Prevagen Review

Alex Whybrow brings us his Prevagen review after a 30 day testing phase with someone in their mid-50’s. Find out just how effective it is at combating memory loss below…

Pravagen header image

Prevagen is a little bit different to most of the nootropic supplements that we review here at SOMA. Most of the products that we look at are aimed at students and young professionals – so many of the companies that make nootropics also make performance enhancing products to improve your physical condition as well as your mental condition. A quick look on the Prevagen homepage and you’ll see that this is a product aimed at an older customer.

With this in mind, it is no surprise that this is a product targeted at memory loss – a huge area of concern for the older generations given the surge in cases of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia over the last couple of decades.

While our bodies are lasting longer, our minds need to be able to catch up – and that’s where Prevagen makes claims to be effective.

In this Prevagen review, we are going to be taking an in depth look at Prevagen – the range of products available, the proposed benefits, the ingredients and what it was like when we tried Prevagen, before delivering our verdict.

Let’s get started.

What Is Prevagen?

Prevagen is completely different to any of the nootropics we have tested, and we have tested the vast majority of them.

What makes it different is the core ingredient it uses – apoaequorin. In fact, it only has two ingredients with Vitamin D being the second.

So it puts a lot of faith in the efficacy of apoaequorin for its memory supporting properties.

Quick Verdict On Prevagen

There just is not enough clinical data to support Prevagen – or more so to support its core ingredient apoaequorin.

Any nootropic that relies so heavily on one ingredient needs to be solidly validated through clinical data – and this seems lacking when it comes to apoaequorin.

Instead, we prefer a more well rounded formula such as that found with VyvaMind – a well balanced natural formula that many of our writers use.

The Prevagen Range

The bulk of the Prevagen range can be split into three categories:

Prevagen Regular Strength

This, unsurprisingly, is the standard offering from Prevagen. It comes in different flavors (mixed berry, orange or regular), and in boxes of 30 or 60. Our recommendation would be that, if you are going to start taking Prevagen, you should start with the regular strength, and a flavor of your choice.

Prevagen front of box

Prevagen Extra Strength

These are double the strength of the regular (20mg, as opposed to the 10mg serving that the regular offers), so it is aimed at people that want that extra boost. We would recommend that you only move up to the extra strength after you have been taking the regular for at least a month. It also comes in mixed berry flavor.

Prevagen Professional Formula

This has a whopping 40 mg per capsule, so double the strength of the Extra Strength, and four times that of the regular formula. If you think that you would like to try this one, having already tried the other two, we would suggest that you see a medical professional to discuss the matter first.

As you can see, the products only vary in their strength, so they all have the same benefits, the same ingredients and would generate a similar result. So everything else in this review is relevant to all three variations of Prevagen.

Prevagen Benefits

The main claims on the box of Prevagen is that it “Supports Healthy Brain Function, Sharper Mind, Clearer Thinking”.

Prevagen benefits

Basically, as we stated above, the main focus is on memory. They claim on their website that “Prevagen has been clinically shown to safely and effectively improve memory”, qualifying that this is “based on a clinical study of subgroups of individuals who were cognitively normal or mildly impaired”.

Unfortunately, we have to take their word for this as there is little more about the studies – something that we experience a lot when we look into various nootropics. Also, their study says nothing about having a ‘sharper mind’ or ‘clearer thinking’, so there is a lot to be taken at face value with Prevagen.

In their favor they have an award from Pharmacy Times – Prevagen won their “#1 Pharmacist Recommended Memory Support Brand in 2022”, but, again, it is difficult to read too much into this.

Having said this, the aim of improving memory will appeal to a lot of people, particularly of a certain age. Even if it does little else, that would be enough to make it a very attractive nootropic to a large audience.

Let’s find out more about the ingredients and how they are designed to help you.

Prevagen Ingredients

There are two main ingredients in Prevagen, one of which is pretty unique. We’ll go into them both in more detail below, but one other thing to note is that Prevagen includes added sugar, milk and soy. So if you have any allergens or are on any particular diet, it is worth keeping this in mind.

Anyway, the two main ingredients:

Vitamin D (as D3 cholecalciferol)

Many clinical studies have shown a correlation between cognitive impairment and low levels of vitamin D. This is as close to scientific fact as we can reasonably expect – it’s been clinically proven.

So it makes perfect sense for vitamin D to be one of the main ingredients of Prevagen. It’s there to ensure that your levels of vitamin D remain at the required level to stop the decline of your brain function.

Vitamin D3 cholecalciferol has been picked as there are links to more than just helping your memory. It’s been found to help you maintain healthy bones and muscles as well as offering support to the nervous system.

Where the research is a bit lacking is to the extent that taking vitamin D can prevent cognitive decline, as it will probably vary from person to person, and how high your levels are will depend on your diet. You may not be low, particularly if you eat a lot of fish, eggs, cheese or beef liver.

Regardless, the logic behind its inclusion in Prevagen is flawless.

Apoaequorin

The most intriguing of the two main ingredients of Prevagen is apoaequorin. This is a calcium-binding protein that is usually found in jellyfish that are able to glow in the dark. Research has suggested that apoaequorin is strongly linked to memory and general brain health.

Prevagen ingredient label

There isn’t any conclusive evidence that proves this, and it has been the subject of a number of court cases.

