Do Nootropics Decrease Appetite?

Updated May 3, 2024 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci
(Estimated reading time: 2 minutes)

Yes, nootropics can decrease appetite.

Nootropics may decrease appetite by increasing serotonin levels, which increases the sensation of fullness and suppresses hunger hormones.

In this article, I'll go over the best nootropics for appetite suppression and how to use them.

I'll also cover the potential side effects of nootropic-based appetite suppression and when it's not a good idea to use them.

So without further ado, let's just get straight into it, shall we?

How Nootropics Affect Your Brain & Appetite

To understand what nootropics do to your appetite, you first need to know how they affect your brain.

The most well-known way is by increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters in your brain that correspond with improved cognitive function and mood; however, there are other ways they can work as well.

For example, some nootropics cause a thermogenic effect (i.e: increase body heat) and others suppress hunger hormones like ghrelin and leptin.

All of these effects contribute to the suppression of appetite.

Serotonin's Role in Appetite


Serotonin is perhaps the most well-known neurotransmitter involved in appetite.

This is because you produce more serotonin when you're full than when you're hungry, which increases good feelings and suppresses hunger cravings.

All nootropics that affect appetite either raise levels of serotonin or mimic its action.

For example, 5-htp (5-hydroxytryptophan), which is a precursor to serotonin, indirectly raises serotonin concentrations by increasing tryptophan uptake into the brain.

That being said, there are certain nootropic supplements that directly increase the production of serotonin in the body, like vinpocetine.

Appetite Suppressing Nootropics

Now that you know how nootropics suppress appetite, let's take a look at some of the best ones for doing so.

The most popular and well-researched are 5-htp, vinpocetine, and huperzine A.

5-htp is a naturally occurring amino acid that is converted into serotonin in the brain.

It can be found in supplements like Griffonia simplicifolia, and has been shown to reduce food intake and weight gain in animals.

Vinpocetine is a synthetic compound derived from periwinkle that increases blood flow to the brain and improves cognitive function.

It also raises serotonin levels and reduces hunger.

Huperzine A is a natural compound found in Chinese club moss that inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine, which is important for memory and learning.

It's also been shown to suppress appetite.

So those are three of the best nootropics for appetite suppression.

However, you don't have to take all three; any one of them should work fine.

How to Take Nootropics For Appetite Suppression

Now that you know what they are, let's talk about how to take them.

The most effective way is by taking them on an empty stomach with plenty of water about 30-60 minutes before meals.

This will give them enough time to start working before you eat.

If you're taking a combination of nootropics, it's best to take them at different times throughout the day.

For example, 5-htp and vinpocetine can be taken together in the morning, and huperzine A can be taken in the evening.

That being said, there are no hard and fast rules here; experiment until you find what works best for you.

The nootropics discussed above are also helpful if you're doing any type of fasting or dieting to lose weight.