NEUROFUEL™ is a new name for the original CILTEP formula discovered in 2011. This is a classic nootropic stack for memory, focus, and mood improvement. How well has this brand aged?
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There aren’t a lot of ready-made stacks like CILTEP that have their well-deserved place in the history of the industry. Sooner or later, every insider wants to try this pioneering blend of nootropics for memory and focus.
The name CILTEP will never fade away from the ears of nootropic fans. Meanwhile, the manufacturer Natural Stacks decided to rebrand it to NEUROFUEL™.
Everything else remains the same. It is the same stack for activating long-term potentiation (LTP), a biological mechanism that affects memory.
CILTEP was created to support your cells to communicate better with each other and thus help your short-term and long-term memory. It goes beyond immediate gratification to provide optimal performance over time.
Does this classic nootropic stack have aged well? We investigate.
History of the stack
CILTEP is the first modern nootropic supplement created and improved within the Longecity forum community in 2011. Its creator was the world-famous biohacker, Abelard Lindsay.
Abelard has made it for his own use before approving the formula to Natural Stacks, the world’s first open-source supplement company based in Seattle.
The formula is designed and marketed to induce long-term potentiation (LTP) in the brain.
Long-term potentiation concept
LTP is a biological system behind the brain’s ability to form and store new knowledge and behavior, memories that can last up to a lifetime.
CILTEP utilizes just a few all-natural ingredients meticulously crafted to enhance the brain and its capability to develop long-lasting memories through the biological mechanism called long-term potentiation.
– Natural Stacks
The concept is highly theoretical though. It is basically an oversimplification of complex cellular mechanisms into elementary mathematics.
Still, the hype was born because the product worked and biohackers applauded it.
The benefits have been reported by thousands of people around the world as well as leading health writers like Tim Ferriss and Dave Asprey.
Theory behind CILTEP
CILTEP is a phrase for “chemically-induced long-term potentiation”.
We can add the words ‘enhanced’ for ‘E’ in the CILTEP stack due to the fact that enhancing is the only method this product can contribute to this natural phenomenon that takes place by itself.
While theory about LTP is much older and dates back to the late 19th century, the CILTEP concept stemmed from an intriguing study in 2003 about Forskolin-induced long-term potentiation. This research shows the approaches to supplementing to enhance this cellular effect.
Chemically induced long-term potentiation (cLTP) could potentially work by directly stimulating the biochemical machinery that underlies synaptic plasticity, bypassing the need for synaptic activation. Previous reports suggested that agents that raise cAMp concentration might have this capability.
Why CILTEP actually works?
Cognition and memory-enhancing properties of this supplement are the results of inhibiting the breakdown and elevating of cyclic AMP molecule (cAMP). The cAMP is involved in long-term potentiation and raising the cAMP levels can chemically cause LTP.
The Theory behind CILTEP is that artichoke extract is a good source of luteolin. Luteolin is a PDE4 inhibitor and can thus raise cAMP levels. Forskolin increases cAMP levels by inhibiting its demise. And you can combine the two and create a significant elevation in cAMP levels and subsequent facilitation of LTP mediated by CREB, like you would get from a potent PDE4 inhibitor (rolipram).
Let’s look at how these ingredients can chemically induce long-term potentiation in this schematic preview.
Mechanisms of action
- PDE 4 and other inhibition
PDE4 is an enzyme that breaks down cAMP molecules (messenger systems that relay signals in the brain). Inhibition of PDE4 blocks the breakdown of cAMP and thereby increases levels of cAMP within brain cells. This has been shown to lead to increased cognition, improved long-term memory, increased wakefulness, and neuroprotection.
The herb Forskolin (an active substance extracted from the root of the Coleus Forskohlii plant) can naturally boost cAMP levels. It’s essentially the only well-known herb able to do that. It turns on the enzyme adenylyl cyclase, which then raises intracellular levels of cAMP. This nootropic stack features premium Coleus Forskohlii standardized for 20% Forskolin. There is 4 mg of Forskolin in each serving of CILTEP.
- Dopamine Metabolism Support
Including substances to naturally increase dopamine levels like L-tyrosine or Phenylalanine increases the additional cAMP levels when the proper D1 dopamine receptor is activated. Other compounds that are more likely to aid the D1 act indirectly, using the NMDA receptor. Synthetic families of racetams or ampakines (Sunifiram) also have the ability to do that.
