If you have been a long-time follower of nootropics and similar brain supplements, then you must have at least heard of either “CILTEP” or “Abelard Lindsay” at one point. The history behind CILTEP’s creation is quite the interesting one. It was back in 2011 when a few great minds from Longecity started a discussion online on what ingredients the best nootropic would contain. A few ingredients were thrown around… until a single formula was agreed upon and finally created by the original poster of that discussion, Abelard Lindsay (aka Justin).
Not many brain supplements we know of have a creation story as epic as this, so we thought its recognition would be nice.
CILTEP is one of the most well-known brain supplements available out there, and is today used by Bulletproof Coffee’s Dave Asprey, success guru Tim Ferris, and even Martin Jacobson, champion of the World Series of Poker 2014. Offering optimal mental performance, CILTEP is today just one in Natural Stacks’ huge range of products… a testament that the company is doing so well.
Moving online, it is so nice to see that they have one of the most detailed and clean-looking websites we’ve seen out there. There isn’t a lack of information at all with the very detailed explanations on what CILTEP does, the ingredients used, and how these ingredients actually affect the chemical processes in the brain. If you’d like to read between the fine lines and do some further research, their website is more than capable of answering most any question you can throw at it. We’re also very pleased to see the inclusion of a supplement facts label on their site. If one thing’s for sure, it’s that these guys have really done their homework and have taken the time and effort it requires to put together useful information for their customers.
There isn’t anything we could really fault CILTEP on under first impressions. Even the very marketing claims they use on their website seem to be rather tame in nature, and not so sensationalized as most of the marketing hyperbole that we’ve gotten used to seeing.
“Formulated by its creator Abelard Lindsay, CILTEP is a healthy way to stay
focused, alert, and motivated for hours.”
“CILTEP is used every day by thousands of people around the world,
including CEOs, Wall Street Executives, college students, scientists and creatives.”
Again, we’d like to thank CILTEP for taking the time to include a supplement facts label on their website. While it may seem like such a small thing to talk about, so many companies out there don’t even bother taking the time to do it. As supplement reviewers, it makes our jobs so much easier to gauge the effects of the ingredients used when we know the specific dosages in the formula.
Full Ingredients List:
Vitamin B6 – 5 mg
Artichoke Extract – 900 mg
Coleus Forskohlii (root) extract – 20 mg
L-Phenylalanine – 500 mg
Acetyl L-Carnitine – 750 mg
Judging from CILTEP’s ingredients alone, you will immediately notice two things when looking at the list of ingredients used: there are only five ingredients in the formula and that makes the formula very potent.
Lately, we’re seeing a lot of brain supplement manufacturers making the decision to include anywhere from twenty to fifty or more (and trust us, we’ve seen a LOT more!) ingredients into a single formula in the hopes of creating a one-pill-fits-all solution. This superpill will contain all the nootropics for your brain, as well as multivitamins, essential nutrients for the body, and even stimulants. This, in theory, could work, except for the fact that there is only so much space to go around in a single capsule. Jamming so many ingredients into one formula can only lead to one of these two scenarios:
a) Less dosages available per ingredient
b) More pills needed to be taken per day
In both cases, the customer ends up being the one losing, either by getting an ineffective supplement or being charged a ridiculous price. Luckily though, CILTEP doesn’t have this problem… yet it is faced with a similar one: in their pursuit of a super potent brain supplement, have they just created one that lacks some variety in its ingredients?
Let’s examine CILTEP’s three core ingredients and what they do for the brain:
Premium Artichoke Extract: Increases memory formation in the brain. When used in combination with Forskolin, promotes greater levels of information retention, which is especially helpful for learning. Artichoke can also be used to improve overall cognitive communication, memory consolidation, and working memory.
Forskolin: Derived from Coleus Forskohlii, it can cause an increase in cAMP levels, which effectively help in promoting weight loss and increased memory formation and retention. Effects are heightened when used in conjunction with Artichoke extract.
Acetyl L-Carnitine: As an acetylated version of Carnitine, ALCAR offers more mental benefits than physical due to its ability to cross the brain-blood barrier. It primarily affects an increased production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is responsible for memory, learning, problem-solving, analysis, and cognition.
As much as we would like to say that we love the ingredients used in CILTEP, we still think it is slightly lacking. In terms of memory enhancement alone, although we love the ingenious combination of Artichoke and Forskolin, we really would have love to have seen Huperzine A and Vinpocetine – even in smaller dosages – and maybe even Ginkgo Biloba.
Nevertheless, we tip our hats to Abelard Lindsay for the synergistic combination of premium ingredients he’s used in CILTEP.
Test Results: CILTEP
Our tests with CILTEP lasted for a whole 45 days. We had a few volunteers come in to our lab (aged 19-37) who agreed to take CILTEP continuously and write down their findings in a journal. They also had to come report back with our lab every two weeks for general cognitive performance tests.
Our tests with CILTEP were quite surprisingly, a bit mixed. Even from the beginning of the test, there was a considerable chunk of our volunteers who did not feel any noticeable difference. While twelve of our volunteers were able to experience an increase in focus and energy almost immediately, eight of them reported that it didn’t work at all… and this trend went on for the whole duration of our tests with CILTEP.
Those who had reported positive results early on continued to be astounded by CILTEP’s effects – improved short term memory followed within weeks, and by the end of the month and a half of reports and cognitive tests at our facilities, they were even starting to experience a higher level of improved long-term memory and learning. One student reported being able to remember so much that he was able to simply study the night before an exam, go to bed (while still getting a good 7 hours of sleep!), and then ace the test the next day!
Those who had reported negative results in the beginning, however, saw little improvement in their experience with CILTEP. Some even went as far as saying that CILTEP also affected their ability to perform work negatively. Their minds were a mess, unable to focus at things for longer than a few moments. Some also reported experiencing brain fog, which made learning an absolute horror.
