The Power of Epicatechin when Used as a Nootropic

Written on February 11, 2023 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci

Epicatechin is a powerful antioxidant that can be found in cocoa and dark chocolate.

It has been known to help prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer.

However, it also possesses qualities that make it an excellent nootropic for improving cognition and memory retention.

In this article, we will explore how Epicatechin works as a Nootropic compound and why it is such an effective one!

What is Epicatechin?

Epicatechin is a flavonol, which is found in cocoa and dark chocolate.

It has been known to help prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer.

The antioxidant properties of Epicatechin have raised interest as a possible treatment for cognitive decline because they can reduce free radical damage in cells that cause oxidative stress.

Epicatechin's antioxidant properties also make it an excellent nootropic for improving cognition and memory retention.

How does Epicatechin Work as a Nootropic?


The exact mechanism of action by which Epicatechin improves cognitive function is not well understood.

There are several proposed pathways that have been suggested through research studies, though.

One specific mechanism is by increasing the expression of a protein called "Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor" or BDNF for short.

This, in turn, stimulates neurogenesis- the growth and development of neurons in your brain which increases communication between them.

Another way Epicatechin works as a nootropic is by reducing the degradation of Acetylcholine in your brain through inhibition of an enzyme called "acetylcholinesterase."

This means that more Acetylcholine can be synthesized and used for cognitive function, which leads to improved memory retention- making Epicatechin a powerful cholinergic.

What are the benefits?

There are several benefits of Epicatechin when used as a nootropic.

First, as briefly mentioned before, its cardiovascular effects can help prevent the onset of age-related diseases that affect your brain function such as Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia.

This may allow you to retain cognitive functions longer into old age.

In addition, Epicatechin has been shown to reduce the severity of age-related cognitive decline.

Epicatechin also possesses neuroprotective abilities and is a powerful antioxidant in its own right which can prevent oxidative stress damage in cells that lead to cell death.

Finally, its ability as a cholinergic by reducing the degradation of Acetylcholine in your brain can lead to improved memory retention.

Are there any downsides to Epicatechin?

The main drawback to Epicatechin when used as a Nootropic is the presence of caffeine in its natural state.

Caffeine has been shown to counteract many of the benefits that Epicatechin provides including antioxidant properties and reducing the degradation of Acetylcholine, which would both otherwise improve cognition.

However, this can easily be mitigated by consuming a concentrated supplement of Epicatechin without the presence of caffeine.

Another downside to Epicatechin is the fact that it doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier very well on its own.

Therefore, supplementation with Choline Bitartrate or a similar source can help improve its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and exert its full effects.

What does Epicatechin do in the body?

Epicatechin has several beneficial effects on the body.

First, its antioxidant properties make it effective at fighting free radical damage in cells that leads to oxidative stress - which can cause cell death.

Second, Epicatechin is a powerful vasodilator of blood vessels and may help prevent cardiovascular disease by improving blood flow throughout the body.

Lastly, Epicatechin can improve glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity in the liver which may also help prevent cardiovascular disease.

Epicatechin Sources

Green tea is a rich source of Epicatechin because it contains high amounts of catechins - chemicals that are found within green tea leaves responsible for providing many health benefits to the body.

Another common source of Epicatechin is dark chocolate - though not all types contain this substance because it depends on the manufacturing process used to make them.

This is why you should only consume high-quality, organic sources of chocolate that are 100% cacao if want to derive benefits from consuming Epicatechin as a Nootropic.

Does Epicatechin increase Follistatin?

Follistatin is a protein that in humans is encoded by the FSTgene gene.

Follistatin is an autocrine glycoprotein that is present in all tissues of higher animals except the brain, heart, and testis.

It is also found in the serum of healthy individuals, but at lower levels compared to other glycoproteins.

Epicatechin has been shown to increase Follistatin when combined with exercise - which may be one mechanism by which it can help build muscle mass when used as a supplement.

However, it is important to note that Epicatechin does not increase Follistatin by itself and needs exercise for this mechanism to work.

Does Epicatechin induce muscle growth?

Epicatechin has been shown in several studies to help promote muscle cell differentiation - which may be one of the mechanisms behind its ability as a muscle-building supplement.

However, this effect has only been shown to be present in animals and it is not known if Epicatechin can induce muscle growth when used as a Nootropic for humans - though the results are promising so far.

Does Epicatechin have negative interactions with other supplements?

One of the main drawbacks to Epicatechin as a Nootropic is the fact that it can interact with other supplements or drugs and inhibit their effects.

For example, supplementation of Hordenine has been shown to increase levels of Acetylcholine in rats which may counteract some effects from taking Epicatechin such as improved memory retention.

It is also possible that Epicatechin may interact with other supplements in a similar way to how it interacts with Hordenine.

Therefore, it's recommended to not combine these two substances when using Epicatechin as a Nootropic supplement for improving cognitive abilities or boosting muscle growth potential.

In Summary

Epicatechin is a powerful Nootropic supplement that has shown promising effects on promoting muscle growth and improving cognitive abilities in human clinical trials.

Epicatechin can be found in dark chocolate or green tea - but the best source is high-quality, organic 100% cacao dark chocolate since it also contains other beneficial compounds such as L-Theanine and Caffeine.

Epicatechin also has a few negative interactions with other supplements such as Hordenine - so it's recommended to avoid combining these substances when using Epicatechin for cognitive or muscle-building benefits.