Of Noopept, Cluster Headaches, and Choline


I’m a suffer of what I think are cluster headaches, doctors tell me they are migraines. This is one of the reasons I began formulating a DIY Soylent. I was aiming for a ketogenic mix, hoping that the the epilepsy aliviating properties of a ketogenic diet compounded with a steady stream of nutrients, as opposed to my usuallly random patterns of consumption, would help my cluster headaches. Inevitably, my curiosity led my journey with Soylent toward nootropics, and I am now the proud owner of two little baggies of noopept.

Adding noopept to my mix had an interesting effect. If you are familiar with cluster headaches, you might be familiar with the term shadow pains. It’s essentially a term thrown around by cluster headache suffers to refer to the headaches that signal that they might get a headache. Yes, you heard that right. Anyway, with the noopept dosing, I was finding I was having constant shadow pains. Yes, I know the difference between shadow pains and a normal headache.

Anyway, given noopept’s known side effect of headaches and that choline is what is pushed to alleviate them, I did some quick Google-fu and found that choline has been associated with cluster headaches. The mechanisms are practically unknown.

Here are the Google hits that helped me find this (I’d but more, but the boards think I am too new to put more links):

Beyond just presenting the curiosity, I am wondering, how much choline is too much? The association is very weak, and I am not expecting a cure. However, if I have something I can firehose at my headaches, I feel I need to at least try.


All points / suggestions are primarily from anecdotal experience, and IANAD:

It might be worthwhile to start on your DIY version with either the RDA or a lower amount of choline, and see what sort of effect it has. Increase choline, check effect, and the same for the noopept as well.

For a while I got too little choline in my mixes (a little less than a third of the RDA), and didn’t really start noticing a delay / slowing in cognition until a couple weeks on soylent. So it might be worthwhile to start on a lower choline amount if you’re worried about an association to your headaches, and go from there.

Since increasing to the right amount (from 200mg to 750mg a day), it’s also taken some time to perceive a noticeable boost / change, so take with that what you will. I’m planning on increasing the choline amount a bit more to see what sort of effects it has, but I also have little difficulty with headaches myself.


I might not have been clear about the nature of the association of choline with cluster headaches. It is that low choline levels in the blood have been found to be associated with the cycles of cluster headaches.

This association, however, has found as lithium, being a known pain reliever for cluster headaches, was administered in resulted in raised choline levels in the blood.

The adjusting dosage a step at a time, though always the wise choice, is something I am often too impatient for. I usually go by my anecdote and study, then jump in head first.

for what its worth here is my mix.


Oh okay. Do you know if your current choline intake is to RDA levels? (If i’m understanding your original post, you have not yet started on your soylent yet?).

As far as choline toxicity goes, one of the consistent adverse effects is increased BO (if you smell the stuff, you’ll know why), with a number of other issues. I’ve seen as low as 5g to as high as 15g being in excess (which would take 19g and 57g respectively of choline bitartrate)