Category: Stacking

The CILTEP Stack Review – Does it Really Work?

The CILTEP stack stands for “Chemically Induced Long-Term Potentiation”. This stack has some basic research behind it and a solid principal however it has not been fully evaluated in medical research. That’s why at this point, it is just a theory. Unfortunately, for this reason, we cannot tell you exactly if it will work and only go over the theory to give a better understanding of CILTEP and how it works.

Long Term Potentiation

Long term potentiation (LTP) is a favorite theory explaining learning and memory. For decades, neuroscientists were unable to understand the exact mechanisms of learning and memory. They understood that memory and learning could not be a result of new neurons as new neurons obviously did not increase. This would start a new search for the mechanisms behind learning and memory.

Neuroscientists started to explore the idea of signal strength changes between neurons. This theory is known as synaptic plasticity. LTP is a primary form of synaptic plasticity and works as a dial between neurons to help amplify the signal. This potentiating signal comes in the form of electrical pulses and can help to continuously amplify the signal for hours to months. This is what is known today as the LTP form of synaptic plasticity.

Chemically Induced Long Term Potentiation

Long term potentiation might be modulated and changed through several methods. One way LTP is thought to be increased is through chemical means. This is where the CILTEP theory comes into play. Chemically increasing LTP is thought to be the main nootropic action behind this stack.

Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) works as a secondary messenger and signal transductor. Increasing cAMP may influence the strength of hormones and certain neurotransmitter signals. This is the main idea behind CILTEP. Increasing cAMP is thought to chemically produce benefits of learning and memory through activating LTP.

We all have levels of cAMP within our body however like many processes it can be metabolized by certain enzymes. The enzyme that breaks down cAMP is known as phosphodiesterase (PDE). PDE is needed in the body to keep certain processes stable.

PDE inhibitors are drugs that inhibit the PDE enzyme to improve cAMP and cGMP levels. These drugs have a variety of different functions on the body depending on their targets and pathways.  There are eleven types of PDE inhibitors in the body and PDE inhibiting drugs can have a variety of different functions. Recently certain types of PDE inhibiting drugs have been of interest to the medical community as possible targets for new mood and cognitive enhancing drugs.

Only certain PDE’s may be suitable for cAMP degradation and therefore possible learning and memory enhancements. PDE4 inhibition has been suggested to be one of the primary targets for new antidepressant, antipsychotic as well as learning and memory enhancement drugs.


Ingredients in CILTEPForskohli cAMP

It is possible to inhibit PDE4 and therefore increase levels of cAMP with a combination of supplements. This is where the common CILTP stack comes into play. Luteolin is a natural PDE4 inhibitor found in several types of foods like peanuts and artichoke. Since luteolin extract is hard to find, most people use artichoke extract as a primary PDE4 inhibitor in the CILTEP stack.

The second aspect of the CILTEP theory is to increase cAMP in conjunction with inhibiting PDE4. Only one such supplement has yet been discovered to directly increase cAMP. The indian plant coleus forskohli, is thought to increase LTP by increasing the levels of cAMP. At this time, forskohli is the only suitable target to increase cAMP in the CILTEP stack. This is why a very basic CILTEP stack is composed usually of forskohli and artichoke extract.

CILTEP Conclusion

We cannot comment on if CITEP works however many people including several doctors have supported the theory. LTP may increase learning and memory so therefore chemically inducing this process may defiantly help to improve cognitive functioning. There is still a lot of mystery in the LTP field and neuroscience so this area is not at all fully understood.

With the data that is available, CILTEP is likely to help improve cognitive functioning. The scope of this improvement may be only of little significance until better and mode advanced PDE inhibitors become available. We suggest too stick to well-known and proven nootropics until more research has been applied to the stack.

Citations – cAMP & LTP – Forskohli LTP

How to Build a Nootropic Stack for Beginners

Many beginners read about nootropic stacking and get confused due to the plethora of information available. Stacks can be very effective but can also have downsides if used improperly. The key to a successful stack is balance and patience.

