with consistent daily dosing.
Many of noopepts benefits come from increased neuroplasticity.
This means that over time there will be a cumulative increase in memory as noopept changes the pathways of the brain to allow for more efficient recall in general.3Ostrovskaya RU, et al. Proline-containing dipeptide GVS-111 retains nootropic activity after oral administration, Bull Exp Biol Med. 2001
Noopept is also famous for improving focus. This claim is largely rooted in anecdotal evidence, as no formal studies on noopept and attention have been conducted.
Most clinical trials have looked at participants that are suffering some sort of cognitive degeneration, not healthy adults looking to improve on normal mental functions.
However, it is reasonable to suppose that noopept could have a significant effect on attention judging by the massive volume of positive testimonials all over the internet.
This effect can probably be linked to its regulation of acetylcholine and brain wave activation.
Generally, anything that helps choline flow through the brain better is going to prevent “brain fog.”
Regardless of the mechanism, many noopept fans claim it can have life-changing effects for those struggling with attention problems.
Some have used noopept to supplement or wean themselves off amphetamines (such as Adderall).
If you are a student or a professional who needs an extra boost in concentration, noopept is a safe, sustainable aid with very few side effects (unlike some smart drugs).
Anxiety and mood
Reducing anxiety and is another great reason to consider adding noopept to your nootropic stack.
Related to its effects on focus, this supplement’s quasi-stimulating qualities can also raise your spirits and put a little “pep” in your step.
Noopept definitely lowers anxiety, most likely by modulating activity in the hippocampus according to preliminary research.4Povarov IS, et al. Nootropic dipeptide noopept enhances inhibitory synaptic transmission in the hippocampus, Bull Exp Biol Med. 2015
Noopept really shines when it comes to beating stress.
It seems that this nootropic’s most pronounced benefits come into play when the brain has been degraded in some way, either from too much stress or cognitive degeneration.
Noopept improves cognition under normal circumstances, but you can also count on it to help you “keep it together” under times of intense activity.
It can also help prevent age-related mental decline when taken regularly.
In fact, noopept’s original intended purpose was to reverse cognitive decline in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and related conditions.
How Noopept Works In The Brain
Noopept has similar effects as the racetam-class nootropics, such as aniracetam and piracetam, but the mechanism of action is somewhat different.
It works by stimulating the production of cycloprolylglycine (CPG) in the brain.
In turn, CPG modulates the transmission of acetylcholine (ACh), which is an extremely important transmitter associated with learning, attention, and memory.
At the same time, noopept also ensures that glutamate levels do not get too high.
Glutamate is a major excitatory transmitter that prompts action in the brain.
However, if glutamate is not properly disposed of in the brain it can actually accumulate and cause cell damage. Noopept helps keep glutamate at an appropriate level.
It also modulates the activity of NMDA and AMPA receptors, which associated with both glutamate and ACh.
By balancing acetylcholine and glutamate levels, noopept keeps your brain humming in optimum conditions, and prevents oxidative damage via
Noopept also improves memory through another modality: by increasing what’s known as “Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor,” or BDNF.
BDNF is a collection of proteins that neuron stimulate growth and repair. By increasing BDNF, the brain can build new connections and strengthen old ones.
It’s a critical factor for keeping your brain healthy and your cognition sharp.
Unfortunately it does start to decline as you age, but noopept can at least partially reverse this effect.
With increased nerve growth, the brain can make new memories and learn new information more effectively.
What’s more this effect tends to build up with time, making long-term supplementation more effective than short-term in this regard.5Ostrovskaya RU, et al. Noopept stimulates the expression of NGF and BDNF in rat hippocampus, Bull Exp Biol Med. 2008
Noopept Potential Side Effects
Noopept’s main side effect is overstimulation in larger doses. If you take too much it can cause some anxiety.
However, if you stay within the dosing guidelines, this is unlikely to be an issue.
If you take it too late in the evening, it may cause difficulty sleeping (like any stimulant).
As with all racetam-type nootropics, it’s important to make sure you take it with a good source of choline.
If you are choline-deficient, you may experience a mild headache as your brain depletes its reserves.
We strive to bring you the most up to date, research-based information about Noopept and other nootropics.
Something we missed? Do you use Noopept? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
About the author:
Erik Levi is a co-founder of HolisticNootropics.com and a certified holistic nutritional therapy practitioner.
As an NTP Erik takes a nutrition first approach to health. He has worked with many different people to help them use nutrition to optimize their quality of life.
Erik believes that mental health is a physiological process and cognitive enhancement is not something that can be achieved by just taking some pills with good Amazon reviews.
Instead, true cognitive enhancement comes with the right balance of nutrients, movement, and gratitude. Erik continues to stay up to date with the most current nootropic and holistic health research and promises to deliver the best solutions possible.
You can check out his personal health blog/podcast/YouTube Channel all under the name Holistic A-Hole.