Vanillin is a compound found in vanilla bean. It's primarily responsible for the vanilla flavor, and often sold as the sole flavoring ingredient in artificial vanilla flavoring.

Vanillin is an aldehyde, with a benzaldehyde base structure.

Use in Oilahuasca

Several anecdotal reports indicate that vanillin helps activate several allylbenzenes, most notably myristicin (found in nutmeg). There are anecdotal reports of getting Oilahuasca effects from mixing coffee, almond, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg. Vanilla contains large amounts of vanillin.

In rats orally, vanillin induces CYP2E1 and inhibits CYP1A2.[1] According to the Oilahuasca Activation Sequence B theory these actions should be beneficial when attempting to activate allylbenzenes. It's not known if vanillin has these actions in humans, but it's use as an Oilahuasca admixture by many people suggest that it might have these actions in humans.

In mice it was shown to potently inhibit Alcohol Dehydrogenase.[2] This should be detrimental. But it might not have this effect in humans.

Effects on Enzymes

Vanillin and ethyl vanillin fed to rats orally induced CYP2E1 and inhibited CYP1A2.[1]

Vanillin potently inhibited Alcohol Dehydrogenase in mice.[2]

Chemical Properties

Synonyms: 4-Hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde; 121-33-5; Vanillaldehyde; Vanillic aldehyde; Vanilla More…
IUPAC Name: 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde
Molecular Formula: C8H8O3
Molecular Weight: 152.149 g/mol
Canonical SMILES: COC1=C(C=CC(=C1)C=O)O
PubChem CID: 1183

See Also

1. Effect of vanillin and ethyl vanillin on cytochrome P450 activity in vitro and in vivo.
Chen XM, Wei M, Zhang HM, Luo CH, Chen YK, Chen Y. PMID: 22450566
2. Phytophenols in whisky lower blood acetaldehyde level by depressing alcohol metabolism through inhibition of alcohol dehydrogenase 1 (class I) in mice.
Haseba T, Sugimoto J, Sato S, Abe Y, Ohno Y. PubMed PMID: 19013301
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