Is Centrophenoxine Really An Effective Nootropic?

your brain on centrophenoxine

Centrophenoxine isn’t necessarily the most well-known nootropic, but it’s been around for a while.

If you listen to the hype, it’s a powerful brain-booster that can do things like

  • enhance memory
  • improve problem solving ability
  • protect the brain from toxins
  • prevent aging
  • provide antioxidant protection

In other words, Centrophenoxine is supposedly the ultimate nootropic!

But is all this hype really warranted?

Is Centrophenoxine capable of providing the cognitive edge you’ve been looking for?

Has it actually been proven to do anything?

Is it even safe?!

Don’t worry, in this article, we’ll answer all these questions and more.

We’ll talk about what Centrophenoxine is, how it works, and of course, the actual research behind it.

By the end, you’ll be completely up to speed on Centrophenoxine and, more importantly, fully equipped to make an educated decision about whether it’s worth supplementing with.

If that sounds like a plan, let’s get started…

What Is Centrophenoxine?

Centrophenoxine is a synthetic nootropic compound which was originally developed by French scientists as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s and other conditions characterized by cognitive dysfunction.

It also goes by the names:

  • Meclofenoxate
  • Lucidril® (brand name)

Centrophenoxine is essentially a souped-up form of the nootropic supplement, Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE).

centrophenoxine chemical molecule

It contains the DMAE molecule, but with the addition of Parachlorphenoxyacetic (PCPA), which enhances absorption and may exert some effects of its own.

This is similar to how Alpha GPC is a better source of Choline than supplemental Choline itself.

DMAE is commonly used to improve memory, learning, and some other aspects of cognitive function.

Centrophenoxine is simply a more efficient form of DMAE, so it makes sense for anyone would wants to obtain the benefits of DMAE to just use Centrophenoxine instead.

How Does Centrophenoxine Work?

Centrophenoxine easily crosses the blood brain barrier where the DMAE component can be used to synthesize Acetylcholine.

Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter which is heavily involved with cognitive functions such as memory and learning.

Increasing Acetylcholine levels is the ultimate mechanism by which many nootropics exert their cognitive benefits, but Centrophenoxine has other unique properties as well which can potentially support brain health.

It’s also capable of increasing antioxidant activity in the brain and reducing the build-up of age-related chemicals that can potentially hinder brain function.

Ultimately, the benefits of Centrophenoxine are essentially the same as those of DMAE, except it works better and may have some additional benefits of it’s own, due to the PCPA component.

What Does The Research Actually Tell Us About Centrophenoxine?

In aging mice, Centrophenoxine has been shown to increase anti-oxidant activity and decrease lipid peroxidation in the brain.

Lipid peroxidation is the process by which free-radicals steal electrons from the lipids that support the structure of cell membranes, resulting in oxidative damage to cell membranes.

This process is elevated as we age and preventing it is seen as beneficial for fighting the cognitive decline that comes with old age.

Centrophenoxine has also been shown to reduce the activity of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase in mouse brains.

Acetylcholinsterase is the enzyme which breaks down Acetylcholine.

Any substance that reduces the activity of this enzyme can indirectly increase Acetylcholine levels in the brain and potentially improve cognitive function.

Through these various mechanisms, Centrophenoxine has been shown to improve memory and learning ability in aging mice, but human research is conspicuously scarce.

One study found that elderly (but healthy) subjects taking Centrophenoxine experienced improvements to long-term memory and several of the subjects reported feeling more mentally alert in general.

Another study found that Centrophenoxine (3 grams a day for a year) was able to increase maximum oxygen consumption and reduce fasting blood glucose in older subjects.

Maximum oxygen consumption, also called VO2 Max is simply the maximum amount of oxygen a person can utilize.  It is considered a key indicator of physical fitness and research shows that it tends to decline as we age.

The fact that Centrophenoxine can increase maximum oxygen consumption in older people indicates it may have anti-aging properties.


What we have here are several studies in mice which show that Centrophenoxine can prevent cognitive decline associated with aging and a few human studies which more or less support that notion.

Unfortunately, no research has been conducted in young, healthy humans, so it’s tough to draw conclusions about how effective of a brain-booster Centrophenoxine is in the average Joe.

If you’re experiencing some age-related cognitive decline, however, it may be quite useful as a supplement.

Centrophenoxine Dosage

Standard doses of Centrophenoxine range from 500-1000mg/day, but one study used 3 grams for a year and this dose was reported to be well-tolerated by most subjects.

Ideally, you should start with a low-ish dose (like 500-1000mg), but you experiment with higher doses if you want.

There’s no hard evidence that Centrophenoxine is harmful, though there may be some side effects at higher doses.

Centrophenoxine Side Effects

Throughout the studies in humans, Centrophenoxine was well-tolerated, but some subjects reported side effects like:

  • jitteriness
  • stomach pain
  • headaches

As with any synthetic nootropic, not a ton is known about what the long-term implications of Centrophenoxine are.  It’s been around for a while, but there aren’t many long-term studies.

Based on the research at hand, it appears to be pretty safe on it’s own but the truth is, most people are stacking Centrophenoxine with other nootropics.

One study found no safety issues with a combination of Centrophenoxine and Gingko Biloba, but that’s it as far as combinations go.

You should be careful combining nootropics that work by increasing Acetylcholine levels because it’s actually not that hard to accidentally increase your Acetylcholine levels too much.

It’s unlikely that you’ll cause any long-term damage by doing this, but it’s not pleasant (trust me, I know).

