This is our review of Prevagen, one of the most popular over-the-counter (OTC) brain supplements on the market. Since it launched, Prevagen has been one of the hottest topics in the nootropic supplement industry – claiming it improves your memory and cognitive function.
TV ads, strong marketing claims, and even legal cases against Prevagen’s manufacturers are just some of the things that you may or may not be familiar with. This is where this Prevagen review comes in. Starting with a quick summary, we will share everything you need to know about Prevagen – including whether it really works for memory or not, how to use it, what other benefits you can, is it safe, and a lot more.
- Contains a light dose of vitamin D which is beneficial for general health
- Appears safe for daily use – reports of major side effects are extremely rare
- Contains only 2 ingredients – vitamin D and Apoaequorin
- Vitamin D has no noticeable effects on memory or cognition
- Apoaequorin hasn’t been proven by reliable studies to improve memory, or do anything at all
SUMMARY: Does Prevagen actually work? Is it a good brain supplement? We don’t believe it is. Although the highly convincing Prevagen ads might lead you to think otherwise, Prevagen doesn’t really work for memory loss or anything else brain-related. It contains a low dose of vitamin D which, at best, will help you if you’re deficient in the nutrient, but certainly won’t cause a profound change in how you think, feel, or remember information. The other ingredient in Prevagen, Apoaequorin, we’ve never seen in a brain supplement before. There is only has 1 human study that has investigated Aepoaequorin’s effects on memory, and it was funded by Prevagen’s manufacturers. It isn’t clear whether Apoeaquorin has any benefits for humans at all – even if it did, it is only one ingredient. There is a lot missing from Prevagen for us to be able to rate it as an effective option. For $35.95 that it costs, there are better and more comprehensive brain supplements available today.
|Claimed Benefits: Improves Memory, Enhances Mental Clarity, Promotes Healthy Brain Function|
|Ingredients: Vitamin D, Apoaequorin|
|Manufacturer: Quincy Bioscience|
|Available at: Amazon, Prevagen.com, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Vitamin Shoppe|
|Price: $39.95 (regular strength, 30 caps)|
Prevagen is a memory and brain supplement from the Wisconsin-based company Quincy Bioscience. Since it’s inception, Prevagen has been featured in TV ads and all over the internet. It comes with a serving of 1 capsule per day, which means the bottle will last you a full month.
The brand of Prevagen is claimed to specifically help you with:
- Mild memory loss linked to aging
- Memory function & information recall
For legal reasons, the manufacturer doesn’t list any other benefits (more on that below). In the following sections, we’ll be looking closer at this age-old brain supplement to see if it’s really safe and effective.
Many have said that Prevagen may even be able to help with other areas of cognitive function and reduce the likelihood of a decline as you age.
A lot of praise indeed – and one of the reasons why this nootropic is under such scrutiny with a number of legal cases associated with it.
Does Prevagen really work for brain function and memory? What results can you expect? How long does it take for Prevagen to start working?
Just some of the questions we’ll be answering in detail below.
Prevagen’s dosage instructions are to take 1 capsule in the morning, with or without food. This is claimed by the manufacturer to be the best way of getting Prevagen to support healthy memory function and overall brain health.
How Long Does it Take for Prevagen to Work?
The maker of Prevagen recommends that you take it for at least 3 months for you to make any conclusions about this nootropic. It may take up to 90 days before you notice any effects from taking Prevagen. That said, we would be surprised to see that you get much benefit from Prevagen no matter how long you use it.
Ingredients – What’s Inside Prevagen?
The ingredients in Prevagen are:
- Vitamin D3 (50mcg)
- Apoaequorin (10mg)
As shown on the label:
While most supplements use a number of proven nootropics to create a comprehensive brain formula, Prevagen only contains 2 ingredients – vitamin D and Apoaequorin. This means that an awful lot of claims regarding Prevagen depend on just these two ingredients.
Vitamin D is a nutrient that has never been used as an effective memory or cognitive enhancer. While excellent for general health, you’re unlikely to see noticeable brain benefits from vitamin D alone.
We’ll talk about this more below, but another ingredient that stood out to us is Apoaequorin. This is the main ingredient of Prevagen, but we have never seen it being used in other brain supplements.
On a positive note, Prevagen has no caffeine in it. Prevagen is completely stimulant-free and doesn’t cause caffeine-associated jitters or insomnia.
Below, we’ll break down Prevagen’s ingredients to see just how effective they are for your brain and what you can expect from these nutrients in terms of memory and cognitive support.
Vitamin D is an excellent supportive ingredient in Prevagen. Due to its wide range of health benefits – including physical performance, mood, and muscle recovery – the sunshine vitamin, as it’s called, is a good addition to almost any supplement. But is it an effective memory or cognitive enhancer?
Not quite. Vitamin D helps with areas such as hormones, and even with reducing the chance of deficiencies that you could be facing as most people don’t get enough vitamin D3 through foods or sunlight.
So the main “player” of Prevagen is going to be another key ingredient in this brain supplement – Apoaequorin.
Apoaequorin is the leading active ingredient in Prevagen, the manufacturer Quincy Bioscience believes in this particular nutrient so strongly they’ve even made a patent for it. Below, you’ll find out all the specifics and controversies linked to this ingredient.