CILTEP (NEUROFUEL) Ingredients
Artichoke extract contains Luteolin, a natural inhibitor of the PDE4 enzyme. While excess levels of PDE4 breaks down cAMP molecules, crucial for neural signaling in the brain, studies have found that Luteolin stabilizes and increases cAMP. It promotes neurogenesis and reduces inflammation in neurons. Boost mental performance, improve long-term memory, and increase wakefulness.
- 5 mg Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxal-5-phosphate) – Cofactor for neurotransmitter synthesis.
- 750 mg ALCAR (as acetyl L-carnitine HCI) – Acetylcholine support.
- 500 mg L-Phenylalanine – Building block of noradrenaline and dopamine.
- 20 mg Coleus Forskohlii (root) extract (standardized for 20% – 4mg) – Enhances CAMP production.
- 900 mg Artichoke Leaf extract (5% cynarin) – Acts as a PDE inhibitor.
I discovered from the beginning that CILTEP is a really risk-free supplement. It does not create a habit, nor did I feel any negative effects. It has one of the most simple formulae I have used so far with just a couple of natural ingredients and focused systemic influence on the body. When I am using it occasionally, I would say it has the best effect.
As I always cycle nootropics, I waited a couple of days prior to I add it to my daily meals. Beginning with the lowest dosage of one capsule in the morning, then two capsules after lunch, I started to notice the effects from the very first day. I would say that it’s stimulative enough to not suggest the maximum dosage from the start. Especially if you are not experienced with ingredients. Also if you take it on an empty stomach the effects would be more noticeable.
The other days I would take three capsules in the morning with the light meal and then finished it with the coffee which is optional. You might really fly away to your work like I was feeling the first days. It’s enjoyable and engaging with all that focus when you’ve got a lot of work to do. I’ve even got the popular effect of tunnel vision with a maximum dose of CILTEP. I was well prepared to be busy that day doing some projects and then remain in the moving doing some social meetings after the work’s end.
After a whole week of energy supply, I was starting to feel drained and somewhat in the ‘not me’ mode. My energy levels started to be inconsistent with everyday use. So I was dosing it more carefully and take a break for a few days the next week. I have a good time on CILTEP when interacting socially and will utilize it for sport and learning activities. Just not for everyday use.
With nootropics, the most important thing is what you need them for. It seems that I did not need much mental stimulation, except for a few days a week. As always with nootropics, a good workout is what enhances them.
I would not say it is my ultimate stack but I was really hooked on the formulation as well as to some other great nootropic blends from this great company. I would certainly recommend that you check out the entire range of Natural Stacks products.
I’ve compared CILTEP to many other nootropics I’ve checked, and some similar blends I am using and liking.
This nootropic supplement can be beneficial to anybody from youngsters to elderly people who just attempting to get their brains back.
Students, scientists, doctors, business executives, filmmakers, firemen, and lots of others reported the efficient usage from enhancing awareness and endurance, to having additional sharp focus and memory increase.
CILTEP for reducing brain fog
These five well-dosed active ingredients consistently bring a sharp focus and mental clarity to customers. Especially the forskolin and artichoke extracts that are responsible for increasing cAMP levels thus improving cognition and raising dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine levels in the brain.
That stops the brain fog, all of us have at those moments when it’s impossible to remain focused.
CILTEP for athletes
Enhancing the activity of essential neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, dopamine, and epinephrine yields a potential increase in cognitive capacity along with the general speed of performance.
Due to that activities and because it improves the level of sensitivity to numerous hormones and natural chemicals, people also use CILTEP to naturally enhance athletic performance.
CILTEP for motivation
While many online reports confirmed the increase in motivation there are also others that say CILTEP brings sleepiness and tiredness in them. Read more about it in my experience with CILTEP.
Perhaps high doses of ingredients are to blame for various effects on motivation. So, if CILTEP helps you otherwise, reduce the number of capsules if you feel tired.
CILTEP for ADHD
Some anecdotal reports state this stack was helpful in ameliorating the symptoms of attention disorder. Although CILTEP has never been marketed in that way, the ingredients do have some research in treating ADHD.
The Forskolin’s effect on cAMP in the study with rats has been observed. ALCAR deserves further investigation, while Vitamin B6 with magnesium treatment has a therapeutic role in children with ADHD symptoms.
CILTEP for anxiety
Although there is some anecdotal evidence that CILTEP is working on mood and reducing anxiety, there is no scientific proof of it. Only the one ALCAR study of anxiety-like behaviors in rats has shown anti-anxiety effects. You can find better recommendations in our review of the nootropics to support problems with mood.
CILTEP side effects
Adverse effects are minimal and pretty rare, given that raising the cAMP levels in small amounts is not something that is considered a big deal. Furthermore, PDA4 inhibitors are well known to cause nausea or vomiting if taken in high amounts.
