Prevagen Supplement Review: Does This Brain Supplement Work Or Is It Driven By The “Hype Machine?”
The Prevagen supplement has recently generated a lot of hype in the brain supplement industry.
Our mental capacities become less reliable as we age than they used to be in our younger years.
Suddenly, simple things, such as phone/pin numbers, important dates, and anniversaries become very difficult to remember and as we recognize these memory defects, it can become a bit heartbreaking.
The true tragedy is when we start to lose our more treasured memories – things we once took for granted.
This can affect anyone 30 years of age and up. Unfortunately, memory loss is just the start of it.
Here’s the deal:
Our attention and concentration can also shorten. Our willingness to learn new things and engage in mental challenges start to dwindle.
Despite the “cool branding”, for the aging brain, nothing seemed to deliver on virtually every guarantee like Nitrovit, and few manufacturers seemed keen to try, with most focused only on a younger market.
That is why when we came across the Prevagen supplement, with its “…for minds over 40” slogan, it peaked our interest. Could we have a new contender for the top spot in the memory function category? Did we have on our hands a brain supplement that could be as good, if not better than Nitrovit?
We decided to find out…
Taking a look around the official website for the Prevagen supplement, Quincy Bioscience class their product as a “brain power supplement“.
The website and product packaging promote three main benefits; “a healthier brain, sharper mind, and memory protection“. In addition to this, Prevagen claims to help you concentrate, as well as protecting the brain against cell aging.
Prevagen was available in a couple of retail stores such as Rite Aid and Walgreens for a little while. While initial thoughts would tell you a brain supplement offered in a retail store is a good thing, that’s not often the case.
Any fan of shows like Shark Tank will already know that large retail outlets suck the profit out of most small to medium businesses… “We’ll put your Memory Booster in our 300 stores, but we’re only prepared to pay you 20% of retail”.
What’s the point?
The point is that conversations like this usually result in one of two things:
- The manufacturer walks away disgusted – this is a good thing!
- Accept the offer, but in a desperate rush to claw back some of the lost profit for themselves, the manufacturers start swapping quality ingredients for cheaper ones. This is not good!
So, did Prevagen sell their soul to Walgreens for promised riches and taken out all of the expensive and effective ingredients? Well, the truth is they couldn’t if they wanted to as Prevagen bizarrely only contains a single ingredient – Apoaequorin – extracted from Jellyfish of all things!
We were all even more intrigued at this point and had to know if Apoaequorin was some miracle brain enhancer given to us by Father Neptune himself, and whether Prevagen could really do what it says on the bottle?
Jellyfish Protein in the Prevagen supplement?
Prevagen’s unique selling point, Apoaequorin, is essentially a calcium binding protein found in Jellyfish and claimed by Prevagen to be needed by our brains for healthy function.
The Apoaequorin used in Prevagen has been produced in their cGMP compliant and NSF certified facility in Wisconsin, which ensures safety and reassurance in quality. While there is some evidence that Apoaequorin may provide increases in cognitive abilities, that information is limited.
The test results in favor of Apoaequorin potentially being able to slow cognitive decline were found to work with elderly test subjects – who already had cognitive impairment and decline, such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
It would appear that Prevagen may be better suited to those of a certain age or who suffer from a neurological disorder.
However, we recently learned some very interesting information about the Apoaequorin found in the Prevagen supplement.
They are under scrutiny right now over the claims being made about their product, which includes a large variety of complaints filed with the National Counsel Against Health Fraud.
One of the most significant complaints against the Prevagen supplement is that the product can’t work as advertised because the primary active ingredient, apoaequorin, is destroyed in the digestive system, turning it into common amino acids that can be found in common brain food products. Furthermore, the amino acids are also far less in amount than the normal daily intake of amino acids in the average person.
This is a MAJOR red flag!
We already had our doubts about the calcium binding protein and our experience revealed less than ideal results. While we were not overly impressed with the Prevagen supplement, this type of discovery was surprising. Unfortunately, these types of discoveries are made from time to time in the supplement industry and it can give the entire industry a bad name.
