BRAIN DOCTOR reviews PREVAGEN: Scam or worth the cost?
Hello everyone, I’m a passionate neurologist who loves sharing brain-related information through videos. Today, I want to delve into the topic of the supplement Prevagen. Quincy Bioscience, the company behind Prevagen, claims that it can enhance memory and promote sharper thinking. But is this supplement truly worth your hard-earned money or just another overpriced and ineffective product? Let’s find out.
A few years ago, several of my patients asked me about Prevagen, which piqued my curiosity. Perhaps you’ve come across Prevagen commercials on TV or seen it on the shelves of your local grocery or drugstore. The price range of Prevagen varies from $39.95 to $89.95, depending on the formulation, making it quite expensive. The professional formula, which contains a higher concentration of the active ingredient, is naturally even pricier.
The active ingredient in Prevagen is Apoaequorin, a substance patented by Quincy Bioscience. Although it was initially discovered in jellyfish, the Apoaequorin in Prevagen is synthetically produced using genetically modified bacteria. Quincy Bioscience claims that Apoaequorin can protect brain cells by binding to excessive calcium in the brain, which is believed to contribute to brain cell damage. Elevated calcium levels are often seen in cases of brain injury, such as stroke or trauma, as well as age-related cognitive decline. As we age, our ability to regulate calcium in the body diminishes, leading to potential cognitive issues.
While there is some in vitro evidence suggesting that Apoaequorin may have neuroprotective properties, it’s important to note that these studies were conducted in a controlled laboratory setting using isolated cells. Unfortunately, there is no evidence to demonstrate that Apoaequorin can survive the journey through the human digestive system. Supplements usually undergo chemical changes during digestion, which can render them ineffective by the time they reach their intended target in the body. In vitro studies cannot definitively prove that a supplement will work in real-life situations, as they bypass the complex processes of digestion and absorption.
Furthermore, for any supplement to have a direct impact on the brain, it needs to cross the blood-brain barrier. This barrier acts as a filter, preventing harmful substances from reaching the brain. There is currently no evidence to suggest that orally consumed Apoaequorin can successfully cross this barrier and reach human brain cells.
Upon researching Prevagen, I discovered three human trials. The first study found that individuals who took Prevagen for three months experienced improvements in word recall and memory for driving directions. The second study observed an increase in sleep duration for individuals who typically slept less than seven hours. However, this study did not provide any conclusions regarding Prevagen’s impact on memory. Additionally, both of these studies lacked blinding and placebo comparisons, essential elements in determining the true efficacy of a supplement or medication. Furthermore, these studies were not published in peer-reviewed journals, which are crucial in ensuring the credibility of scientific research.
The third study, however, was placebo-controlled and double-blinded. It involved 218 participants who reported memory problems but did not have an official diagnosis of memory impairment. These individuals took Prevagen daily for three months and then underwent a series of cognitive tests. Overall, no statistically significant benefits were observed. However, when the researchers analyzed the data based on participants’ baseline cognitive performance, they found a few statistically significant results in specific aspects of cognitive function.
In the group with no baseline cognitive impairment, there was a significant difference between the placebo and Prevagen groups in delayed memory recall. Delayed recall refers to the ability to remember information acquired from an earlier time. For example, if you’re given a list of words and asked to recall them after a few minutes, that would be an example of delayed recall. In the group with very mild baseline dysfunction, Prevagen was found to improve visual learning compared to the placebo. Both the placebo and Prevagen groups showed improvement in executive function, which involves tasks related to planning, organizing, and decision-making.
It’s important to approach these findings with caution, as the overall results did not indicate a significant benefit. The statistically significant results in specific subgroups may be due to chance or other factors that require further investigation.
In conclusion, while there are some intriguing findings regarding the potential benefits of Prevagen, the current evidence is limited and not entirely conclusive. The in vitro studies and human trials have their limitations, and more research is needed to truly determine the effectiveness of this supplement. Additionally, the high price of Prevagen should be taken into consideration before making a purchase.
As a neurologist, I always prioritize evidence-based practices and treatments. If you’re considering Prevagen or any other supplement, I encourage you to consult with your healthcare provider to ensure that it aligns with your individual needs and goals. Thank you for joining me today, and I’ll see you in the next video.