You may wish to progressively increase the dosage of CILTEP to three capsules maximum.
If you are making your home version of CILTEP with bulk powders, you may want to start with the standard doses or below of each ingredient to feel the effects.
Many experienced biohackers claim it’s a placebo, and yet quite a few of them swear by it. Some users have actually reported fatigue after taking the stack for some time. With the later addition of dopamine-supporting supplements and a forskolin dosage of less than 5 mg, this has been much less of a problem.
Some users have reported lessened working memory while taking the stack, particularly when taking higher doses of forskolin or when taking the stack with Quercetin, which is not recommended.
CILTEP vs. Tobacco
Some reviewers and anecdotal expressions advise you to not smoke tobacco when you are using CILTEP, since pure nicotine might straight prevent the procedure that CILTEP is encouraging.
Long-term potentiation (LTP) has a memory-like consolidation period during which it becomes progressively stabilized. However, it is unknown how the consolidation is achieved. The present study demonstrates that nicotine reverses stabilized LTP in the hippocampal CA1 region, providing the first evidence that consolidated LTP can be reversed.
Mixing CILTEP and stimulants
Powerful stimulants spoil the benefits that CILTEP has yet also restrict mental fatigue as the effects of CILTEP wear out. I may be too stimulating to work and think conveniently even if I consume too much coffee with it. Try to watch out when you’re adding more dopamine precursors into the stack.
Comparison with ready-made stacks
In my opinion, these all-natural stacks will rank differently among people. As a matter of fact, the most potent nootropics, if they are natural, will work for 6 out of 10 people. But when they are working then it’s a big-time!
The nootropic stacks are a set of different traits coming together to have a more powerful effect. If you don’t respond to some stand-alone ingredient that will be less clear in stacks, but the result will be overall weaker for some individuals.
CILTEP vs NooCube
For my biochemistry and goals, NooCube tends to work on mood just perfectly. It mellows me and gives a friendly vibe, empathy, and social intelligence.
With CILTEP, I was getting the feeling of greater focus as well as the overall stimulation in the serving size. I was also getting the least side effects over time (headache, digestive, intestinal).
It should be said that although both stacks are better to feel over time, it is wise to periodically stop all nootropics. That way you will not feel the tolerance build-up nor the feeling that the stack is working just the opposite then it should.
CILTEP vs THRIIV
THRIIV by Nootripure Laboratories is a more complicated supplement than CILTEP.
On the surface, both stacks supply the body with similar mental energy and focus. But THRIIV got the combination of natural and synthetic ingredients, as well as slow, natural release in the effects of ingredients. Adding the CBD content, as well as the best nootropic extracts THRIIV is more like for the whole body wellness as well as a more relaxing supplement.
Nootripure’s research is directed towards targeted biological delivery systems, which enable our bodies to absorb the right nutrients at the right time, thus reducing the side effects of medicinal compounds. While other supplements may wear off over time, THRIIV has a calming energy and long-term effects.
It seems that CILTEP has made enough with its 5 parts to be in progress with new and improved nootropics. Just that its actions are targeted around simpler goals, like learning and staying focused on your work.
The good thing about CILTEP is that it’s stackable with many nootropics and can be upgraded.
CILTEP vs Mind Lab Pro
In this comparison, I would say CILTEP is made stronger when you need it for a short focused action. While Mind Lab Pro will bring you more benefits because it consists of more complex ingredients. Read more in the Mind Lab Pro review.
The company Natural Stacks made custom stacks for this purpose, to counteract deficits people can have when using CILTEP nootropic. Simply combine it with other natural stacks.
Stacking CILTEP with other synergistic nootropic combo’s makes it more of an experimental stack for sure. Let’s find out some combinations that are anecdotally said to have the best effects.
Racetam family of supplements work to optimize interaction with glutamate and electrical signalling at the synaptic cleft while CILTEP optimizes the operation of secondary messengers inside the neuron by triggering long-term potentiation (LTP) via adenylyl cyclase without activating the D1/D5 receptor that normally uses this pathway to enhance LTP.
Although complementary, not all the racetams stack well with CILTEP.
Noopept and CILTEP stack
Some Longecity researchers say that ampakines are maybe the missing piece in CILTEP due to the fact how the late phase of LTP depends on NMDA receptors. Noopept is an ampakine that has a good affinity to AMPA and NDMA receptors. The Sunifiram and Unifiram combo also work well for some individuals.
