PRL-8-53 is a synthetic nootropic supplement, meaning it was created in a lab. Its full name is methyl 3-(2-(benzyl(methyl)amino)ethyl)benzoate.
Researchers found that oral supplementation of PRL-8-53 was able to improve avoidance learning in rats. One human study has also been done on PRL-8-53. Each participant ingested a placebo and PRL-8-53, at separate times, in a double blind crossover study. Participants then took a memory test, consisting of twelve monosyllabic words in a particular order. The test was conducted three times, immediately after supplementation, one day after supplementation, and four days after supplementation.
People that remembered more than eight words after taking a placebo experienced minor benefits, but people over 30 or with poor short term memory benefitted greatly from supplementation. In some cases, their score on the word test doubled.
No side effects were observed in the human study, and preliminary rodent evidence suggests PRL-8-53 is safe. Using PRL-8-53 as a dietary supplement, however, cannot be recommended at this time because it is a synthetic substance and all of the evidence for its effects comes from studies funded by the holder of the patent. Though this link should not invalidate the available evidence, independent replication would go a long way toward confirming PRL-8-53’s efficacy.