Is Centrophenoxine Legal?

There exists some debate about whether or not Centrophenoxine is legally considered a dietary supplement.

On the one hand, it’s a derivative of DMAE, which is a dietary supplement.

On the other hand, it’s entirely synthetic and is used as a prescription drug in some countries.

In the US, however, Centrophenoxine is commonly labeled as a dietary supplement and no regulatory agency seems to  have an issue with that.

It may be synthetic, but it appears to be pretty safe.

The FDA tends to go after supplements that either cause harm or have addictive potential, but Centrophenoxine has neither.

It’s unlikely that the FDA would target it the way it did Phenibut, but it’s definitely in the same class of synthetic unapproved drugs that are sold as supplements.

The reality is, legally, the lines are blurry between supplements and unapproved drug and one country’s drug can be another country’s dietary supplement.

This kind of overlap is what has led to the massive gray market we now have in the US for research chemicals, which basically includes anything that doesn’t fit the definition of a supplement, but isn’t an approved drug or scheduled substance.

As always, the important thing is that you as a consumer are not going to get in any sort of trouble for buying or possessing Centrophenoxine.

Where To Buy Centrophenoxine

You can buy Centrophenoxine from various online nootropic vendors.  A few vendors that I actually trust are:

There are others, of course, but these the sites that I’ve actual bought nootropics from.  You can roll the dice somewhere else, but when it comes to synthetic nootropics, quality can be an issue.

Some vendors use shady suppliers and most of them don’t do any sort of third party testing, so you can never be sure you’re actually getting what you paid for (without trying it, that is).

If you know of any other reliable places to buy Centrophenoxine, feel free comment below!

My Go-To Nootropic Stack

I’m not hating on Centrophenoxine…

It may be useful as a nootropic, but the truth is the research is tenuous.  We really just don’t know if it’s capable of improving/supporting cognitive function in normal, healthy people.

It definitely seems to help with older people who may be experiencing some sort of age-related cognitive decline, but what about the average Joe who just wants a little brain-boost.

Well, you can roll the dice on Centrophenoxine or you could use some supplements which have actually been proven to do things like enhance working memory, improve learning capacity, increase attention, and boost creativity.

Let’s talk about a few of the best natural nootropics…

Alpha GPC

Alpha GPC is a choline-containing phospholipid which supports the health of cell membranes and contributes Choline for the production of Acetylcholine.

It is considered the most bioavailable form of Choline and is roughly 40% Choline by weight.

Unlike Centrophenoxine, Alpha GPC directly boosts Acetylcholine levels and has actually been studied in humans.

Research shows that Alpha GPC supports various aspects of cognitive function and even increases power output during exericse, the latter of which is related to the fact that Acetylcholine also controls muscle contractions.

Alpha GPC deserves a spot in any natural nootropic stack, but it needs to be dosed correctly to actually make a difference.

A clinical dose of Alpha GPC is 600-1200mg/day.

Plenty of people stack Alpha GPC with Centrophenoxine, but you want to be careful with the dosage of each.  Since both substances increase Acetylcholine levels, taking too much of one or the other could result in an Acetylcholine overload (which is not fun).

Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri is one of the few herbal supplements that can legitimately be called a nootropic.

It has an extensive history of use throughout traditional medicine as a cognitive enhancer and general brain tonic, and modern science has actually confirmed some of these benefits.

Bacopa has been shown to improve various aspects of cognitive function in normal, college-aged human subjects.  It also shows promise in treating cognitive decline in the elderly.

It appears to work through a variety of mechanisms, including:

  • increasing cerebral blood flow
  • acetylcholinesterase inhibition
  • beta-amyloid reduction
  • anti-oxidant neuroprotection
  • interacting with various neurotransmitters

Ultimately, if there’s one natural nootropic you should be taking on a regular basis, it’s Bacopa.

A clinically effective dose of Bacopa Monnieri is 300-500mg/day, depending on the standardization of the extract.

There’s nothing inherently dangerous about stacking Bacopa with Centrophenoxine–in fact, they may be synergistic in some respects–but taking too much of either supplement could potentially cause some unpleasant effects (due to acetylcholine build-up)


Phosphatidylserine is a major component of all cell membranes but is particularly abundant in the brain where it supports cognitive health in general.

Studies have shown that Phosphatidylserine is effective for improving cognitive function in both elderly subjects with memory impairments as well as normal, healthy subjects.

What makes PS particularly interesting, however, is the fact that it also has stress-reduction properties.  It’s been shown to reduce both physical indications (Cortisol levels) and subjective measures of stress in normal human subjects.

A clinical dose of Phosphatidylserine is anywhere from 200-800mg/day.

The efficacy of Phosphatildyserine may be increased by combining it with Fish Oil, and there’s no reason to suspect that stack either of those supplements with Centrophenoxine is a bad idea.

The Bottom Line On Centrophenoxine

Centrophenoxine isn’t the revolutionary brain-booster that so many supplement companies claim it is, but there’s definitely something to it.

Unfortunately, most of the research has been done in mice, old mice, or old people, so we really don’t know much about it’s potential as a nootropic in normal, young, healthy individuals.

Fortunately, all the evidence does indicate it’s pretty safe, so feel free to experiment with it as you please.

One thing is for sure…

If you’re supplementing with DMAE for the purposes of improving cognitive function, you should really just be supplementing with Centrophenoxine.

It’s like DMAE, but better…

Have Anything To Add About Centrophenoxine?  Experiences Perhaps? Comment Below…

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