Prevagen Review 2024 - Testing And Results

Prevagen Reviews

December 22, 2023

Prevagen, a well-known name in nootropics, touts its key ingredient, Apoaequorin, as the solution to cognitive decline. Derived from jellyfish, this protein is intriguing. But does this marine-sourced ingredient live up to the hype? My deep dive into the scientific literature has shown some disparities between the marketed claims and actual findings (1). 

While Prevagen is fairly well-known, it's worth noting that the research behind the claims is shaky to say the least. In my journey to understand the world of cognitive enhancers, I've found that there might be more comprehensive options available (2). Let's delve into Prevagen's offering and evaluate its standing in the ever-evolving world of nootropics.

Prevagen review nootropic

Prevagen Verdict

3.4 / 5 Stars

  • Questionable Dosages: For genuine nootropic effects, dosages matter. I've concerns over whether Prevagen's ingredients truly deliver on promises.
  • Limited Formulation: While Prevagen promotes Apoaequorin for memory, I think it's quite limited in addressing overall cognitive health. The research on Apoaequorin has been widely discredited.
  • Effectiveness Concerns: My own experience was somewhat underwhelming, with limited noticeable effects.
  • Better Alternatives: There are much more comprehensively formulated products available. A great example is Mind Vitality. Its diverse, scientifically-backed ingredients promise a more holistic cognitive boost. It's my current nootropic favorite.
Prevagen review alternative

Introduction - What Is Prevagen?

Prevagen, prominently marketed as a cognitive enhancer, is a product of Quincy Bioscience, a biotechnology company based in Madison, Wisconsin. The company takes pride in delving into technologies for age-related health issues and maintains that Prevagen is the outcome of more than 15 years of research and development (3). The key ingredient, apoaequorin, originally derived from jellyfish, has been marketed to improve memory.

However, the claims surrounding Prevagen have come under scrutiny. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the New York Attorney General's office jointly filed a lawsuit against Quincy in 2017 (4). They alleged that the company's marketing claims were unfounded and lacked scientific evidence (5). Moreover, the FDA had previously expressed concerns about Prevagen, emphasizing that Quincy did not offer substantial evidence to substantiate the claims on cognitive enhancements (6). As I see it, while the intriguing origins of Prevagen’s main ingredient might attract attention, it's crucial for consumers to approach such products with a discerning eye and to be informed of the surrounding controversies (7).

Main Product Claims

In my own dive into Prevagen's current claims, I've hit some red flags. Quincy Bioscience markets Prevagen as an over-the-counter memory and brain function booster, boasting it's "clinically shown to improve memory." They anchor this to a study involving "cognitively normal or mildly impaired" participants. But here's my hang-up: when I scoured the scientific data, Quincy's research didn't seem as robust as they project. There's a lot of skepticism in the scientific community about the study's validity. For someone like me, who values evidence-backed claims, this raises questions. Their bold assertions need rock-solid proof, and right now, I'm not wholly convinced.

Prevagen Benefits - My Personal Experience

When I began my journey with Prevagen, the promise of Vitamin D was front and center. A known regulator for overall health (8), I was curious to see how it would translate in terms of nootropic effects. Over a few weeks, I noticed a subtle yet notable difference in my overall mood. Mornings felt a bit brighter, and the midday lull seemed less pronounced. This might be attributed to Vitamin D’s crucial role in regulating mood (9). The "winter blues" or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) has often been linked to Vitamin D deficiency (10). While my daily mood seemed elevated, I didn't notice any explicit enhancements in focus, mental agility, or memory recall. The experience felt more physiological than cognitive.

The inclusion of Apoaequorin was an intriguing wildcard, would it really do everything claimed? Extracted from jellyfish (11), Apoaequorin is posited to have potential cognitive benefits. During the trial, I paid close attention to my memory recall and cognitive sharpness. Frankly, the results were mixed. While some days I felt like I could retrieve information a tad faster or stay on task a bit longer, other days felt completely ordinary. The inconsistency made it hard to firmly attribute any improvements to Apoaequorin. Upon researching, I found that scientific literature hasn't solidly validated its significant role in human cognitive enhancement (12).

The more evident gap was the lack of additional well-established nootropics in the formula. Having previously tried nootropic stacks featuring ingredients like Bacopa Monnieri, L-theanine, and Rhodiola Rosea (13), the comparison was stark. Their absence in Prevagen was noticeable in terms of tangible cognitive improvement.

I was left with nuanced feelings overall. While I experienced a gentle mood elevation, possibly from Vitamin D, the pronounced nootropic effects one might seek from a brain supplement were less evident. Given its ingredient list, this wasn't a shocking revelation but still a tad disappointing.

