What is Natrol Cognium?
Natrol Cognium is a brain supplement that claims to improve your focus and memory with the help of a single ingredient – CERA-Q. CERA-Q is not a widely used ingredient in other brain supplements, and some readers might have never heard of it.
If you already aren’t familiar, CERA-Q is also known as a silk protein hydrolysate. This protein is naturally found in the threads of silkworm cocoons. Some claimed benefits of this protein are increased blood flow and glucose transport in the area of the brain responsible for memory and learning. CERA-Q also reportedly has some antioxidant properties which can protect your brain as you age.
Reportedly, all these properties have been confirmed by clinical studies. Manufacturers go as far as claiming this is the #1 most clinically studied ingredient for boosting memory among leading brain supplements. We are not quite so sure about that one! However, manufacturers still claim that this powerful ingredient brought a breakthrough in the world of nootropic supplements. Natrol Cognium’s makers also say that its benefits can be noticed in as little as 3-4 weeks.
We have to admit that this is a pretty bold claim. But does Natrol Cognium’s formula really work? To anyone who has experience with natural supplements, any claim that a certain product will give you fast and revolutionary results should raise suspicion.
But as always, we left all prejudices at the door and objectively approached this supplement and the review. In order to help you choose only the best and most effective nootropic supplements, we decided to check Natrol Cognium for ourselves.
For starters, let’s begin with a quick summary so you can get a glimpse of what you can expect from it. To get the complete picture of Natrol Cognium, what we think of it, and if it is worth your money, read the detailed review below.
Natrol Cognium Summarized
- Potentially effective active ingredient
- Doesn’t contain a well-researched ingredient
- No other nootropics
- Lacks the data that shows it is entirely safe and with no negative side effects
Natrol Cognium is a brain supplement that claims to enhance your memory and focus. It contains only one ingredient – CERA-Q. It comes in the form of tablets and one bottle contains 60 tablets, enough for a one-month supply.
CERA-Q is a protein extracted from a silkworm thread. Allegedly, this protein is great for brain support and boosting mental functions. Although manufacturers claim that CERA-Q is the next big thing in the world of nootropics and that it is the #1 clinically researched ingredient among leading brain supplements, neither of it is true. Such a bold claim that ended up being a lie speaks for itself. This supplement is a red flag.
CERA-Q isn’t well researched and its benefits aren’t proved by legitimate studies. Therefore, its benefits are just promises. Although manufacturers claim that it doesn’t have any negative side effects, since it isn’t well researched, we can’t know for sure.
Due to all this, in our opinion, Natrol Cognium is not a good purchase. We are not claiming it is not effective, but there is not enough data that supports its benefits and safety. There are definitely more researched, more comprehensive, and more effective brain supplements you can find today.
About Natrol Cognium
|Claimed Benefits: Improved Memory, Brain Support|
|Ingredients: CERA-Q (Silk Protein Hydrolysate)|
|Available at: natrol.com, amazon.com|
Natrol Cognium comes in the form of tablets. One tablet contains 100 mg of Silk Protein Hydrolysate.
Recommended serving size is 2 tablets per day – one in the morning, and one in the evening. This makes a daily dose of Silk Protein Hydrolysate 200 mg per day. The most convenient way to take a Cognium tablet is with your morning and evening meals.
Natrol Cognium comes in a package of 60 tablets. This makes it enough for 30 days.
Ingredients – What’s Inside Natrol Cognium ?
As already stated, and as you can see from this ingredient list, Natrol Cognium contains only one ingredient – CERA-Q or Silk Protein Hydrolysate. So what exactly is this CERA-Q that manufacturers praise so much?
Well, CERA-Q is a protein found in the threads of silkworm cocoons. Manufacturers claim that its unique structure is great for brain support and enhancing memory. Allegedly, all this is strongly supported by clinical studies. But is that really the case?
It might sound so unreal and abstract at first – a “powerful substance” extracted from an insect that promises to enhance your cognitive functions. But what do the science and studies say about it? Can this protein from an insect really improve your memory and focus?
At the official site of Natrol Cognium, you can find some published clinical studies. They supposedly support the proclaimed benefit of this ingredient. However, what makes these studies’ credibility questionable is that most of these studies are old and outdated. The latest one is from 2010, which is over a decade ago, while the rest are from 2004 and 2005.
However, we managed to dig out a relatively recent research made by Kang et al. (2018). In this study, they evaluated the dose-dependent effects of Silk Protein Hydrolysate on memory. Three different doses of Silk Protein Hydrolysate were used and the research was done on healthy adults during the three-week period. More about this study we will cover below.
What makes the objectivity and unbiased nature of these studies questionable, including the latest one from 2018, is that they are all done only in Korea. This makes them one-sided since no third-party evaluations have been done.
We are not saying this to diminish the credibility of the Korean researchers, but to point out an important factor. In order for something to be accepted as scientific truth, its results have to be replicable by different studies. Which in this case didn’t happen. Otherwise, it’s easy to cherry-pick the studies that confirm your beliefs.
