Prevagen Reviews Are Highly Variable – Does Prevagen Really Work?

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A Photo of a Prevagen Box

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?

An image of a person standing in front of a question mark.

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. Does Prevagen really work - A diagram of a biochemical pathway.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 BenefitsAn image of the human brain.

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).

An image of a strand of DNA forming a human figure.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 -A photo of an elderly couple.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.

Final ThoughtsImage of a brain inside a lightbulb.

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 ThinkSculpture of "The Thinker"

Please leave a comment below if you enjoyed this review, have any questions about this product, or want to leave your own personal review.


Prevagen Regular-Strength


Product Functionality




Overall Quality



  • Madison Memory Study
  • Pharmacist Recommended
  • Comes In Three Strengths


  • Possible False Ad Claims
  • Unclear Dosing Guidance
  • May Have A Placebo Effect

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10 thoughts on “Prevagen Reviews Are Highly Variable – Does Prevagen Really Work?”

  1. Great article about Prevagen! It’s helpful to have all the facts in one place to make a good decision. I’ve heard some herbs like Bacopa and Rosemary can also help with memory.

    Are there any side effects of Prevagen?

    • Hi Alyse,

      Thank You for your comments.

      There are many herbs that can help with memory loss. In addition to Bacopa & Rosemary, Gingko Biloba is another good choice.

      The makers of Prevagen claim that their product has an extremely low side effect profile. Headache and nausea have been reported in some consumer reviews.


  2. Thank you so much for this excellent review, Frank! I am very familiar with Prevagen, as three of my uncles currently use it to help with their memory loss/cognitive impairments. All three of them praise the product, saying that their memory has increased by 60-70%, they’re much sharper, they’re better with math and numerical problems, and they’re more energetic during the day. The research and overwhelmingly positive reviews definitely increase Prevagen’s credibility in my eyes. I have saved your site and will definitely share it with my friends and family. Great read! God bless you!

    • Hi C.N.,

      Thanks for your excellent comments!

      Prevagen is one of the dietary supplements that have a fair amount of manufacturer-funded research. In addition, its active ingredient has been well-studied by independent researchers for many years. I’m really glad that your three uncles are getting a positive response from taking it.

      Thank You for sharing my article with others that may be able to benefit from it.


  3. Hi Frank,

    I am astounded that a protein that was discovered in a jellyfish can be used to prevent memory loss. Prevagen sounds like a great product, and from the Amazon testimonial and the facts you presented it looks like a product that works. Perhaps, the people who claim it doesn’t work are customers who – as you stated – stopped using it before the first 90 days were over. Even if it is not FDA approved, the creators have done a lot of research and seem very confident about their product.

    • Hi Christine,

      I really appreciate your comments!

      There are many positive testimonials from users that have noticed some degree of improvement while taking Prevagen. It’s not a supplement that seems to benefit everyone but it’s something that might be worth a try. It’s difficult to treat memory loss, even with prescription medications, so even a small improvement on Prevagen would be considered a good response.


  4. Hi, thank you for this informative review. I always like to do my research before investing in a new product and I am particularly cautious when it comes to supplements. I have not heard of Apoaequorin before. Can you tell me a little bit more about it? how long has it been on the market? Have any side effects been discovered?

    • Hi Catherine,

      Thank You for your comments!

      Prevagen has been on the market since its release in 2007. It has been used by over 1 million people over the age of 40 with mild memory loss and cognitive dysfunction. It has a fairly low side effect profile, with headache and nausea being among those most commonly noted symptoms. These symptoms often disappear after a short time on Prevagen or will resolve quickly after stopping the supplement.


  5. After reading your thorough and transparent review on Prevagen, I found this supplement worth a buy. After all, its natural with minimal side effects. Memory loss seems to be the real issue among young and old these days. Thank you for the recommendation.

    Kindest Regards

    • Hi Habib,

      I appreciate your comments!

      Memory loss with a cognitive disorder can be a very difficult thing to deal with, from the point of view of both the person affected as well as family and friends. Hopefully, there will be some significant scientific advances in the treatment of this problem in the coming years.



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