Neuriva Ingredients

Neuriva Ingredients List - click to expand

Coffee Fruit Extract (100mg)
Phosphatidylserine (100mg)

Quincy Bioscience emphasize Prevagen's effectiveness in boosting brain function and sharpening memory. They proudly underscore these assertions with references to a clinical study that reportedly involved cognitively normal participants or those with mild impairment. As someone consistently exploring the intricacies of nootropics and cognitive supplements, such claims naturally pique my interest. But for a product to truly resonate with me, it must pass the litmus test of ingredient scrutiny and empirical backing.

Breaking down Prevagen's ingredients, two major constituents emerge - Vitamin D and Apoaequorin.

Vitamin D: Universally recognized, Vitamin D holds a place of reverence in the nutritional domain (14). Its role is multifaceted, impacting everything from bone health to immune function. However, what's pertinent to our discussion here is its potential link to cognitive health. Some studies have illustrated a positive correlation between Vitamin D levels and cognitive performance, especially in the elderly (15). Its inclusion in Prevagen, thus, seems justified and holds merit. Yet, while Vitamin D's general health benefits are well documented, exclusively attributing enhanced brain function and memory improvement to this nutrient would be a stretch.

Apoaequorin: Here's where things get interesting. Apoaequorin, derived from a specific species of jellyfish, is the centerpiece of Prevagen's formula (16). Quincy Bioscience pitches it as the magic bullet for cognitive enhancement. But when I scoured the academic landscapes for concrete evidence supporting Apoaequorin's role in human cognitive enhancement, the results were scarce and inconclusive. Most of the empirical investigations on this compound have been in-vitro or on animal models (16). Translating these findings directly to human cognition, especially when considering the vast complexities and variances of the human brain, feels a tad premature.

Now, anchoring back to Quincy's much-touted clinical study, I always approach such in-house research with a blend of curiosity and caution. Any company can fund a study to obtain favorable results. It's the replication of these results, peer reviews, and the transparency of methodologies that truly cement a study's credibility. While Quincy mentions a subgroup of "cognitively normal or mildly impaired" individuals in their study, the specifics of this research, like sample size, methodologies, and the extent of memory improvement, remain somewhat under the veil (17). Without these nuances, drawing definitive conclusions becomes challenging.

It's also vital to note that the nootropics and cognitive supplements market is bustling with products backed by varying degrees of research (18,19). Any product's effectiveness isn't solely determined by its ingredient list but by the synergy between those ingredients, their dosages, and the bioavailability. From this perspective, while Prevagen's formula is relatively straightforward, it makes me wonder if a more comprehensive blend of well-researched nootropics might be more effective.

As I sift through Prevagen's claims and its very short ingredient list, I'm left with a degree of intrigue and a great deal of skepticism. While its Vitamin D content does add some value, the jury's still out on Apoaequorin's real impact on human cognition.

Prevagen Label


  • Simple and straightforward formulation.
  • Non-stimulant; no jitters.
  • Promoted for memory enhancement.


  • Limited active ingredients.
  • Expensive for minimal ingredient profile.
  • Not comprehensive as a nootropic.
  • Claims unsubstantiated.
  • Few perceivable cognitive benefits.
  • Lacks diverse neuroprotective agents.
  • Limited adaptogenic stress support.
  • Other nootropics offer more comprehensive benefits.

Prevagen Side Effects

Side Effects of Prevagen's Ingredients: A Clinical Perspective

Nootropic supplements, like Prevagen, are designed with the brain in mind, aiming to sharpen cognitive functions and memory recall. However, it's essential to peel back the label and assess the potential side effects of any product's components. Having tried Prevagen myself, I experienced a smooth ride with no visible hiccups. That said, let's delve into the potential side effects of Prevagen's primary ingredients, drawing insights from clinical studies.

1. Vitamin D (50mcg)

Vitamin D is often dubbed the "sunshine vitamin", primarily obtained from sun exposure, diet, and supplements (20). It plays an array of roles in maintaining health, from supporting bone density to potential mood regulation (21).

Side Effects: Generally, Vitamin D is well-tolerated, especially at doses typically found in supplements. However, at excessive amounts, there can be potential side effects such as:

  • Hypercalcemia (elevated levels of calcium in the blood), leading to nausea, vomiting, weakness, or severe complications like kidney damage (22).
  • Bone demineralization, particularly when accompanied by high levels of calcium intake (23).
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances, including constipation or diarrhea (24).