This why it has always been our mission one to conduct comprehensive tests and reviews of a wide variety of products to provide you with unbiased reviews that may help you to separate the contenders from the pretenders.
However, let’s take a look further inside the Prevagen supplement to find out if any of the other active ingredients were capable of providing positive cognitive benefits.
Apoaequorin Vs Huperzine A, for Memory Formation and Recall
So how does Apoaequorin compare to more well-known nootropics in general?
Our team agreed that given the choice, Huperzine A (when coupled with Vinpocetine) as a memory, focus, and mental energy enhancer could perhaps be a better choice in certain cases.
Huperzine A is a natural brain health supplement with proven results backed by relatively long term studies. We believe it was Neuro Laboratories inclusion of their Huperzine A / Vinpocetine / Oat Straw in their Nitrovit product that helped boost their nootropic supplement to the top of our charts and provided noticeable cognitive benefits.
For people over 35, a daily supplementation of Huperzine A is the perfect solution for attention, energy, and memory issues. Apoaequorin may also provide these benefits but there is far less available data.
We have discovered that the amount of apoaequorin used in Prevagen is simply broken up by the digestive system and therefore, it never has the opportunity to deliver the cognitive enhancement claims that it makes.
To the test of the Prevagen Supplement!
Our own editor Martin, the office “guinea pig” James, and his brother Jonathan jumped at the Prevagen challenge and gave it a shot.
For the first 6 days, all three testers claimed that they experienced some subtle boosts in mental clarity and memory recall but feared they may also be falling into the “placebo effect” trap.
Into the second week, however, the effects became weaker and less noticeable. Regardless of any slight boosts experienced in the first few days, Martin, James, and Jonathan all discontinued use by the middle of the third week.
Out of the three, Jonathan reported slightly better sleep quality and felt the only variable that could have caused this was the inclusion of the Prevagen supplement into his diet. However, I am not sure how confident I am to say the Prevagen supplement will provide better sleep quality.
As for memory formation and recall, he ran tests using both Lumosity and Dual N-back and found slight changes but nothing substantial enough to proclaim they were a result of cognitive boosts provided by using the Prevagen supplement.
In defense of Prevagen, three weeks may not really a fair enough trial period, and the founder of the Apoaequorin protein is a Nobel prize winner, so perhaps a longer testing period was necessary.
However, as with any other nootropic supplement, the overall quality of the nootropics used are quite an important factor. It is possible that the overall quality and/or the amount of Apoaequorin used in the Prevagen supplement were sub-par or insufficient and therefore, resulted in little to no cognitive benefits that they claimed.
Pro’s and Con’s of the Prevagen Supplement
Pro’s of Prevagen Supplement
- Prevagen ingredients are unique compared to other nootropic brain power supplements
- The Prevagen supplement tries to specifically cater to the elderly
- Also available offline – Consumer protection comes with shopping the high street (…or so we thought)
Con’s of Prevagen Supplement
- Evidence and test reports only confirmed minor decreases in cognitive decline, when given to patients already suffering from cognitive impairment
- No long term test results – little is known about the effects of Apoaequorin if used for extended periods
- The main ingredient carries less scientific proof compared to better-studied ingredients with proven track records
- Increasing number of consumer complaints to the National Council Against Health Fraud
- The amount and/or strength of the Apoaequorin found in the Prevagen supplement are either insufficient or weak and shown to be broken down by the digestive system into everyday amino acids
- Not enough noticeable or significant benefits to justify the overall cost of the Prevagen supplement
The Bottom Line about the Prevagen Supplement:
There well may be something to Prevagen, but you may need to give it time to show what it can do and it still may not deliver anything at all. If patience isn’t your strong point, however, check out our top rated attention/focus, memory, and brain boosters. The newly enhanced Nitrovit formula recently took over our top spot of Editor’s Choice for the best brain supplements of 2016.
You can also have a look at our comparison table showing our top ten recommended nootropic supplements of 2016.
Total Score: (3 / 5)
Effectiveness: (2.5 / 5)
Ingredients: (3 / 5)
Side Effects: (3.5 / 5)
Value for the Money: (3 / 5)