People have interesting effects when taking Noopept with CILTEP. Some report they are just smiling and dancing in the shower while feeling happier and more out of their head. To quote Abelard Lindsay from one of the Longecity threads.
I’ve been taking Noopept with CILTEP lately. That and CDP choline for the uridine. This stack makes me almost too friendly and happy. It’s great.
Some anecdotal reports say that a combination with DHA helps to maintain alertness. It’s unclear whether this effect is synergistic. I’ve had great results with cod liver oil and standard omega 3.
CILTEP-like custom stacks
Some nootropic fans don’t buy premixed or branded nootropics, because they think it’s way overpriced. Instead, you can buy bulk powders and stack the individual parts for the best possible result and a cheaper price.
Some people have found they need more/less, and sometimes NONE, of a certain CILTEP ingredient. Also, doing your own stack can mitigate the side effects you might have with some ingredients in the pre-made CILTEP stack.
You can tailor your stack a little bit better that way and find the best ratios of ingredients that make you feel the benefits.
Artichoke extract + Forskolin
Many reports say that Forskolin and Artichoke are nootropics to improve mood. Some even compare this combination with Modafinil, one of the most effective brain supplements. All the good things include:
- Improved long-term memory
- Increased ability to retain information
- Increased ability to study
- Improved mood and motivation
Does it sound familiar to you? The same ability that CILTEP has.
Intermittent fasting with CILTEP
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. For people that are tweaking the CILTEP approach that might produce great nootropic effects. One that is reported on the Longecity forum shows the great versatility and synergy that these ingredients can provide.
Especially ALCAR which is a forerunner in this case. The important thing here is that it’s just a nutrient! Meaning, no tolerance build-up.
the CILTEP-effect while running on ketones in addition to glucose is just amazing… Indescribable. My focus just never stops. It’s almost ridiculous (today I studied for 10 hours… with one break).
This alternative method relies on ALCAR as a needed assistant to fuel fatty acid oxidation and other ATP-producing processes during fasting. You need to take it immediately after waking up, as well as other ingredients. In this formulation, ALCAR has dosed 500 mg every 2 hours while fasting, and if you spend a lot of energy.
- Zembrin (1x), Artichoke (1-2x500mg), Forskolin (5-20 mg active extract)
- Caffeine – Tea source
- L Tyrosine – Wait with dosing tyrosine. Add it if you don’t feel anything.
- Allosteric modulators, such as Piracetam and Phenylpiracetam.
FAQs about CILTEP
Take 1-3 capsules in the morning upon waking on an empty stomach (recommended).
Do not take more than 3 capsules per day.
NEUROFUEL™ can be taken daily, but we advise taking 1-2 days off per week (weekends for example)
Like most good nootropics CILTEP has a subtle effect and it’s not too strong for your biochemistry. You will be much more focused and productive and sometimes you will notice later that you’ve had a great time.
Exercise improves the effect of CILTEP, much more than other nootropics you can stack it with ( racetams, modafinil, etc). By exercising you will enhance the effects CILTEP has on your dopaminergic system and reduce the fatigue it may otherwise have.
It’s advisable you have to be 18 years old before you can start taking it.
Natural Stacks LLC.’s products are over the counter dietary supplements and do not require FDA approval. However, they are rigorously tested and manufactured and packaged in FDA registered facilities.
Natural Stacks is pretty liberal on refunds if you honestly didn’t get anything out of it. They have a 30-day 100% money-back guarantee from the date of purchase. No shipping costs will be refunded.
CILTEP (NEUROFUEL™) review conclusion
It’s almost as if CILTEP will never grow old. These five ingredients are a unique representation of what a smart formulation might look like. Today’s supplements provide a much wider range of brain goals. Still, some of the best-prepared nootropic stacks, such as the Qualia Mind mega-stack, contain CILTEP along with other ingredients. So, it’s flattering to this bunch and undoubtedly the creative formula it possesses.
I would say nootropic stack is still great for a wider period of focused efforts. Making use of this product will result in a supporting ability to feel efficient as well as determined.
CILTEP stacking with other Natural Stacks exclusive products will upgrade it.
All in all, you will have to try it yourself.
The best results can be expected if you implement this basic regimen when using CILTEP.
taking CILTEP over time but take a break regularly
applying yourself to learn new material
figuring out your optimal dose of each supplement when the DIY stack
exercising instead of stacking CILTEP with nootropics
sleep is something we should strive to get more of
Combat the urge to walk away from a long-term project or workout. Going that extra mile to get the job completed can seem impossible, but NEUROFUEL™ gives you the extra boost you need to finish it.