VWR Review: Ciltep® Brain Supplement


How I First Heard of the Stuff

When I first heard of the Ciltep® nootropic stack, it was in a Tim Ferriss podcast. He mentioned it in passing, saying something along the lines of, “Yeah, I have to make sure I allot 10 hours of sleep after taking that stuff. I feel like I need to replenish whatever creative juices it drains out of me.” Of course, I was instantly intrigued.

This review, however, is almost a year after I bought the stuff. Though the effects aren’t as fresh in my mind, I still remember the bottom line: I simply don’t like the stuff. This is not me trying to bash the Natural Stacks company and say that all their products are shit, but this stuff simply didn’t live up to the hype.

What it is

The Ciltep® nootropic stack is a proprietary blend of Vitamin B-6 (5mg), Artichoke extract (900 mg), Coleus Forskohlii Extract (20 mg), L-Phenylalanine (500 mg), and Acetyl-L-Carnitine (750 mg).


Now, I know more is not always better and I really try to step away from that (very American) logic, but I was instantly skeptical. I read on a few forums that the fact that it had less ingredients meant (to them) that it would be a more potent nootropic, but in going back to see if I could link you to one of those forums, the first two ones I clicked on yielded negative results. Anyway, I can see where they would draw the conclusion that less is more in the case of nootropics, but for me, this stuff was simply below average compared to other products like Optimind™.

How it Works

According to Natural Stacks’ website, it works by suppressing the PDE4 enzymes in the brain, aka, the ones that are responsible for the breaking down of cAMP molecules, or the little postal works that send and receive information in the brain.


The way this supplement works is by means of long-term potentiation, and artichoke extract is supposedly the safest and most effective way of achieving this effect for PDE4 inhibition.

After understanding more about how it works (I did glance at their site before, but now I am putting two and two together), it seems as though this is more of a supplement you want to take consistently. Granted, I did take it consistently for a few days, but maybe I need to try it for a solid 14 days to give this a fair shot.

What it Did for Me

As I said before, this product wasn’t for me and definitely wasn’t worth the $40 I spent on it; however, it did do SOMETHING.

How I took it

So there are a few caveats with me and how I took this supplement. As I mentioned before, I realize now this may be better for long-term use. That’s something I can’t speak on at the moment and I will update the article when I can. As I also mentioned before in another article, I do take half of the lowest dose of ADHD medication pretty close to every day, and did so on the days I took Ciltep®. Though I am not sure, I believe this could have had a negative interaction and could be the cause of its ineffectiveness.

Another thing about how I took this supplement is I did not take 3 capsules every day I tried it. I did this in-part, due to the fact I was taking other stuff with it, but also because it was expensive and I wanted to see it’s effectiveness at a lower dosage. To be honest, I did not notice a huge difference between 2 and 3 capsules, and that’s why I didn’t go for the recommended dosage. The slight effect seemed to be present in both methods.

How it Felt

Now, on to what it did. The only consolation prize I can say for the stack is that it is definitely a slight mood booster and is undoubtedly doing something chemically. The first time I took it, I found myself talking way more than normal in the car ride to work with my girlfriend at the time. Unfortunately, however, that was very short-lived.


I found a few hours later that I became much more tired than usual. I mean usually I’m not even tired thanks to my medication and my daily morning coffee and good diet, but I was in this weird foggy state that I couldn’t quite understand. “Isn’t this stuff supposed to do the opposite?” I thought to myself. I noticed this feeling on several other days when I took the stuff, and finally just said it’s not for me. I still have close to a third of the stuff left, and I can’t remember the last time I took it.

VWR Bottom Line

The bottom line is that, although I am a unique individual (biochemically speaking) and did not take it as recommended, it did not feel like something I wanted to take for days on end. The fact that Tim Ferriss mentioned how he took it infrequently gave me enough validation that it was okay to do so. Although I would like to try taking it for a month and see if the results change, for now, that remains seated at the bottom of my to-do list.


  • slight mood boost
  • natural ingredients
  • may work well long-term


  • moderately expensive
  • better stuff out there
  • may make you tired

As always, feel free to leave peaceful comments sharing your experiences with the stuff, or simply post questions about it that you would like to have answered. VWR is an open-source health blog designed for people to tweak existing health agendas to make them their own.

Thank you for reading.

Stay Well,

Adam Vincent

Note: I am not affiliated with Ciltep® or Natural Stacks® and do not endorse or receive a commission for their products. In addition, my reviews represent my own beliefs and are not endorsed by Natural Stacks®. This review is simply to inform readers of my own personal experience and to encourage them to share their own. I am also not affiliated with Optimind™, though I do cosign that product as effective.