Many are available, supplementing with a developing fetus can cause miscarriages or problems when used during pregnancy, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
On Monday (June 3) the agency warned pregnant women and children of childbearing age to avoid using food supplements containing vinpocetine. Supplements with this ingredient are often sold for better memory or focus, increased energy or weight loss, the FDA said.
In animal studies, the researchers found that vinpocetine causes a decrease in fetal weight and an increased risk of miscarriage in pregnant animals. In addition, vinpocetine levels, measured in animal blood are similar to those observed in humans after administration of one dose of vinpocetine.
“These results are very important because the products are widely used in the treatment of women who have the potential to give birth in vinpocetine,” the FDA said. “That’s why we recommend pregnant women and women who may be pregnant today not to receive vinpocetine.” [Are you pregnant? 12 signs of early pregnancy
On the product label, vinpocetine is sometimes referred to as an insignificant vinca extract, as a smaller greenhouse extract or as a green extract. But instead of being a “natural” extract, Vinpocetine is a synthetic compound.
In some countries, vinpocetine is a drug prescribed to treat conditions that affect the brain and blood flow. However, in the US, Vinpocetine is not approved for the treatment of diseases. Supplements containing vinpocetine have not been tested for safety or efficacy.
In a 2015 study published in the journal “Drug Testing and Analysis, the researchers found that the dose of vinpocetine was widely distributed in food supplements in the US around 0.3 mg to 32 mg vinpocetine. The recommended dosage for prescription drugs, according to a 2015 study, is between 5 and 40 mg.
In 2016, the FDA conditionally determined that vinpotsetinat does not meet the definition of food supplies and therefore cannot be sold – or become part of – food additives. However, the Agency has asked for comments and has not reached a final conclusion about whether vinpethine is approved for sale as a food supplement. The agency said it plans to accelerate the completion of this procedure in 2016
However, vinpocetine is sold in hundreds of nutritional supplement brands in the United States, Dr. Pieter Cohen, expert in general internal medicine at the Cambridge Health Union in Somerville, Massachusetts and lead author of the study in 2015.
The FDA also advised companies that market supplements with vinpocetine to ensure that product labels give them warnings about the use of their products by pregnant women and women who may be pregnant.