The theory is, that as a calcium binding agent, the apoaequorin will help to ‘tidy up’ any calcium deposits in your brain, which if left, could contribute towards dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. If you have more apoaequorin, the less likely you are to develop dementia – that’s the thinking.

The problem is that there just isn’t enough evidence to back this up at this stage. The Madison Memory Study, from 2016, is often cited as proof that it works, but even though many people did feel an improvement, researchers themselves said that these improvements were not “statistically relevant”. 

The jury is still out on apoaequorin.

There are other, more minor, ingredients in Prevagen all serving their own purpose, but these are generally just involved in the formation of the capsules themselves, rather than to improve your cognitive function.

Taking Prevagen

That’s the theory behind Prevagen, but what is it like in practice? It’s our turn to put it to the test. 

I would usually take a supplement myself when writing a review, but that didn’t seem fair in this case as I am not the target market for this product, as I am (slightly) too young. So I acquired the assistance of a former colleague who I could trust to report back their findings.

To give you a little bit of background about them – they are in their mid fifties. A freelance writer, with a wife and two fully grown children that are both at college away from home. He has mentioned to me in the past about how he sometimes struggles with his memory from time to time – nothing too severe, but enough for him to become slightly concerned.

He seemed the perfect person to ask to trial Prevagen for me. This is what he reported back to me:

“I have never taken a nootropic supplement before. In fact, I had never heard of them until you got in touch with me, so I was excited to give it a go. I wouldn’t say I struggle with my memory, but I sometimes find myself struggling to find the correct words when I write, or that I have to stop and look things up – it is very frustrating and I think that it has made me less efficient in my work. I don’t seem to get as much done as I used to.

I started taking the recommended dose of one capsule every morning with my breakfast. I am not on any medication, but I do take a couple of other vitamin supplements to keep me healthy!

To be honest, I didn’t notice any difference at all for at least two weeks. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t starting to question the whole endeavor, but I had promised to take them for 30 days, so I carried on regardless of my impulse that this was a waste of time.

Something happened, though, in the third week. It wasn’t a big ‘EUREKA’ moment, but it was significant. I suddenly realized that I was starting to get a bit more work done. Articles that had been taking me a full day to complete were now being done just after lunch. By Friday, I only had enough work for half a day, so I took my wife out for a meal.

It is difficult to explain, because I’m not sure I would have even noticed the difference if I hadn’t been writing it down for you – the best way I can describe it is marginal gains. I was working for longer without having to stop to look something up, or think of the right word. That sort of thing can just completely sidetrack you, and halt any momentum that you build up. The difference I felt was pretty minor, but it had a big effect.

I have continued to take Prevagen for the full 30 days, and may go beyond that. I think the impact has plateaued, but it has been significant enough for me to not want to go back. I am trying to work on a few projects to help me prepare for retirement, and I feel much more capable of doing that since I started taking Prevagen.”

Does Prevagen Work?

This is the ultimate question, right? Regardless of all the theories and our anecdotal evidence, what we all want to know is whether it will help improve our cognitive function and can it really help reverse age related memory loss?

So, the somewhat unsatisfactory answer to that question is: maybe.

I know, probably not what you came here for, but we can’t give you a definitive answer I’m afraid. The very nature of nootropics means that they will all have a slightly different impact on different people, and as it is a relatively new industry, there just isn’t enough independent research going on to verify the claims that these companies make.

However, in our trial, Prevagen did have an impact. It wasn’t a clinical test, but anecdotally, we have a somewhat positive review here. Of course, one of the benefits of Prevagen is supposed to be long-term brain health, and we aren’t going to find that out in a 30-day trial.

It seems a fine nootropic, but one that requires a lot more research.

Choose Prevagen Or An Alternative?

There just is not enough clinical data to support Prevagen – or rather to support its core ingredient apoaequorin.

Any nootropic that relies so heavily on one ingredient needs to be solidly validated through clinical data – and this seems lacking when it comes to apoaequorin.

Instead, we prefer a more well rounded formula such as that found with VyvaMind – a well balanced natural formula that many of our writers use.

Alternatives To Prevagen

The market that Prevagen is aimed at is one that is often overlooked in the nootropic industry. There are very few products targeting people over 40 in their marketing, it tends to be a much younger crowd.

But this does not mean that these other products are unsuitable for people that are a bit older. In fact, most of the ingredients that are included in nootropics are there because they have been found to limit the effects of age related brain decline – but companies don’t tend to shout about this too much as it doesn’t appeal to their chosen customers. What 20-year old student is worried about Alzheimer’s Disease?

One of our favorite nootropics is VyvaMind. With the exception of NooCube, it’s probably the most effective all-round nootropic around, and will help boost your memory as well as much more. At least, that was our experience. Improved mood, less anxiety and increased energy levels.

Verdict

Prevagen is a nootropic that is based on one key ingredient – apoaequorin. How well Prevagen works for you will be based on how you respond to that one ingredient, and to be honest, there needs to be a lot more scientific proof before we can draw any conclusions on its effectiveness.

However, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that Prevagen does help to improve your cognitive function, so it could be worth trying, just to see if it works for you.

Failing that, give VyvaMind a go. It does what Prevagen claims to do and a bit more in our experience.