Apoaequorin is the ingredient that Prevagen relies on. What is Apoaequorin, you ask? It’s a protein found in certain species of glowing jellyfish that can bind to calcium. It’s also known as photoprotein.
It certainly sounds intriguing at first glance, but is there any scientific evidence that this Apoaequorin protein promotes cognition in any way.
At the moment, there’s one study available that shows the effectiveness of Apoaequorin as a supplement for brain health – and it was funded by Prevagen’s manufacturers themselves.
In the study, participants were split into 2 groups, one taking a placebo pill, and another taking Apoaequorin over the course of 3 months and took a range of cognitive tests.
Some people from the Apoaequorin group saw increased memory scores and in other cases, the scores seem to drop. The results from this memory supplement varied quite significantly.
The researchers went on to admit that Prevagen’s main ingredient, Apoaequorin, led to “no statistically significant results over the entire study population.”
It doesn’t look amazing for the overall results of Apoaequorin.
This study has also stirred numerous controversies for Quincy Bioscience: the makers of Prevagen, leading to lawsuits from New York’s Federal Trade Comission.
After being subject to a number of cour cases, Quincy Bioscience narrowly escaped penalty due to false claims and overturns in some states.
Even though the sponsored Prevagen study shows Apoaequorin doesn’t have statistically significant benefits, this has been buried in the paper, with the emphasis being that it can help with memory function and brain health.
There’s still a large class-action lawsuit undergoing against Quincy Bioscience over all of its controversial claims. If the parties reach a settlement, Quincy Bioscience may need to refund up to 30% of the initial Prevagen’s price to customers.
This is not something you want to read about a nootropic supplement company you want to buy from. From the moment the Federal Trade Commission got involved over Prevagen’s claims to improve memory – the result was never going to be positive.
Our Commentary on Prevagen’s Ingredients
Do we think Prevagen is a legit supplement? We don’t think it is! There are a lot of issues with Prevagen that make it a questionable nootropic at best. Prevagen is surrounded by so much controversy for a reason. Given that it claims so firmly to help with memory and mental decline, some people have been led into beliving Prevagen helps with demendia, Alzheimer’s Disease, memory loss and other conditions.
It doesn’t. It’s vitamin D3 and jellyfish protein. With comprehensive studies behind Apoaequorin – Prevagen may not give you much more than the mere placebo effect.
For now, given the number of cases stacking up against Prevagen, we think it’s best to steer clear from companies such as Quincy Bioscience at the moment.
Prevagen User Reviews & Consumer Reports
What do Prevagen reviews & testimonials tell us about the brain supplement? There are countless Prevagen consumer reports on Amazon, WebMD, Mayo Clinic, and even Reddit, so there is plenty to sort through. It can be hard and confusing to tell the legitimate ones from paid ads. That said, our team has scoured through most Prevagen reviews – here are a few that stood out to us:
“My first month cost $39.99 but when I got ready to reorder. They had gone up to $59.99. Too expensive.” – Amazon Customer
“Been taking almost 3 months and so far haven’t noticed a change. But time will tell. So don’t know if I’m in a position to recommend it.” – Walmart Customer
“I participated in a clinical trial for this product. it lasted 6 months. what I had were vivid dreams. no clearer mind, no better memory. at the end of the study I was asked by the company if I wanted to purchase the product at a reduced cost. the reduction amounted to $5.00 less than priced online. no thank you. it wasn’t that good.” – ConsumerLab.com User
“This item is touted to be helpful for the memory. I do feel that it is helpful, although I have as yet not found any significant scientific studies that indicate that it is effective I have been using it for three years now.and I plan on continuing to do so because it seems to work for me.” – Amazon Customer
Pricing & Other Things to Consider
Depending on where you buy it, Prevagen’s price can vary. On the official website, Prevagen costs $39.95 per bottle of 30 capsules.
There are also different versions of Prevagen available online, including Prevagen Extra Strength, Prevagen Professional Strength, and Prevagen Chewables. The chewable version of Prevagen comes in two different flavors: orange and mixed berry flavor, with both containing 10mg of the active ingredient Apoaequorin, which is the same as the Prevagen Regular Strength Capsules.
If buying the Prevagen Extra Strength Version, which has 20mg of Apoaequorin per capsule, you will be paying $59.95 for a bottle of 30 capsules. On the other hand, Prevagen Professional Strength contains 40mg of Apoaequorin and costs $89.95 per bottle of 30 servings.
Prevagen is available at Amazon, Prevagen.com, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Vitamin Shoppe. It is not currently available at Costco.
Do Pharmacists Really Recommend Prevagen?
It’s unlikely pharmacists recommend Prevagen. Prevagen is a supplement that isn’t backed by the FDA and is undergoing a class-action lawsuit.
We weren’t able to find any pharmacists who recommend this brain supplement. We’d be surprised if there were any that were backing Prevagen given the legal issues the company behind it is involved in.
You may have seen Prevagen as #1 PharmacyTimes who recommend this brain supplement. But you should be aware that this post is sponsored by Prevagen’s manufacturers, Quincy Bioscience.
