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What Is Noopept? (Everything Explained)

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: January 23, 2023
Methodology
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As a fitness trainer, I spend a lot of time guiding clients in a whole-body fitness approach.

Many of them find declining cognitive functions much harder to manage than physical health and, as such, turn to nootropics like Noopept to boost cognitive health.

I have been asked several times about my opinion on Noopept pills, so to help my clients form an informed opinion, I decided to study medical publications and other scientific literature before consulting our medical professional about my findings.

If you’re looking to buy Noopept, read this before you do.

Quick Summary

  • As a nootropic, Noopept may improve blood flow to the brain and provide anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and antioxidant effects.
  • Noopept may benefit those with mild cognitive disorders due to organic brain disease of vascular and traumatic origin, like stroke or brain injury.
  • N-Phenylacetyl-l-prolylglycine ethyl ester (Noopept) is a descendant of racetams, like Piracetam, synthetic drugs that enhance cognitive function.

What is Noopept?

A bunch of white pills spilled on a white table from an orange bottle

Noopept is a nootropic supplement and brand name for N-Phenylacetyl-l-prolylglycine ethyl ester.

Noopept is a descendant of racetams, synthetic cognitive boosters developed by Russian scientists in the mid-1990s.

Piracetam is the original racetam, and Noopept is said to be a thousand times more potent in improving the functioning of the central nervous system.

Noopept shares similar mechanisms of action as Piracetam. Both drugs impact AMPA (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4isoxazole-propionic), one of three glutamate receptors in the brain [1].

We’ll talk more about glutamate shortly.

Note that this compound (N-phenylacetyl-L-prolylglycine ethyl ester) goes by the following names:

  • Ноопепт
  • GVS-111
  • Noopept
  • Noopeptide

Organic brain diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease, cause cognitive decline, ranging from mild cognitive impairment to dementia, and many believe that Noopept can benefit those with age-related cognitive decline and students or healthy adults who need a cognitive enhancer.

How Does Noopept Work?

Noopept works by modulating several brain chemicals and influencing neurotransmitter systems to improve cognitive performance, clear brain fog, and potentially repair brain damage.

The Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine states that an oral dosage of Noopept is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract before circulating the blood and passing through the blood-brain barrier [2].

Most research on Noopept occurs in animal studies because researchers believe that rat brains function similarly to human brains.

Let’s look at the specific cognitive function improvement and neuroprotective effect that taking a Noopept supplement might have.

Nerve Growth Factor and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor 

A woman doing yoga outside with intense focus

Noopept can increase Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which are both needed for the growth and repair of new brain cells and are essential for learning, cognition, focus, attention, and memory formation [3].

BDNF is a protein active at the junction of brain cells and aids cell-to-cell communication.

Synapses can change from things like experience or the aging process, so increasing BDNF levels can help learning and memory [4].

Cholinergic Receptors

Noopept may also work by triggering neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly receptors activated by acetylcholine [5].

This process is vital because acetylcholine is critical to many cognitive functions, including memory, learning, and attention [6].

Glutamate

Glutamate is an abundant amino acid and the most common neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and is critical to a healthy brain.

Noopept may prevent the release of glutamate into the brain, which can happen when the brain lacks oxygen creating a buildup of glutamate and potentially leading to glutamate toxicity [7].

Too much glutamate harms the brain cells and can cause conditions such as Lou Gehrig’s disease [8].

“Excess glutamate is excitotoxic, meaning that over the long term it can increase neurodegeneration. Learning the skills needed to regulate your brain’s level of excitement is important for your long-term cognition.”
- Jennifer Bramen, PhD

Inhibitory Neurotransmission

A doctor holding a model of the brain

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is your nervous system’s most common inhibitory neurotransmitter.

Abundant in the brain, It impacts brain activity to regulate areas of anxiety, irritability, concentration, sleep, and depression [9].

Research shows that by increasing GABA levels, Noopept can reduce stress and anxiety [10].

Noopept Benefits

There are far more animal studies looking at the overall brain health benefits of N-Phenylacetyl-L-prolylglycine ethyl ester than human trials.

