Cognium Review

James Dixon (our nootropics and nutrition expert) examines just how effective this memory enhancing nootropic is in our Cognium review. Read on to find out if it’s a good fit for your supplementation regime…

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Written by James Dixon – fact checked by Jason M & the editorial team

James Dixon is one of the key players in the SOMA Analytics’ team. He is a personal trainer and is educated to Masters level in Philosophy. He is a published author and is a keen advocate of high quality nootropic supplements.

This article complies with the SOMA Analytics editorial policy. Full details of which can be found here

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We all get stretched thin from time to time, sometimes more often than others. Our cognitive processes are often pushed to excess with the amount that is asked of us, the amount of stimulation we go through, and the amount we want to get done in any given day increases all the time. This is modern life.

We also all go through periods of heightened cognitive demand – important work events, exams, and so on. And through periods of heightened stress – raising children, moving house, etc – this really can push us to our limits.

But what if there was a way to make all of this more manageable? What if you could take a supplement proven to improve your cognitive faculties, your memory, attention, creativity, and so on, whilst also warding off mental fatigue and ring-fencing your long term brain health?

This is what nootropics are for. These ‘smart drugs’ are designed to supercharge your brain either long term or in shorter bursts. There are some fantastic nootropics available on today’s market, some real, bona fide gems.

Today I want to talk to you about a smart drug called Cognium. It’s far from a favorite of mine, but it comes well-recommended from a decent enough company. So, let’s give it fair crack of the whip as I look to give it an impartial assessment in this Cognium review.

NooCube bottle

Cognium – Quick Verdict

Cognium has just one active ingredient and has quite a narrow remit when it comes to what it actually achieves.

We prefer NooCube that offers the same cognitive benefits of Cognium but with a lot more besides. All while retaining an all-natural ingredient profile and stimulant free approach.

Cognium – What Is It?

cognium box

Cognium is a bit of a garden variety nootropic. It should do everything mentioned above – it should improve your cognitive function and brain health.

Cognium is made by a company called Natrol, a big hitter in the natural nootropic sphere. They are based in Chatsworth, California, and were founded in 1980 by Elliott Balbert as a cosmetics company. However, they soon saw the need to expand into the world of health supplements. They quickly evolved, changing into a brand focused on health, churning out vitamin and mineral based supplements.

They have a global reach, these days, with shops in sixty different countries.

And they have built up quite an extensive range of different nootropics and other products focused on brain health and function. These include their Memory Complex, Brain Memory Speed, and DHA Brain Health, as well as ginkgo biloba and lecithin.

Natrol make some big claims with Cogium, with a fair amount of evidence backing it all up. Though I’ll get into detail a little later on, it’s worth briefly taking a look at these claims.

According to Natrol, Cognium can give you several cognitive benefits in as little as four weeks. These include enhanced memory and recall speed, improved memory retention, and improved brain health, as it helps to protect brain cells from oxidative stress.

That’s quite a list. There’s no arguing that a supplement able to do all of this would be well worth investing in. However, it’s worth giving Cognium a bit of scrutiny before getting too excited. A closer examination reveals that it only has one unique ingredient. This is CERA-Q, which Natrol claim is the ultimate nootropic available today for boosting memory and recall.

This may be fantastic – simple, potent supplements are always worth taking seriously. Or it could be disappointing – in a market flooding with high-quality complexes, this might well represent a bit of a let-down. We’ll dig deeper…

Cognium Benefits

There are a few benefits to be gained from taking Cognium, as we have seen. In short, it should improve your memory.

It does this by preserving and boosting your overall cognitive functions, slowing down the effects of the aging process within the brain, including neuron degeneration through oxidative stress, improving circulation to your nervous system, meaning more nutrients and oxygen to power your brain, and acting as an adaptogen against stress, thus further protecting your brain.

This seems pretty good. It’s a list of good things. If it can deliver on these, Cognium may well be a good bet.

However, I’ve seen better lists of intended impact when it comes to nootropics. Much better in fact. It protects against aging and gives your memory a boost. All nootropics do this to a certain extent. Many, many go a lot further.

cognium benefits

For example, my favorite nootropic is NooCube (though Mind Lab Pro is also a very good product). NooCube does everything that Cognium does. It slows down the aging process, protects your brain against stress, improves your brain’s circulation, and enhances your memory. In addition, it gives you a mood boost, aids focus and concentration, improves your ability to multitask, bringing about much greater energy and clarity, and improves your communication abilities.

It also includes Alpha GPC, a well-known compound which accounts for NooCube’s ability to protect against cognitive decline, and Bacopa Monnieri, which is perfect for anxiety relief and warding off the effects of stress. These are two of the best nootropic compounds going – anything wanting to be a big player in this market should think twice about overlooking them – and perhaps this is where Cognium falls down.

That beings said, let’s take a closer look…

Cognium – The Ingredients

Cognium does have some significant benefits over many nootropics. Namely, it is 100% safe and completely free from stimulants. This may be good news for those sensitive to stimulants who nevertheless want a bit of a cognitive boost.

Cognium has plenty of ingredients, all of which are well-tested and good quality. It includes dicalcium phosphate, maltodextryl, microcrystalline cellulose, silicon dioxide, glyceryl monostearate, magnesium stearate, croscarmellose sodium, methylcellulose, stearic acid, and glycerin.

However, these are all non-active ingredients. They will be doing very little, if nothing for you.

As above, Cognium has only one active ingredient – Cera-Q.

Cera-Q powder, or Brain Factor 7, is a protein. Natrol extract it from the cocoons of silkworms, of all places. It has a long history of use in various forms of traditional treatments, most notably in Korean medicine. Cera-Q comes with a few health benefits attached to it.

