When it comes to enhancing cognitive health, Prevagen is a name you’ve likely heard. Touted for its potential memory-boosting capabilities, it’s sparked a mix of reviews and controversy.
With a plethora of feedback on the company’s site and thousands of reviews on Amazon, it’s clear that Prevagen has caught the attention of many looking to sharpen their minds.
But does Prevagen really work?
- It is readily available at major grocery stores and pharmacies, so you can pick it up without long delivery times.
- The lack of peer-reviewed research doesn’t provide much evidence to suggest the formula works.
- A single main active ingredient that doesn’t have research backing it.
What Is Prevagen?
Prevagen markets itself as a leading cognitive health supplement designed to improve memory and support healthy brain function.
Prevagen’s primary claim to fame lies in its unique active ingredient, apoaequorin, a protein originally found in a certain species of jellyfish. Proponents of Prevagen might find it appealing due to this distinctive source, which is not commonly seen in other brain health supplements.
The intrigue around apoaequorin stems from its proposed ability to bind calcium ions, which plays a crucial role in the functioning of brain cells.
As we age, the management of intracellular calcium can deteriorate, potentially leading to a decline in cognitive abilities. This connection to aging-related memory issues positions Prevagen as a potential ally in the battle against cognitive decline.
As someone who’s enthusiastic about cognitive enhancement, I understand the allure of a supplement that promises such significant benefits. Still, the fact stands that independent peer-reviewed research is scarce in this area.
Prevagen has the exact same playbook as Neuriva. Drum up studies conducted internally within the company on the formula and use that as the scientific basis for their claims. Let me explain.
There has been one human study on the Prevagen active ingredient apoaequorin and its effect on cognitive function. Apoaequorin is a protein found in bioluminescent jellyfish and is thought to reduce the development of Alzheimer’s disease by improving calcium binding .
However, the sole human trial has severe limitations . Firstly, it was only recently peer-reviewed and published in a low-impact journal. Secondly, it’s an in-house study conducted by Quincy Bioscience, the parent company of Prevagen.
Thirdly, the subjects included only had self-reported cognitive impairment, and any subjects with diagnosed mental impairment were excluded. Subjects who self-report symptoms present a huge study bias as they are far more susceptible to the placebo effect.
Not to mention, these subjects self-reported cognitive problems yet didn’t show cognitive impairment with objective testing.
The study found that 10 mg of apoaequorin taken daily for 90 days showed a statistically significant improvement in verbal learning and memory recall.
Outside of this study, we have no other data showing the efficacy of this protein.
Prevagen has many products that are variations of their one-ingredient brain supplement. Here’s how the prices break down:
|Regular Strength (30 servings)
|Regular Strength (60 servings)
|Extra Strength (30 servings)
|Extra Strength (60 servings)
|Professional Formula (30 servings)
Benefits of Prevagen
Based on the previous sections, there are likely no cognitive benefits to Prevagen. There’s no evidence supporting their active ingredient, apoaequorin. However, there is one benefit to Prevagen that many other nootropics don’t have.
You can pick up Prevagen during your regular grocery trip at any major grocery stores and pharmacies around the USA. You can even order on Amazon and have it shipped within two days.
This is a significant advantage where you’re not paying for shipping or waiting for long delivery times.
My Experience With Prevagen
I had to try Prevagen for myself to see if I felt any positive mental enhancements. One of the advantages is buying it on a normal grocery run, so I got the 30-count regular strength formula since that was used within their in-house research study.
Prevagen claims it only works in regular individuals without cognitive impairment, so I’d be a ripe subject for their nootropic.
I knew it wouldn’t provide an instant euphoric boost, as that is not the goal. It’s to provide long-term brain change.
I didn’t notice any difference after 30 days of taking Prevagen. Perhaps if I took it for a further 60 days, like in their study, I’d notice a difference, but I have my doubts.
Because of the potential lack of benefits, Prevagen is for biohackers and health optimizers who are in tune with their body’s responses. They can decipher if a product has any tangible benefits for them.
Despite the lack of research, there are plenty of positive reviews.
“Bought Prevagen on a whim. After about a month I noticed more sharpness in my memory. Have continued for over six months and am satisfied with the results. – Ronald Catenac”
But it’s not all 5-star reviews.
“If they put this product in a “results challenge” with any placebo, it won’t win. This is marketing at its worst and yes we know that, the FDA, or any other reliable source for that matter, has not weighed in on its effectiveness or lack thereof. So you’re on your own. Very expensive.”
“Husband used for about a month. Saw no improvement in cognition or memory.”
The active ingredient apoaequorin has no known side effects, as evidenced by the Prevagen study . The only other studies looking at side effects were performed in rats, so extrapolating to humans isn’t possible .
I didn’t feel any negative side effects from taking Prevagen, but as always, consult a healthcare provider before beginning any new supplement regimen, especially for people who have pre-existing health conditions or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
A court decided that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the State of New York can take legal action against the supplement company Prevagen.
Prevagen advertised that their product could improve memory, but the FTC and New York argued that Prevagen’s claims were misleading.