Nonetheless, let’s look at some potential benefits:

  • Verbal fluency: Noopept may stimulate focus, brain health, and confidence which can significantly contribute to the ability of someone to express themselves [11].
  • Long-term memory: Increasing NGF and BDNF improve neuroplasticity and long-term potentiation. This process translates to a healthier brain leading to better long-term memory [12].
  • Brain waves: Noopept, like other types of nootropics, may boost alpha and beta brain wave activity, leading to increased focus, creativity, and a sense of calm [13].
  • Emotional stability: Because of its effects on brain chemicals like dopamine, Noopept may improve feelings of well-being and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression [14].
  • Neuroprotection: It protects brain cells by modulating the levels of glutamate and may also speed up the recovery from brain injuries [15].

Dosage

A person holding up one dosage of noopept

The information I found online states that the recommended dose of Noopept is 10-30 mg daily.

It is best to start on the low end of the Noopept doses until you know how well you tolerate it.

Additionally, taking Noopept powder sublingually (under the tongue) will result in quicker drug metabolism and, as such, feeling the effects faster than oral administration of a pill because it bypasses the gastrointestinal system.

Noopept reviews state that it does not dissolve well in water or juice, with many Noopept users taking it with a meal that includes healthy fats to aid absorption.

Side Effects

There is minimal human research surrounding the safety of Noopept consumption. Given that it is a spin-off of Piracetam, it is logical to conclude there may be some adverse nootropic side effects when using this cognitive enhancer[16].

Noopept side effects may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • High blood pressure

Before taking Noopept, you should speak to your doctor about potential adverse drug interactions and discuss your medical history, particularly if you get headaches, seizures, or have memory loss or cognitive disorders.

A lawyer checking the legal status of noopept

Noopept is available as a prescription drug in Russia and parts of Europe.

Noopept does not have a drug identification number in Canada and does not appear on Canada’s FDA list of approved drugs.

You cannot purchase, sell or distribute Noopept in Canada.

Noopept is a banned substance in the United Kingdom.

In the United States, it is unlikely that you will walk into your corner pharmacy and find it on the shelf.

It is unregulated and not FDA-approved; however, it is available through certain online retailers in capsule and powder form [17].

FAQs

Does Noopept Heal the Brain?

Noopepet may heal the brain. Emerging research shows promise in supporting the benefit of N-Phenylacetyl-l-prolylglycine ethyl ester to certain brain disorders like neurodegenerative diseases, stroke, and brain injury [18].

How Long Can You Take Noopept?

According to some online sources, you can take Noopept up to 56 days. That timeframe is at a dose of 10-30 mg daily. However, Noopept is not FDA-approved in the United States.

Does Noopept Increase Dopamine

Noopept does increase dopamine when used as a treatment for conditions like ischemia, where the body experiences restricted blood flow (and oxygen), leading to decreased dopamine and taurine levels, among other brain chemical alterations [19].

Is Noopept Legal?

Noopept is legal as a prescription medication in some parts of the world, including Russia and parts of Europe. Noopept is not FDA-approved or regulated in the United States.

Takeaway on Noopept and Cognitive Functioning

My research shows that Noopept can benefit many cognitive functions, but I still advise you to opt for options with all-natural ingredients that produce basically the same benefit.

There are some great nootropics we have tested and reviewed right here at Total Shape:

These all-natural nootropic supplements went through our standardized testing process, and some passed with flying colors.

If you want to get through school, work, or everyday life with a better outlook, improved focus, and memory, check out the lists to see which earned our stamp of approval.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2872987/
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/12344171_Pharmacokinetics_of_new_nootropic_acylprolyldipeptide_and_its_penetration_across_the_blood-brain_barrier_after_oral_administration
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4697050/
  4. https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/gene/bdnf/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526134/
  6. https://www.britannica.com/science/acetylcholine
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21476267/
  8. https://www.rxlist.com/how_do_glutamate_inhibitors_work/drug-class.htm
  9. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/22513-neurotransmitters
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22232906/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3222775/
  12. https://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/mmr.2014.2393#
  13. https://www.healthline.com/health/alpha-brain-waves#different-types-of-brain-waves
  14. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-dopamine
  15. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nootropics#9.-Noopept
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4756795/
  17. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/health-fraud-scams/unproven-alzheimers-disease-products
  18. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22500312/
  19. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1134/S1819712419010112
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