The best stacks are built through trial and error and should be a combination of both nootropics and brain nutrients. The most advanced stacks are built to increase the efficiency of neurotransmitters as well as to improve the health of the brain long term.

Understanding your neurochemistry is the first step to a successful brain stack. A highly successful stack for one person may not be the best for another person. One common mistake is to pile on too much too fast. This makes it hard to pinpoint what is working and what is not. Cholinergics, ampakines or dopaminergics may be working but it may be impossible to tell which area to focus in if you are using all at once.

Using too much can create too many side effects and turn you off nootropics for good. Also, some nootropics can work against each other. This is where a complete understanding of neurochemistry comes into play. Follow these steps to understand the proper steps to building an advanced beginner stack.

Step 1: Build a Solid Foundation

aniracetam powder

Starting with the basics is always your best bet when building a nootropic stack. Starting with the basics would be to start with a cholinergic that has been well researched and proven. Piracetam and noopept are great to start with as powerful cholinergics. You may decide to use these or other racetams like aniracetam as a starting point.

Buy several cholinergic nootropics and see what works best on its own. When picking out a cholinergic, some are good to stack and others not so much. The ones not recommended to stack are already powerful on their own and do not usually get benefits from adding in weaker products. Here is what works and what doesn’t when stacking together.

Stack well together (as cholinergics)

  • Piracetam
  • Aniracetam
  • Oxiracetam
  • Phenylpiracetam

Work well alone (as cholinergics)

  • Noopept
  • Pramiracetam

Step 2: Add Choline if needed

Once you get a cholinergic stack formulated, you may decide to add in acetylcholine-boosting compounds. There are several reasons for this. Adding in acetylcholine, choline and related phospholipids may help to add synergy and make the stack even more powerful. They may also contribute to side effects. This is why a stack has to be completed in steps.

Choline can add great benefits. Choline and acetylcholine boosting compounds like lecithin, choline salts, alpha GPC and citicoline are all part of this family. These compounds may interact differently with your body. Some may produce benefits or side effects while others may not.

Generally it is recommended to add in a choline source but try each unit in the cholinergic stack independently. This will help you to determine if something is causing a reaction. From here determine how to further formulate the stack.

Step 3: Add Supporting Supplements & Nutrients

Once you are confident in your basic nootropic stack you may decide to create an advanced stack. By this time you should have a basic understanding of your neurochemistry. Adding in further supporting nootropics as well as brain nutrients and antioxidants is a true brain stack. The goal of an advanced stack is not only to improve cognitions, but to help to preserve the brain and reduce brain aging.

There are some things to help boost a cholinergic stack. Adding in an ACh inhibitor may help to provide synergy even further. This is another step you can take if cholinergic nootropics are working very well for you. This method is usually done after adding choline and is best for those highly deficient in choline. Adding in an ACh inhibitor may add in further side effects so do it independently of adding a choline source.

You may decide to add in more non-cholinergic nootropics and stimulants. Many of these nootropics may help to provide neurotransmitter support. Improving levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine may all help to add improved benefits to a stack. You may decide to enhance the stack further by creating a mood/anxiolytic stack based on your needs.

There are many natural supplements that help to improve neurotransmitters. Going in depth into this goes beyond the scope of this article and is another topic. This area will come with experimentation and learning.

Step 5: Modify the stack

As you build your nootropic stack you will add in and remove certain supplements. You will find what works and what doesn’t. You may decide to cycle or change stacks in the morning and the evening. This is where the experienced nootropic user learns their body and creates a stack for peak optimal performance.

6 Popular Nootropic Stacks

Many nootropic users will build a stack to increase the overall effectiveness of each supplement. The end goal of a stack is to produce the best effects at the cheapest costs. There are some supplements that go good together and some that do not. Synergy is the key and this article will outline some of the best stacks to potentiate each other.

