Eating jellyfish proteins (Prevagen's main ingredient) won't improve your memory, nor will it allow you to emit green fluroescent light. There's no magic brain food, or supplement, that will make you smarter. But you can be a tiny bit richer by not spending your money on ineffective supplements.
Quincy Bioscience, the company that markets Prevagen, hypes an in-house placebo controlled trial that shows memory improvement after ninety days. Actually, while there were some positive results in a few specific tests, overall the placebo group performed as well as the experimental group.
From the memory supplement’s launch in 2007 through 2016, agency officials repeatedly raised concerns as the number of consumer complaints grew.
The evidence to support Prevagen’s use is limited and flawed. Quincy Bioscience published a small study in 2016 comparing 10 mg of apoaequorin per day to placebo (a pill with no medication in it) for 90 days. All study participants self-identified as having memory problems, but none had any serious memory loss conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
At the end of the study, people taking apoaequorin had higher scores than those taking placebo on some of the tests used to measure their overall memory. The study authors noted the difference between the two groups was significant, and Quincy Bioscience — who also sponsored the study — has been using these results to back up Prevagen’s claims.
But there are a few issues with the study...
There is little clinical evidence that Prevagen actually protects brain cells, or improves memory. Two of the three clinical studies cited by the company have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Many medical experts say research has not found solid evidence that any supplements are effective at preventing neurological diseases that cause dementia. And they say that better treatments for the normal memory gaps often experienced with aging include exercise and a healthy diet.
The supplement, Prevagen, is heavily advertised, with commercials — including on national broadcast and cable networks such as CNN, Fox News, and NBC — claiming it can improve memory in 90 days. Ads feature charts depicting dramatic cognitive improvement...
So, Prevagen has been promoted all these years based on tentative results that have never been confirmed.
Some colleagues of mine recently asked me about Prevagen, a supplement that is being advertised heavily on television as a memory booster. It's everywhere, they said–but what is it? And does it work?
Prevagen contains a unique ingredient called apoaequorin, which was originally discovered in jellyfish. In a computer assessed, double blinded, placebo controlled clinical study, Prevagen improved certain aspects of cognitive function over a 90 day period.