Overview – Prevagen (apoaequorin) is a dietary supplement patented and manufactured by Quincy Bioscience in Madison, Wisconson, USA. Apoaequorin, the active ingredient of Prevagen, is a protein that was originally discovered in jellyfish. It has been used in research labs for its ability to bind calcium, which makes it useful to study its effects on human brain cell function. Quincy Bioscience’s product is based on the idea that the key to preventing age-related memory decline is to control calcium regulation in brain cells, and this is backed by their computer-based, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study. Despite all the positive Prevagen reviews, does Prevagen really work?
- Product: Prevagen (apoaequorin)
- Biggest Selling Point: Slows mild memory loss and improves cognitive function
- Warranty: None
- Pros: Many testimonials from users that claim it has slowed their memory loss and allowed them to think clearer.
- Cons: No published studies show a significant improvement in memory compared to prescription memory aids.
- My Overall Rating: 7.7/10
Who Is Prevagen For?
Prevagen is marketed for people with mild memory loss and cognitive dysfunction. According to the maker, Prevagen is helpful for improving “certain aspects of cognitive function” in people that are over 40 years old who take the regular (10 mg) dose once daily for 90 days. There are two higher strength dosing regimens (extra strength & professional formula) available for consumers who have not had a noticeable improvement in their cognitive performance after three months.
This premise of how Prevagen works is discussed and tested in their computer-based, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial called the Madison Memory Study. This study used computer-based testing to look at various aspects of cognitive function like verbal & visual learning, as well as executive & psychomotor function. It demonstrated improved aspects of cognitive function in “older participants” with a normal cognitive-aging decline or a very mild memory impairment.
How It Works
The makers of Prevagen claim that it works as a memory aid by supporting neuronal (nerve) cells. Some researchers believe that the active ingredient of Prevagen (apoaequorin) may help cognitive function by acting in a manner similar to the calcium-binding proteins in the brain. This process may result in the regulation of calcium and brain cell metabolism to reduce the age-related decline of cognitive function.
Apoaequorin has been well-studied over the years as a calcium-binding agent in vitro (cell culture) and in laboratory animals. There is a wide variety of published studies available to validate these studies.
For more information about memory loss see Improve Memory Loss – Supercharge Your Mind! and Vitamins Help Memory Loss – Think About What You’re Missing!
Here is a YouTube video from the makers of Prevagen that provides a basic overview of the product:
Features And Benefits
Pharmacist Recommended – The makers of Prevagen claim that it is the number one pharmacist recommended dietary supplement, according to a survey done by Pharmacy Times. Of all pharmacists surveyed, 72% chose Prevagen as the leading brand of non-prescription memory support. The survey found that over 550,000 pharmacists/month make recommendations for these types of dietary supplements.
Comes In Three different Strengths – Prevagen is available in regular (10 mg), extra strength (20 mg), and professional formula (40 mg) per capsule doses. This gives you the option to customize the dose that works best for you. They are all taken once a day in the morning. It is important to start at the lowest strength and not skip doses.
Available Without A Prescription – Prevagen is one of many products of its type available over the counter without a prescription as a dietary supplement. It is widely available in drug stores and on-line. In fact, the maker claims it is available at over 50,000 stores across the country. I had no trouble locating each of the three-dose strengths at the majority of my local retailers.
It Saves Money – Prevagen saves money compared to the manufacturer list cost of prescription medications marketed for the treatment of dementia, which can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year without medical prescription coverage. Prevagen may be an allowable expense deduction in some Health Savings Accounts (HSA) or Flexible Saving Accounts (FSA).
What I Like About Prevagen
Prevagen is one of the most popular dietary supplements sold in the united states for the treatment of mild memory loss. Since it’s release in 2007 over one million people have tried it. Users of Prevagen commonly reported that it is generally well tolerated with a low overall incidence of side effects. Prevagen is supposed to work together (synergistically) with other vitamins and minerals that enhance memory function.
There are many testimonials from users that claim this product has slowed the progression of their symptoms and even lead to an improvement in many areas of cognitive function. They often describe an increase in “overall sharpness”, short & long term memory recall, and problem-solving ability. Many of these people that have no financial or academic ties with Quincy Bioscience.
Here is a typical video testimonial from one user of regular-strength Prevagen.
Does Prevagen Really Work?
Prevagen is classified as a dietary supplement. One potential shortcoming of dietary supplements is that they are not strictly regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for approval of their research and development (R & D) or quality control standards. This is in contrast to prescription drugs, which are strictly regulated by the FDA for things like pharmacologic performance, ingredient purity, side effects, and safety.
At this time there are no independently published research studies to substantiate that Prevagen is effective at improving mild memory loss in any segment of the human population. There have been accusations that Quincy Bioscience made advertising claims that may have been fraudulent. These claims were based on data from their memory study and three additional safety studies. These studies indicated that Prevagen led to a significant improvement in memory and had no safety issues, even if consumed at very high doses (up to 16,000 times the recommended daily dose of their regular strength product).
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a false advertising claim against Quincy Bioscience in 2017. There have also been class action suits, with one settlement in 2020. Since then, the labeling on Prevagen packaging has undergone revision to update its claims pertaining to improvement in age-related memory loss.
Although Prevagen comes in three different dosage forms there is no clear guidance from Quincy Bioscience on how to select an initial starting dose and what specific criteria to use in making dose adjustments. Their vague consumer recommendations can make Prevagen difficult to use and to evaluate its overall effectiveness.
Prevagen has also come into a dispute as being a dietary supplement that simply provides a “placebo effect”. In other words, Prevagen simply makes people believe that it is improving their memory when it is just having the same psychological effect as taking a sugar pill. Negatively-based testimonials frequently cite the placebo theory.
Quincy Bioscience states that their clinical trial was “placebo-controlled” to eliminate any possibility of a placebo effect as the mechanism of action of Prevagen. Opponents to the placebo theory, including Quincy Bioscience, claim that it takes a minimum of 90 days before Prevagen can provide a scientifically measurable benefit. It is possible that many people stop using Prevagen before the 90 day period due to purchase cost or lack of immediate improvement in memory.
Prevagen is one of the most popular dietary supplements for memory improvement that is currently available. Although it’s effectiveness has come under scrutiny, it is difficult to compare it to other dietary supplements for memory loss because none of them were subjected to the FDA’s clinical approval process. One thing to consider is that Prevagen has more manufacturer-based research than many other over-the-counter memory loss products. As with any dietary supplement, please check with your health care provider before taking Prevagen.
If you would like to try a dietary supplement to improve your memory then the number one product I recommend is Prevagen. Begin with the regular (10 mg) strength and give it at least three months before increasing it to the extra-strength (20 mg) dose.
Tell Us What You Think
Please leave a comment below if you enjoyed this review, have any questions about this product, or want to leave your own personal review.