With all of Prevagen’s downsides, side effects aren’t one of them. We believe this nootropic supplement is safe for you to take daily. It contains a light dose of vitamin D3 and jellyfish protein, neither of which are likely to have a noticeable effect.
However, the main issue we would address is that the studies showing Apoaequorin as safe are from the researchers who were funded by Quincy Bioscience to do the study. We may not be able to entirely trust the claims of these researchers due to their bias.
They’re already in the court about fake memory claims, could it be the same for causing side effects? That’s a question that we’ll continue to watch and update as the proceedings against Prevagen’s makers go on.
With that said, we find it unlikely that this brain supplement will cause you any side effects. Despite this, you should still remember, our report doesn’t constitute medical advice of any sort. If you’re in doubt, always get medical advice from your doctor or a qualified medical professional before trying Prevagen.
Prevagen vs Neuriva: Which is the Better Option?
Prevagen and Neuriva are both popular brain supplements, but which is better? Prevagen, made by Quincy Bioscience, is primarily claimed to improve memory, thanks to 2 of its active ingredients – vitamin D and Apoaequorin. Vitamin D is a basic nutrient that, at doses as low as in Prevagen, is unlikely to have any noticeable effects on your memory or cognitive function. As for Prevagen, it’s a photoprotein extracted from jellyfish. This makes Prevagen unsuitable for vegetarians.
Not only that, but the effectiveness of Apoaequorin is questionable at best. The reason is that there’s only 1 human study on Apoaequorin and its effects on memory, and that study was sponsored by the makers of this brain supplement (Quincy Bioscience).
Prevagen is a formula that lacks many proven ingredients for brain function, so it’s highly unlikely you will be getting any concrete benefits from it.
Compared to Prevagen, Neuriva is a slightly better brain supplement – but it’s still far from the best. Neuriva is cheaper to start with. It contains 3 active ingredients – Phosphatidylserine, Coffee Fruit Extract, and B vitamins.
Phosphatidylserine is an excellent brain health compound. Taken long-term, it can support brain development and plasticity. But Phosphatidylserine doesn’t really cause any significant effects in the short-term, such as a boost in focus, memory, or a reduction in brain fog.
The rest of the ingredients in Neuriva – B vitamins and Coffee Fruit extract – are unlikely to cause any noticeable effects at all. All of the B vitamins are already plentiful in our diet (with the exception of vegans), and Coffee Fruit Extract is a compound we rarely see included in a brain supplement.
This is due to the fact that Coffee Fruit Extract can be anything – fiber, water, caffeine, nutrients, anything can be extracted from the Coffee Fruit. Neuriva’s manufacturer, Schiff Vitamins, doesn’t tell us what is extracted. They instead point to a study that shows Coffee Fruit Extract can boost Nerve Growth Factors in the brain, which in turn leads to improved cognitive functions. However, the study Schiff Vitamins draw on used Whole Coffee Fruit Concentrate, not an extract.
In other words, there is just 1 ingredient in Neuriva that is good for your brain – Phosphatidylserine. But this ingredient alone is not enough to produce anything significant.
The bottom line on Prevagen vs Neuriva:
Ultimately, we’d recommend checking other brain supplements that use ingredients proven to help with memory, focus, and other cognitive functions. Neuriva and Prevagen are definitely not as good as what’s available out there today, especially considering their steep prices.
Prevagen Regular Strength vs Extra Strength vs Professional Strength – Is There Any Difference?
As we’ve said, Prevagen is available in different versions, including the “Regular Strength,” “Extra Strength,” and “Professional Strength” amongst others. The only difference between these versions is the dosage of Apoaequorin – the main active ingredient of Prevagen.
The Regular Strength version has 10mg of Apoaequorin, whereas Prevagen Extra Strength contains 20mg of the active compound. Prevagen Professional Strength, on the other hand, contains the higher dose of Apoaequorin of all Prevagen versions – 40mg per serving.
However, the higher dosage of Apoaequorin is unlikely to lead to more significant brain benefits. Why? Because Apoaequorin is unlikely to have any benefits in the first place! There’s just one study on it, and even that study didn’t show concrete results for memory or other cognitive functions. And the study was funded by Prevagen’s makers, so any credibility goes out of the water.
As a result, we don’t recommend either Prevagen version. It’s best to find more comprehensive, better-researched brain supplements – because there are plenty available on the market right now.
Conclusion to Prevagen Review – Does it Really Help Your Memory?
All things considered, Prevagen doesn’t have many good selling points aside from the fact that it has been heavily pushed in TV ads.
The ingredient profile consists of vitamin D3 and jellyfish protein – a stack that we’ve never seen in a nootropic supplement before. The ingredient in Prevagen has been propped up by studies funded by the company themselves, and something that has reportedly got them into legal trouble.
In our opinion, Prevagen is not the best brain supplement for memory, with so many quality options out there. Just because Prevagen has the most ads in the nootropic supplement industry, doesn’t mean it’s the most effective option for you.
We will continue to watch and report on proceedings of the cases against Prevagen’s manufacturers with a high interest – come back here anytime to get all the latest info.