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Prevagen Review: Promising, But You Might Be Better Off With Other Options
Medically Reviewed by Anthony Dugarte, MD
Last Updated on March 29, 2023
Prevagen is the only brain support supplement on the market that contains apoaequorin, a protein found in jellyfish, as its key ingredient. Apoaequorin has not been widely studied, so other supplements with well-researched ingredients may be a better option.
Key Insights (TL;DR)
- Prevagen is a straightforward brain support supplement that uses only two active ingredients: apoaequorin and vitamin D.
- Apoaequorinin has not been well studied and only has one small promising study (funded by the manufacturers) that shows benefits in improving cognitive function related to aging. In addition, the long-term safety of apoaequorin has not been studied.
- Vitamin D, on the other hand, is well-researched and has been shown to support brain function during aging. But you can buy a stand-alone vitamin D supplement for a significantly lower price than Prevagen.
- Prevagen has been on the market for a long time. However, its claim of being the “#1 Pharmacist Recommended Brand” may be based more on pharmacists’ familiarity with the product due to the brand’s marketing techniques rather than on the merits of Prevagen’s effectiveness. (1)
- Its two formulations (regular and extra strength) have collected over 15k reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.2 stars. Thousand of consumers reported benefits from using this product.
- Still, because the main ingredient of Prevagen has not been widely studied for effectiveness and safety, we recommend looking into other brands that use well-studied ingredients.
What Prevagen Gets Right
- Contains vitamin D, which has proven benefits for supporting brain function during aging.
- The manufacturing facility and ingredients are NSF certified for purity and safety.
- Easy to take, requiring only one capsule or chewable in the morning.
- Provides a 45-day return policy that covers purchases from authorized sellers.
- Its main ingredient, apoaequorin, has not been widely studied. However, it does have one small human study showing its benefits for improving cognitive function related to aging.
- Buying a stand-alone vitamin D supplement will be significantly cheaper. (Vitamin D is the other active ingredient in Prevagen that has documented benefits for cognitive health.)
- The Extra Strength version of Prevagne is expensive compared to other supplements. However, no documented benefit shows taking a larger dose is more beneficial.
- In 2017, the makers of Prevagen were sued by the FTC for making false advertising claims about the proven effectiveness of its product. The lawsuit is still ongoing.
A Quick Look at Prevagen
Prevagen from Quincy Bioscience is a dietary supplement designed to support the brain function of aging adults.
Prevagen is the only brain support supplement we have encountered using apoaequorin as its main active ingredient. Apoaequorin is a protein found in jellyfish. The manufacturers claim that the apoaequorin in Prevagen supports cognitive function and improves age-associated memory loss.
There are several formulations of this product, regular, extra strength, and professional strength. All versions use the same two active ingredients, apoaequorin and vitamin D, with the only difference being in the amount of apoaequorin they contain.
Because apoaequorin hasn’t been widely studied in humans, there are no recommended dosages, so there is no way to know which Prevagen formula is right for you. The makers of Prevagen leave it up to consumers to decide the right amount through trial and error based on the effects they will experience. However, because there is no recommended dosage, we advise not to automatically assume that “more must be better.”
How to Take It
Prevagen comes in three formulations (regular, extra strength, and professional strength) and in two forms (capsules and chewables).
The serving size for any Prevagen formula is 1 capsule or chewable tablet per day. It’s recommended to take Prevagen in the morning with or without breakfast.
Pricing and Buying Options
When purchased from the brand’s website, the cost for Prevagen’s formulations is:
Prevagen also offers a chewable form in several flavors at the same price. Shipping is free on orders over $50. Otherwise, it’s a flat rate of $4.95 within the US. If you subscribe to a recurring shipment (monthly or bi-monthly), you can save a few dollars per order.
The brand offers a full refund for the product within 45 days after your purchase date. The policy applies to products purchased through Prevagen’s website or third-party authorized dealers.
Prevagen is sold at most major retailers, grocery stores, and drug stores, including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS.
The Ingredients in Prevagen Have Varying Degrees of Evidence for Their Benefits
Prevagen contains just two active ingredients – apoaequorin and vitamin D.
Other than small initial research conducted by the makers of Prevagen, there is no other evidence to support the safety, dosage, or benefit of taking apoaequorin for brain health and memory.
On the other hand, vitamin D has been shown to support brain health and function during aging.