To make this point even stronger, until recently, this protein was commercially available only in the Republic of Korea. This makes the one-sidedness of these studies even more noteworthy.
Recently, CERA-Q also became available in the US. However, this ingredient hasn’t been yet evaluated by the FDA. The reason for this is that the FDA doesn’t strictly regulate herbs and dietary supplements. And since legitimate institutions didn’t evaluate the efficiency of CERA-Q yet, for now, there are a lot of question marks hanging around the effectiveness of this nootropic ingredient.
But let’s dig into the provided data and find out what the studies say about this ingredient.
What does the most recent research say about Silk Protein Hydrolysate?
The study from 2018 by Kang et al. recruited healthy adults with an average age of approximately 55 years. They divided participants into four groups – one group was a placebo group, while others used different doses of this potential nootropic ingredient.
Doses of 0mg (placebo group), 280mg, 400mg, and 600 mg were used during the three-week period. After three weeks, various tests were used to evaluate if any improvement in memory has been achieved. So what did the results show?
They confirmed the results of previous studies regarding the ability of Silk Protein Hydrolysate to enhance memory and learning ability. The biggest improvement in memory showed the daily dose of 600 mg. Also, this is the first time this dose has been used. Until then, only doses of 200-400 mg were used. The dose of 600 mg showed no adverse side effects.
Overall, the results of the study indicate that the best results are achieved when the dose of 400–600 mg daily is used.
So, does this study confirm that Silk Protein Hydrolysate is an effective nootropic substance? Not quite. It just shows that there is potential. But a lot more unbiased research needs to be done to confirm these claims.
Our Commentary on Natrol Cognium Ingredients
The main ingredient of Natrol Cognium is not a well-researched substance. So the manufacturer’s claim that CERA-Q is the most clinically studied ingredient for improving memory is nothing more than – a false claim.
However, although not many studies have been made, we cannot neglect the ones conducted. The available data shows that CERA-Q might be a promising nootropic ingredient with its positive effects on memory and focus. Still, that claim cannot be concluded from only a few studies made so far. A lot more research needs to be done.
So, what do we think of Natrol Cognium’s ingredients? In our opinion, if you decide to purchase this supplement, you are buying what is in colloquialisms known as a “pig in the poke”. You cannot be entirely sure what you are getting. There is just not enough data that support that taking this supplement will benefit you and your cognitive functions. The lack of data also means that you cannot be sure it is entirely safe either.
Even if the main ingredient of Natrol Cognium is an effective nootropic, the limited research suggests that the doses between 400-600 mg give the best results. The recommended daily serving size of Natrol Cognium contains a total of only 200 mg of the active ingredient. And this is far below the dose that showed the best results.
Not to mention, the most effective brain supplements almost never contain a single ingredient. For the best results, a more complex formula is needed. The leading nootropic supplements contain a mix of various proven ingredients such as L-Theanine, Phosphatidylserine, L-Tyrosine, Lion’s Mane, and others.
So Natrol Cognium fails in that regard. Not only it doesn’t contain a well-researched ingredient, but it doesn’t contain a well-balanced and effective formula either.
The user reviews of Natrol Cognium are pretty mixed. The overall rating is quite average. On Amazon, Natrol Cognium got 4,1/5.
The biggest complaint people have is that they haven’t felt any difference in their memory, labeling this product as a waste of money. Also, some users reported negative side effects such as headaches, throwing up, and diarrhea. On the other hand, some users are very happy with this supplement and claim it helped them with their memory and mental sharpness.
Who to believe, we are not entirely sure. User reviews are not the most reliable way to decide whether a product is legitimate because not all user reviews are honest. However, they can be a helpful tool.
Pricing & Other Things to Consider
On the official website, the package of 60 tablets of Natrol Cognium is sold for $32.99. This makes it a mid-range supplement in terms of the price.
If you are not happy with the product, the official site claims a money-back guarantee.
Natrol Cognium claims it is entirely safe and doesn’t cause any negative side effects. However, some users have reported some minor side effects such as nausea, headaches, and digestive problems.
Also, because of the lack of research that supports the safety of this supplement, we recommend caution. Check with your doctor if you aren’t sure whether this product is right for your or not. Our posts aren’t meant as advice!
Conclusion to Natrol Cognium Review
Natrol Cognium doesn’t have a lot of things that go in its favor.
First, it contains only one ingredient. And not even the one that has a lot of data supporting its benefits. It lacks any legitimate research. This not only means it might be ineffective but not entirely safe as well.
In our opinion, this is more than enough to conclude that you should probably stay away from Natrol Cognium. Until more research is done, we wouldn’t recommend this supplement. There are far better options on the market that contain well-researched ingredients, that are not only proven to be effective, but safe as well.
Kang YK, Lee BY, Bucci LR, Stohs SJ. Effect of a Fibroin Enzymatic Hydrolysate on Memory Improvement: A Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Study. Nutrients. 2018;10(2):233. Published 2018 Feb 17. doi:10.3390/nu10020233