As much as we would like to praise CILTEP in this section, the test results really prove otherwise.
Other Online Reviews
Similar to our own tests, the reviews we found on the web regarding CILTEP were also a mixed bag. There was a lot of opinions and reviews scattered all over the web – but of course, with a supplement as well-known as CILTEP, it should be expected.
From Gina on January 24, 2014 (Amazon)
If you’re looking for a pill that will give you unending focus, prolonged motivation, and heightened intelligence…look elsewhere. If you’re looking for a product that will subtly but noticeably provide a clear mind and a neutral attitude towards work or other intellectual endeavors, Ciltep may be the way to go. Ciltep isn’t the be all end all of nootropics, but it does provide a real benefit for those who have long hours in the office, deadlines, finals, etc. I like to analogize it to an IV drip. It doesnt give you any jittery feelings or waves of euphoria that make you feel like you can conquer anything. It gives you a sustained source of energy where you can keep doing what you’re doing with very little brain fog or “antsiness.” While on Ciltep you feel normal, as if you’re just there doing your work. It’s only when you look back after hours of working that you realize how productive you were, with the added feeling that you don’t really feel overworked or tired. Just normal. It’s a pretty good product. The reasons I’m giving it four stars is because it isn’t the greatest nootropic ever to be developed (but I think it’s definitely up there), plus its a bit pricey. Regardless, I would recommend people giving it a try to see how it works for them.
Disclaimer: Everyone has a different biochemistry, so a product that works for one person may not work for another. Happy studying
From Sally on July 10, 2014 (Amazon)
I have really loved CILTEP by Natural Stacks. I feel like I am remembering more and forgetting less, can concentrate better, and just have felt over all more motivated to do and learn more. If you have concentration or learning problems (focus),it is definitely worth trying. It comes fast and is super affordable. I just take one in the morning when I wake up and really feel like it’s helping.
From Xavier Arias on October 10, 2014 (Amazon)
Really, really wanted it to work. After not feeling anything remotely close to what some reviewers here describe, I thoroughly read through the longecity thread for CILTEP non-responders, and added more excercise to my routine and some additional supplements that CILTEP coul be requiring and I couldv’ve lacked.
I Started with the recommended dose, 3 pills right upon waking, about 20-30 minutes before eating. I tried two pills in the morning and one at noon, tried lowering the dose to 1 and 2 pills, raising it to four. I tried downing it with water and downing it with milk. I tried them on an empty and full stomach, I cracked open the pills and mixed them into my breakfast yogurt.
I tried absolutely everything besides snorting these things, and I got absolutely nothing.
Now, I’m aware of the real-world effects of nootropics. It’s not like I’m expecting an NZT experience here. I didn’t even get this pill for the cognitive or memory enhancements, there were just nice side effects. What I wanted from this pill was the “razor-sharp focus” that was advertised. Now my bottle is almost over, I’m 40 bucks poorer and have exactly as much trouble focusing as I did before.
Not saying it’s a placebo, that Natural Stacks are phonies (their Smart Caffeine is great), or that the reviewers here are lies/exaggerations/paid posts, but this just didn’t work for me. At all.
From Ann on July 8, 2014 (Amazon)
I took one on the first day – no effect. I took two on the second day – still no effect. Three on the third day – I felt anxious. I’ve continued taking two pills for four days of the week (so three days off) since I bought the product but I haven’t noticed any help. There were even days I’ve felt like I needed a nap. I won’t be buying another bottle.
On the plus side, no obvious side effects.
This also reflected the opinions of other online communities. In a few Reddit threads, CILTEP was even being criticized and debunked.
One good thing that we can say is that CILTEP does not produce any side effects. In the duration of our tests, we have not heard one report of side negative side effects.
We have had a few reports that CILTEP can cause brain fog, but this was only in a few isolated cases.
Online, most have also praised it for its lack of side effects – possibly the result of the formula only containing natural ingredients.
A bottle of CILTEP contains 60 capsules and goes for $42.95. With the recommended serving size of 3 capsules though, this means that you will only get 20 servings per container. Their website recommends, however, that you should take 1-2 days off every week (on the weekends, for example) from CILTEP. We believe this is to help prevent your body from building up a tolerance.
Nevertheless, we feel that CILTEP is available at a great price, especially when considering the other offerings available on the market.
CILTEP also has a 30-day money back guarantee (shipping and handling charges not included).
RECAP: Pro’s vs Con’s
– Ingenious combination of Artichoke Extract and Forskolin
– Brainchild of a collective nootropic community
– No side effects from our tests
– Affordable price at $42.95
– Ingredients list not as comprehensive as we’d like
– Experiences were a mixed bag – simply does not work for some
The Bottom Line
We really have to acknowledge that CILTEP’s history is one of the most interesting one’s we’ve heard in the industry. Also, the core ingredients they’ve used in its creation… there’s simply nothing like them. But after giving credit where they’re due, we have to say that we were slightly disappointed with CILTEP. While there were some great effects witnessed in focus, concentration, and memory enhancement, we couldn’t help but feel that these effects were just a tad inconsistent – especially in comparison to some of the other supplements we’ve tried before.
The effects to memory were great when they worked, which makes CILTEP a great learning tool… but the inconsistency in its use might mean that taking it just the night before your exam will be just as good as flipping a coin.
For the price of $42.99, we’re going to have to say that if you are still interested in CILTEP – an experience that will likely be slightly different from all the other brain supplements you’ve tried before – by all means, give it a shot. There are no side effects, so you’ll have nothing to be worried about anyways.
Those looking for the absolute best in memory enhancement aren’t going to find it here.