Piracetam Stacks

Piracetam is a great nootropic to stack because it is cheap and widely available. It also goes well with a lot of other supplements. Aniracetam compliments piracetam quite well and the two are commonly stacked. Oxiracetam and aniracetam may also be stacked together with piracetam as this creates a very powerful stack with unique properties of each racetam.

Choline goes well in a piracetam stack. Alpha gpc, citicoline, choline bitartrate, ALCAR and centrophenoxine will all compliment piracetam well. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors may also go well with piracetam.

Piracetam may also be stacked with other non-cholinergic nootropics. Ampakines like sunifiram can be stacked with piracetam however, neither potentiate each other. Other stimulant nootropics like sulbutimaine and caffeine may also add some “kick” to a piracetam stack.

Noopept Stacks

Noopept is a pretty powerful cholinergic nootropic that works well on its own. Some of the weaker cholinergic compounds like piracetam do not go well with noopept. Aniracetam and noopept may be stacked together as they may produce synergy as an anxiolytic due to their effects on 5HT (serotonin) receptors.

Otherwise, noopept in generally stacked with acetylcholine and choline boosting compounds. Noopept like other cholinergics, creates an increased demand on the cholinergic system. This demand is thought to be a caused of headaches. The best choline compounds to stack with noopept are alpha GPC and citicoline.

Pramiracetam Stacks

Pramiracetam is one of the strongest racetams. Stacking pramiracetam with piracetam, aniracetam or oxiracetam is generally considered a waste. This is due to the fact that pramiracetam is already very strong and using other racetams will cause an overlap in effects.

Stacking pramiracetam with other types of nootropics like ampakines and dopaminergics will offer a better change of increased cognitive effects. It may be stacked with sunifiram and sulbutiamine to increase the scope of the stacks effectiveness.

Choline Stacks

Choline compounds can also be stacked for increased effectiveness. Citicoline and alpha GPC are usually not used together in a choline stack. Both of these choline compounds are very effective at converting into acetylcholine and they are also very costly.

Some people will stack weaker choline compounds like choline bitartrate with ALCAR (acetyl l-carnitine) together. Choline and ALCAR go well together because ALCAR may help with the conversion of choline into acetylcholine. This combination is said to be very effective.

Racetam Stacks

Racetams work as some of the best nootropics to stack. Like mentioned above, some will work to potentiate the others and some will just work against each other. Not every person will find the same results with a racetam stack. The best option is to try each racetam and build a stack around the one that offer the best effects.

Generally, all racetams will stack well with choline compounds. Some may find that choline may stack well with their racetam stacks. It is thought that an overload of acetylcholine can influence mood and therefore this stack may depend largely on the individual.

One may also choose to stack racetams with acetylcholinesterase inhibitors like huperzine A. Stacking racetams with acetylcholinesterase and choline compounds may increase the chance of side effects so this stack must be handled with care.

Anxiolytic Stacks

If your desire is to create or add some anxiolytic functions into your stack there may be some great options. The effectiveness of the anxiolytic stack will depend largely on the method and orgin of the anxiety. Some anxiety may stem from chemical imbalances and increasing the activity of certain neurotransmitters (serotonin, GABA) may reduce the activity of this anxiety.

One great product for anxiety is phenibut. Phenibut is commonly sold beside piracetam however it is not considered to be a nootropic contrary to popular belief. Regardless, it is often used in conjunction or added to a nootorpic stack for its sedativie properties.

Aniracetam and noopept may have some function on selective serotonin receptors. Studies have shown some anxiolytic properties in animals.

L-theanine is another great nootropic with anxioytic functions. It is isolated from tea leaves and thought to be the main culprit behind teas subtle calming abilities. L-theanine actually acts as a nootropic and calming agent without causing excessive sedation. It is considered to be one of the best anxiolytic nootropic supplements.