They said the product wasn’t proven to work any better than a placebo. Initially, a lower court rejected the case, but a higher court disagreed and said the FTC could continue challenging Prevagen’s claims.
It’s worth exploring Prevagen alternatives that will provide a cognitive boost, whether instant or for long-term mental benefits.
NooCube is a brain-boosting pill that has gained popularity due to its claimed rapid cognitive effects. NooCube’s composition includes ingredients such as Bacopa Monnieri, L-Tyrosine, and L-Theanine.
These are well-known for their mental benefits. Some, like Huperzine-A and Alpha GPC, remain speculative without more investigation.
NooCube is intended to improve cognition and alertness without the use of stimulants, and the dose of each ingredient is clearly listed.
NooCube is considered especially advantageous for working professionals, students, older adults, gamers, and combat athletes, as it provides various cognitive benefits without the jittery side effects associated with caffeine.
You can read our full, in-depth breakdown in our NooCube review.
Braini distinguishes itself by being stimulant-free, providing immediate benefits, and having a short ingredient list focused on supporting long-term cognitive gains. It does not, however, deliver the immediate euphoric boost that some users may expect from a brain supplement.
Peptylin, a silk protein peptide with neuroprotective effects and possible benefits for executive function; NeurXcel, rich in omega fatty acids; and Wild Canadian Blueberry extract, recognized for its antioxidant capabilities and cognitive support, are key constituents in Braini.
Clinical trials back Braini and comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee and a 30-day challenge to objectively test brain function improvements.
You can read our full, in-depth breakdown in our Braini review.
Mind Lab Pro
Mind Lab Pro is a well-known nootropic that has gained popularity due to its potential cognitive advantages.
Its formulation, intended to improve mental clarity and focus, is made of natural ingredients and is stimulant-free, making it an excellent alternative for individuals seeking a health-conscious regimen.
Its unique blend of 11 research-backed ingredients distinguishes the product from others in the brain health supplement industry. These ingredients have been carefully chosen to help with cognitive functions such as memory, focus, mental clarity, mood, and cognitive processing speed.
Despite some criticism about the amount of specific ingredients and the need for additional scientific support, Mind Lab Pro is highly acclaimed for its ability to improve cognitive performance, notably in professionals, students, the elderly, and sports.
You can read our in-depth breakdown in our Mind Lab Pro review.
Vyvamind is a nootropic supplement designed to improve focus and cognitive function, mainly by including caffeine and L-theanine. Users report enhanced concentration, energy levels, and cognitive performance without severe crashes.
Vyvamind’s formulation, including L-tyrosine and citicoline, albeit in lesser doses than some research suggests, aims to complement the main nootropic pair of caffeine and L-theanine.
This combination is recognized for providing a smooth focus and cognitive enhancement. The supplement is positioned as an alternative to high-stimulant options, attracting users who seek a more natural and less intense approach to cognitive enhancement.
Vyvamind is suitable for those who dislike coffee, busy professionals needing a focus boost, and students during study sessions.
Frequently Asked Prevagen Questions
The marketers of Prevagen are facing legal action for allegedly making false claims about its effectiveness in improving memory and cognitive functions without sufficient scientific evidence.
According to the studies conducted by Prevagen, it works. However, no third-party clinical trials show Prevagen as an effective cognitive enhancer.
In a 2023 Pharmacy Times survey, 48% of pharmacists recommended Prevagen as the top memory support supplement.
We must approach this statistic with caution, considering the potential for endorsement deals or other financial motivations behind such recommendations.
I’ve taken a profound jump into Prevagen’s claims to boost cognitive functions. It’s clear that while the product’s key ingredient, apoaequorin, is intriguing, the science behind it isn’t as solid as I’d hoped.
I’m cautious about recommending it without robust, independent studies to back up the claims. Other nootropics with a stronger evidence base might be worth considering.
- Spence, J., Chintapenta, M., Kwon, H. I., & Blaszczyk, A. T. (2017). A brief review of three common supplements used in Alzheimer’s disease. The Consultant Pharmacist®, 32(7), 412-414.
- Moran, D. L., Underwood, M. Y., Gabourie, T. A., & Lerner, K. C. (2016). Effects of a supplement containing Apoaequorin on verbal learning in older adults in the community. Adv. Mind Body Med, 30, 4-11.
- Moran, D. L., Marone, P. A., Bauter, M. R., & Soni, M. G. (2013). Safety assessment of Apoaequorin, a protein preparation: Subchronic toxicity study in rats. Food and chemical toxicology, 57, 1-10.
- Moran, D. L., Tetteh, A. O., Goodman, R. E., & Underwood, M. Y. (2014). Safety assessment of the calcium-binding protein, apoaequorin, expressed by Escherichia coli. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 69(2), 243-249.
- Bauter, M. R., & Mendes, O. (2018). Subchronic toxicity of lyophilized apoaequorin protein powder in Sprague-Dawley rats. Toxicology Research and Application, 2, 2397847318756905.
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