September 2016

FDA Says Vinpocetine Not Legal Ingredient in Dietary Supplements

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has made a tentative ruling that vinpocetine, a synthetic compound derived from vincamine, does not meet the requirements of a dietary ingredient and therefore cannot be legally used in dietary supplements. Dietary supplements containing vinpocetine that are already on the market are often promoted for improving brain function, weight loss, memory and many other uses.

According to the FDA, while vinpocetine resembles a substance found in the periwinkle plant Vina minor, it is not a constituent of these plants or any other plant; it is man-made. In the recently released revised draft guidance for new dietary ingredient (NDI) notifications, the FDA maintained its position that a substance that is synthesized in a laboratory and never part of an herb or botanical is not a dietary ingredient.

The FDA is requesting comments on this ruling by November 7, 2016 before a final decision is reached.

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