Vincamine is monoterpenoid indole alkaloid with peripheral vasodilation properties. It is a naturally occurring alkaloid found in the leaves of Vinca minor or lesser periwinkle. Vincamine could be referred to as the “natural version” of vinpocetine; with vinpocetine being a synthetic ethyl ester version of vincamine. In 2016 the FDA announced that vinpocetine does not meet the definition of a dietary ingredient and is therefore illegal for use in dietary supplements. FDA states that in 1981 vinpocetine was subject of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application. According to federal law, compounds that have had IND filing can’t later submitted for New Dietary Ingredient (NDI). Conversely compounds that have been marketed as dietary supplements can be developed into a drug. Vincamine’s close similarity in structure and function when compared to vinpocetine makes it a viable replacement compound for vinpocetine containing supplements.
Vincamine is a peripheral vasodilator, therefore increase blood flow to the brain. Vincamine exhibits positive neuropharmacological effects which make it an attractive nootropic compound. ( Hagstadius et al. 1984) observed significant increases in global cerebral blood flow, performance on verbal memory test, and decrease in ischemic regions. In a 12 week double blind placebo; 30mg twice daily was superior to placebo for treatment of patients with mild to moderate dementia of degenerative and vascular etiologies (Fischhof et al. 1996). Vincamine was also found to increase the firing rate of neurons in the locus coeruleus of rat brains (Olpe 1982). The locus coeruleus is related to many functions including: arousal, sleep-wake cycle, attention, memory, behavioral flexibility, stress, cognitive control, emotions, neuroplasticity, posture, and balance. Interesting side note, according to (Schwartz et al. 2008) neurons in the locus coeruleus cease firing during REM sleep. There is also a patent from 1979 which claims the salt of vincamine pyridoxal-5-phosphate exhibits greater activity than vincamine alone along with anti-depressive effects.
I have yet to see vincamine sold as a supplement or nootropic powder. However, it can be found in 30mg time release capsules under the trade name Oxybral SR by GSK. This is sold in countries outside of the US.