It is a good antioxidant; hence it helps to fight oxidative stress and the effects of aging in your brain. It is also meant to be a good remedy for symptoms of anxiety and stress. This makes sense – antioxidants are generally very good in this regard.

cognium side of box

Cera-Q has also been shown to help prevent plaque formation on human neurons. This lends them longevity and greater efficiency over time – your brain will function better for longer. There is a strong body of evidence for this. 400-600 mg per day can elicit results in as few as three weeks.

I think this is a slightly weak effort. If you’re going to sell Cera-Q, fair enough. But if it’s the only ingredient in a compound, call the product Cera-Q. Don’t dress it up as a more complex nootropic, and don’t charge complex nootropic money for it.

Cera-Q is a decent ingredient to go it alone, but I can’t help thinking that it shouldn’t have to – when more well-rounded supplements like NooCube seem to me to be a far more sensible choice, with a far more sensible methodology underpinning them.

Pros and Cons

Cognium Pros

  • May improve brain health and activity
  • May support improved memory
  • Available across 60 countries with a money-back guarantee

Cognium Cons

  • Contains a single ingredient
  • Most of the supplement is useless filler
  • Research could be stronger
  • Refunds only available within the US
  • Overpriced for its simplicity

Taking Cognium

Cognium isn’t the easiest nootropic to take, but it’s still pretty straightforward. Natrol themselves suggest you take two tablets per day. This should ideally be with a meal. Aim for one tablet in the morning and one in the evening.

As we have seen, Cognium has only Cera-Q as an active ingredient. It’s a new discovery in its current form, and certainly the scientific investigation into it is in its infancy. A lot more data is needed before we can see exactly how it acts in the body and reacts with other supplements or medicines.

Cera-Q is only 60% of Cognium’s total mass. The other 40% is filler, which should present no downsides (other than being kind of useless).

Partly as a result of all of this, side effects to Cognium aren’t severe, but a lot is left to be determined. The common side effects we can see attached to it include headaches, dizziness, excitability, nausea, vomiting, and interruptions to your sleep cycle.

These are all mild. However, if you’re unsure about including Cognium in your supplement regime, talk to your healthcare provider. Your doctor will be able to advise you on safety, especially if you are on medication or suffer from a pre-existing medical concern.


What are Cognium’s side effects?

Cognium has very few, very minor proven side effects. These include headaches and dizziness, as well as nausea often accompanied by vomiting. It can also interrupt your sleep cycle, especially in the early days as your body adapts. These side effects should all be very short lived, however.

Does Cognium help memory?

Cognium’s main benefit is to your memory. Where other nootropics focus on several different pathways to brain health and cognitive function, using various ingredients, Cognium relies on one ingredient, Cera-Q, to primarily affect your memory and recall. It does this very well, however. Various clinical studies have shown it may have possible benefits in as little as three to four weeks.

What is Cognium good for?

Cognium is mainly good for improving your memory. However, it may also be good for treating symptoms of stress and anxiety, and its antioxidant properties will help to maintain long term brain health. Other nootropics will focus on additional areas to these, such as improvements to mood, focus, and energy. However, Cognium maintains a very slim remit.

What is the active ingredient in Cognium?

There is only one active ingredient in Cognium. This is Cera-Q, or Brain Factor 7. It’s a protein sourced from silkworm cocoons that has a long history of use in traditional Korean medicine. More recent applications cite its use in boosting memory and recall, a claim which tentative data from multiple clinical sources seems to support.


Cognium seems like a strong choice if you want to improve your memory and maintain longer term brain health, using its antioxidant properties to fight off the effects of aging and age-related oxidative stress. Cera-Q is a very promising ingredient in this regard.

Or, rather, Cognium would seem like a strong choice, if the nootropic market wasn’t already saturated. You really are spoilt for choice in the modern smart drug sphere, with half a dozen or more top contenders all proven to change your life for the better.

With this much choice, it seems a little foolish to limit yourself to one ingredient and a load of filler. Most other nootropics I can think of off the top of my head manipulate and improve multiple cognitive processes and neurological pathways. They protect your longer term health far more ably than by simply being a good antioxidant.

I’ve mentioned a couple. Mind Lab Pro is always a good shout. So too is Alpha Brain. Both of these represent arguably far more formidable, more usable options. They are more complex, far better designed, and offer a far broader range of benefits than Cognium.

However, if it was my money, I would go with NooCube. In fact, I do spend my own money on NooCube. It’s one of my favorite supplements. The mental clarity, focus, and energy it offers is unparalleled. The stress reducing effects are strong, too, warding off the symptoms of anxiety very nicely. The scientific backing is superb – I can think of few supplements outside of whey protein and creatine with a stronger body of evidence to support it.

And it boosts your memory and helps to maintain your cognitive health right up into old age.

In short, it does everything that Cognium does, arguably better (and definitely at least as well), plus an awful lot more. It’s the smart choice for a smart drug.

NooCube bottle

Cognium – Our Preferred Alternative

Cognium is a solid contender when it comes to improving memory for the long term. But it’s remit is too narrow to be considered a truly great nootropic.

We prefer NooCube that offers the same cognitive benefits of Cognium but with a lot more besides. All while retaining an all-natural ingredient profile and stimulant free approach.

James writer image

This article was written by: James Dixon – SOMA Analytics PT, Nutritionalist & Published Author

James Dixon is one of the key players in the SOMA Analytics’ team. He is a personal trainer and is educated to Masters level. He is a published author and is a keen advocate of high quality nootropic supplements. James enjoys helping others to reach their peak both physically and mentally and believes that expressing his knowledge through his writing is an effective way to positively impact the wellbeing of others on a larger scale.