Below are additional details from scientific research on the two main ingredients of Prevagen:
Apoaequorin is a protein found in jellyfish from the Pacific Ocean. Regular strength Prevagen contains 10 mg of apoaequorin, and the extra strength and professional strength formulations contain 20 mg and 40 mg, respectively.
Prevagen conducted a company-sponsored study called Madison Memory Study. People showed improved cognitive function (related to aging), such as memory and learning ability, after taking 10 mg of apoaequorin daily for 90 days. (2)
Although the study seems promising, apoaequorin has not been studied much beyond this clinical trial. That’s not to say that this ingredient doesn’t have potential, nor were there studies to prove the ineffectiveness of apoaequorin, but more long-term research is needed.
All formulations of Prevagen contain 50 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D3 per serving as cholecalciferol. Vitamin D3 is an essential nutrient with many roles, including supporting brain health.
Specifically, studies showed that proper Vitamin D intake can help improve cognitive function in adults with mild cognitive impairment and support overall brain function during aging. (3, 4)
Long-term side effects from taking Prevagen are unknown due to a lack of research on apoaequorin. The makers of Prevagen conducted the only scientific study involving human consumption. The study reported that Prevagen was well tolerated with no significant side effects after 90 days of use. Still, some users report experiencing side effects such as nausea, headache, and dizziness. (5)
It’s worth noting that you could be taking too much vitamin D if you pair Prevagen with another supplement that contains vitamin D. Prevagen includes 50 mcg of vitamin D per dose. The upper daily limit for vitamin D is set at 100 mcg, which is the maximum daily amount unlikely to cause adverse effects. (6)
Tip: The Recommended Dietary Allowance for vitamin D is 15 mcg per day for adults aged 19–70 years and 20 mcg per day for adults 71 years and up.
In addition, some prescription medications, including cholesterol-lowering statins, may be less potent when supplementing with too much vitamin D. If you are on any prescription medication or have any underlying condition, discuss Prevagen with your physician before taking it.
How Prevagen Compares to Alternatives
Prevagen is unique because it is the only brain health supplement that contains apoaequorin. It has been on the market for a long time, with thousands of positive reviews, so it could be worth considering.
However, as shown in this review, apoaequorin is not widely studied, and we think that products that use well-researched ingredients are a better option.
For example, one of the often recommended ingredients for brain support is omega-3 fatty acid. You can find our recommendations for the top fish oil brands here.
Another popular supplement that is usually available at major retailers alongside Prevagen is Neurivia. Its active ingredients are cherry coffee extract and phosphatidylserine, both of which have been studied more than apoaequorin, with strong evidence that they support brain performance in the areas of focus, memory, learning, accuracy, and concentration. Neuriva is available in several product forms, and a one-month supply is a little cheaper than Prevagen. You can find our detailed review of Neurivia here.
Before Taking Supplements, Here Are Some Additional Tips
Many lifestyle factors play a role in supporting brain function as you get older. Your diet, sleep, physical activity, and stress levels can all contribute to brain health. Focusing on improving these lifestyle factors that can contribute to healthy brain functioning.
We recommend making the following part of your daily routine:
- Being physically active regularly.
- Getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
- Enhancing mindfulness through breathwork and meditative practices.
- Avoiding mind-altering substances like alcohol and drugs.
- A healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and wild-caught fish limits sugar, refined carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats.
- Engaging in brain-healthy activities, like puzzles, reading, or learning a new language.
- Supplementing with vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids to help counteract inflammation that contributes to disease and brain decline. (Speak with your physician before taking any new supplement.)
At WellnessVerge, we only use reputable sources, including peer-reviewed medical journals and well-respected academic institutions.
- Prevagen®: Analysis of Clinical Evidence and Its Designation as a "#1 Pharmacist Recommended Brand" - PubMed:
- Effects of a Supplement Containing Apoaequorin on Verbal Learning in Older Adults in the Community:
- Vitamin D Supplementation Improves Cognitive Function Through Reducing Oxidative Stress Regulated by Telomere Length in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A 12-Month Randomized Controlled Trial - PubMed:
- The Role of Vitamin D in Brain Health: A Mini Literature Review:
- Apoaequorin - LiverTox - NCBI Bookshelf:
- Vitamin D Fact Sheet for Consumers: