Prevagen is a supplement that’s supposed to help with memory and cognition. Based on Prevagen reviews in 2022, and third-party information, there is some doubt as to how effective it is, and we’ll detail what to know about taking it. We’ll talk in more detail about what the manufacturer’s instructions are as far as when to take it as well.
Prevagen is a very popular supplement based on sales, and it’s widely advertised, which may have something to do with that.
The supplement and the company making it, Quincy Bioscience, have also been heavily scrutinized by scientists and regulatory agencies like the FDA.
The FDA and FTC have sent correspondence to Quincy Bioscience multiple times, challenging the assertions that Prevagen is safe and effective. The reality is that there’s limited clinical evidence that Prevagen is effective, although most people think it is safe and well-tolerated.
Since the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements in the U.S., there’s not a lot of standardization in labeling or how they market themselves.
This isn’t exclusive to Prevagen.
The primary active ingredient in Prevagen is called apoaequorin.
Apoaequorin was originally discovered and obtained in 1962 from a type of jellyfish that glows in the dark. Apoaequorin is a protein, and when it’s exposed to calcium, it binds to it. Problems with regulating calcium levels in the brain are thought to play a role in age-related memory loss and mental decline. The theory is that since apoaequorin can bind to calcium, it can regulate levels.
Specific things that people say Prevagen may help with include:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s)—some reports indicate taking 20 mg of apoaequorin every 2-3 waking hours and an additional 20 to 40 mg 30-60 mg before bed along with other supplements and drugs could slow ALS progression. There’s not sufficient evidence to say for sure if this would be the case.
- In early research, based on studies conducted by Quincy Bioscience, there was some evidence that taking 10 mg of apoaequorin for 90 days could improve some mental function measures in older adults.
- In early research, taking 10 mg of apoaequorin every day for 90 days could increase sleep time by around 30-40 minutes per night and improve sleep quality in more than 90% of people with problems. However, the research suggesting this is considered scientifically low-quality.
Does Prevagen Work?
There’s a fair amount of debate regarding whether or not Prevagen works. The one study the company uses to cite the product’s effectiveness, as mentioned, is the manufacturer’s own. The study wasn’t very big, with just over 200 participants. It also only ran for 90 days, which isn’t considered long enough to determine long-term safety or effectiveness.
One of the primary criticisms of Prevagen is that apoaequorin is digested in the GI system. It’s broken down and absorbed there, so it’s unlikely to make its way to cross the blood-brain barrier. Oral apoaequorin may not be effective because of that.
How Do You Take Prevagen?
As with any supplement, you should speak to a health care provider before taking this product. Your dose can vary depending on age, health, and other conditions. There’s currently not enough concrete scientific evidence to say for sure what the appropriate dose of apoaequorin is, but if you try the supplement, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
According to manufacturer instructions, you should take the supplement with or without food once a day. You should take it in the morning, according to the company that makes it.
You could theoretically take it at night, which might disturb your sleep. Some people find that it helps them to get better sleep, but that’s still usually when they take it in the morning.
Prevagen also contains vitamin D. Most people prefer to take vitamin D first thing in the morning because it’s more convenient for them, plus taking it later in the day can affect sleep. There’s a bit of evidence that if you take a supplement with vitamin D at night, it can interfere with melatonin production, and that’s why it might negatively affect your sleep.
You should take Prevagen in the morning, according to the manufacturer, for the best outcomes. If you have questions or you are interested in trying it, it’s always a good idea to talk to a health care provider before you do so, especially if you take any medicines or have health conditions.