2. Apoaequorin (10mg)

This is a protein derived from jellyfish, and it's a standout ingredient in Prevagen (25). Its introduction to the nootropic world has been touted to support cognitive functions, though more research is needed for a conclusive stance.

Side Effects: The data on Apoaequorin's side effects is limited compared to long-standing ingredients like Vitamin D. Some possible side effects, although rare, include:

  • Headaches (26).
  • Dizziness (27).
  • Nausea (28).
  • Difficulty in sleeping (29).

It's also worth noting that because Apoaequorin is a relatively new addition to the supplement scene, long-term effects remain under-researched (30).

My Personal Experience: On my journey with Prevagen, I navigated without any bumps. No headaches, no nausea, and certainly no dizziness. This aligns with the general consensus on nootropics. They're typically characterized by their low incidence of side effects, and when side effects do occur, they're usually mild (31).

It's worth being aware that individual reactions can vary. While I didn't face any issues, it doesn't mean someone else might not. Our bodies react uniquely to different substances, influenced by genetics, diet, other medications, and even our environment (32).

In Summary: Prevagen, with its unique blend of Vitamin D and Apoaequorin, carries a relatively low risk of side effects, especially when taken as directed.

Best Alternative to Prevagen

After spending a considerable amount of time testing and studying nootropics, it's evident that some brands make lofty promises without solid scientific backing. Prevagen, while popular, falls into this category for me.

Prevagen review alternative

Mind Vitality

4.8 / 5 Stars

My preferred alternative is Mind Vitality. Here's why I think it's a better option than Prevagen. Firstly, the formulation of Mind Vitality is transparent and scientifically-backed. Each ingredient, from the brain-boosting Lion’s Mane (33) to the stress-reducing Ashwagandha (34), is dosed effectively and has solid research behind its benefits. Ginseng for vitality, Bacopa Monnieri for memory, and Rhodiola Extract for combating fatigue – this supplement covers a comprehensive spectrum of cognitive enhancements (35). 

While Prevagen primarily touts a couple of ingredients, Mind Vitality's formula addresses various cognitive facets. For me it's not just about having a more comprehensive ingredient list; it's about offering a formula that works and is transparent about it. For anyone genuinely interested in boosting their cognitive abilities, I'd suggest taking a serious look at Mind Vitality.


Prevagen isn't devoid of merits. Its focus on Apoaequorin does differentiate it from a sea of other nootropic supplements (36). Vitamin D, a key ingredient, does have some links to cognitive health, especially in maintaining mood balance and supporting overall brain function (37). However, when juxtaposed with the plethora of nootropics out there, Prevagen's minimalist approach seems to fall a tad short, particularly for the serious nootropic enthusiast.

Closing off my exploration of Prevagen, I felt the pressing need to share my personal experience with Mind Vitality, my current champion in the nootropic arena. When I first made the switch from Prevagen to Mind Vitality, the difference was like night and day. Not only does Mind Vitality's formulation have a well-researched blend of ingredients, but I also experienced notable benefits firsthand. The Lion's Mane, for instance, seemed to give my cognitive sharpness a fresh edge, which I felt was particularly pronounced during brainstorming sessions (38). Bacopa Monnieri evidently lived up to its memory-enhancing reputation. Morning fogginess? A rarity, thanks to the energizing kick from Ginseng Korean (39).

While Prevagen didn't entirely miss the mark, Mind Vitality, with its transparent and potent formulation, simply hits closer to the bullseye for me. In the grand scheme of things, while Prevagen isn't necessarily a dud, it certainly isn't the star of the show. If you're chasing a comprehensive, transparent, and well-researched nootropic, I'd steer you in the direction of Mind Vitality. After all, why settle for less when there's so much more on offer?


What exactly is Prevagen and what's it used for?

Prevagen is an over-the-counter dietary supplement that's primarily marketed to support memory and brain function. Its main claim to fame is improving mild memory problems linked to aging.

What's the active ingredient in Prevagen?

The claimed star player in Prevagen is Apoaequorin, a protein derived from certain jellyfish. It's paired with Vitamin D in the supplement.

How soon can I see results from taking Prevagen?

Some people claim to notice benefits within a few weeks, while others might need several months, or may have limited perceivable results.

Are there any side effects to using Prevagen?

Generally speaking, most users don't experience side effects. But like with any supplement, it's possible for some to have mild reactions. If in doubt, it's a wise move to chat with your doc before diving in.

Is Prevagen my only option for cognitive support?

Absolutely not! While Prevagen has its place, there are many nootropics out there. I've personally been inclined towards Mind Vitality. It's got a rich blend of ingredients that, in my book, pack a stronger punch for cognitive enhancement.


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