9-Me-BC – review

9-Me-BC (9-Methyl-β-carboline) is an experimental nootropic substance from the beta-carboline family. It seems especially promising for regenerating dopaminergic neurons and protecting them from degradation. These are important goals not only for those wishing to restore systems damaged by overuse of various types of psychostimulants. Also for anyone thinking seriously about longevity in good cognitive health.

Like harmaline or harmine from the Banisteriopsis caapi plant, familiar to Ayahuasca enthusiasts, and beta-carboline contained in tobacco, 9-Me-BC is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, but this methylated beta-carboline derivative has other, interesting, properties as well.

9-Me-BC stimulates neurogenesis

9-Me-BC can stimulate neurogenesis of dopaminergic cells. In a study in rats, administration of 9-Me-BC caused a significant increase in granular cells in the dentate bend of the hippocampus in these rodents. Both the increased number of dendritic spines, the height of the trees and the number of dendritic intersections, a measure of the complexity of the resulting structures, were noted. Although the first signs of improvement could be registered as early as within 48 hours of the start of therapy, structural changes accompanied by an increase in dopamine levels in the hippocampus of the test animals and improved performance on tasks involving spatial memory were evident after ten, but not after five days of ongoing therapy. This probably indicates the complex nature of the transformations taking effect.

In one study, 9-Me-BC was exceptionally effective in promoting the differentiation of cultures of midbrain dopaminergic neurons, activating high levels of transcription factors associated with their development. One of the mechanisms that 9-Me-BC is thought to promote is, widely considered to be one of the bottlenecks in the dopamine synthesis pathway, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) activity.

9-Me-BC also exhibits pronounced anti-inflammatory effects, and more is now known about the role that inflammation plays in the development of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, or neurodegenerative diseases in general.

In fact, it minimizes stress

It seems that 9-Me-BC minimizes the destructive stress that nerve cells undergo under conditions of damage by reducing the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines by damaged neurons and inhibiting the oxidation of the neurotoxin precursor MPTP to its more harmful form, MPP+ (1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium).

Like the drugs now used to treat Parkinson’s disease, 9-Me-BC is an MAO-B inhibitor, but because it is also an MAO-A inhibitor, perhaps this substance has the potential to be an extremely potent and comprehensive antidepressant.

We could take the risk of saying that of the currently known and available nootropic substances, it is 9-Me-BC that should prove to be the most powerful ally in the fight against drug-resistant depression – especially one in which anhedonia, a sense of hopelessness and lack of motivation come to the fore in the clinical picture.

With the dopaminergic specificity of 9-Me-BC, one can expect increased energy levels, libido and some improvement in motor coordination.

It is worth trying 9-Me-BC as an alternative to stimulants in the treatment of ADHD.

As an MAO inhibitor, 9-Me-BC interacts with SSRIs / SNRIs, stimulants as well as other MAO inhibitors (selegiline, moclobemide, St. John’s wort, etc.).

Dosage, side effects, etc.

9-Me-BC is usually used in doses of 10 – 30 mg per day, in two divided doses or in a single dose, and it is important not to take the substance in the evening, as the risk of insomnia then arises.

A serious side effect that can, unfortunately, occur is DNA damage in response to UV radiation, so exposure of the skin to the sun should be avoided as much as possible during supplementation.

Taking this substance sublingually is associated with a rather unpleasant burning sensation, followed by a temporary (one hour – two hours) loss of taste sensations. An increase in sensitivity to caffeine can also be expected.

If obsessive thoughts arise or an increase in anxiety is observed while taking 9-Me-BC, either the dosage should be reduced or supplementation should be discontinued, as these symptoms may be associated with too high levels of dopamine.


  1. 9-Methyl-β-carboline up-regulates the appearance of differentiated dopaminergic neurones in primary mesencephalic culture
  2. Inhibition of the bioactivation of the neurotoxin MPTP by antioxidants, redox agents and monoamine oxidase inhibitors
  3. The exceptional properties of 9-methyl-β-carboline: stimulation, protection and regeneration of dopaminergic neurons coupled with anti-inflammatory effects
  4. 9-Methyl-β-carboline-induced cognitive enhancement is associated with elevated hippocampal dopamine levels and dendritic and synaptic proliferation
  5. 9-Methyl-β-carboline has restorative effects in an animal model of Parkinson’s disease
  6. Stimulation, protection and regeneration of dopaminergic neurons by 9-methyl-b-carboline: a new anti-Parkinson drug?