I won a bottle of Prevagen brain supplement. Seriously. I don’t know if I should admit this, but just for fun I entered a contest for the “funniest forgetful moment”. Apparently I had the best submission. (I’m so proud.) Maybe someday I’ll tell you what the story was…
But I won’t be taking my free Prevagen. If you’ve read Why Alpha Brain, Focus Factor and Prevagen Miss the Mark, you know I’ve had concerns about this so-called brain supplement. Now several more reasons not to take Prevagen have come to light.
FDA Warning Letter
Inc. 500 lists Prevagen’s manufacturer, Quincy Bioscience, as one of the fastest-growing companies in the US. Prevagen is an aggressively marketed brain supplement that you can buy online or at many name-brand retailers like Walgreens and Walmart. They are one of many brain supplements claiming to be #1.
This product has come under fire from the FDA. The FDA has sent the manufacturer a warning letter regarding several issues. You can read the letter here.
The FDA has accused the company of not reporting adverse events like seizures, strokes, chest pain, tremors, fainting, and worsening symptoms of multiple sclerosis. According to this letter, the company received more than 1,000 complaints and reported only two of them.
Prevagen’s website erroneously states there are no adverse side effects from taking its product.
Prevagen is also under attack for making unapproved drug claims and using an active ingredient that is allegedly not a dietary substance. Quincy Bioscience conducted clinical trials on Prevagen’s active ingredient which puts it in the classification of a drug.
It seems this company wants it both ways. They want to be able to sell it at Walgreens, but have you think that it’s as effective as a drug.
The key ingredient in Prevagen is a substance derived from jelly fish called apoaequorin. The weirdest accusation by the FDA was that Prevagen website uses the terms apoaequorin and aequorin interchangeably, when in fact, they are distinct chemical entities. So… which is it, guys?
The FDA is waiting for the company’s response. It’s possible that they could shut down the production and sales of Prevagen.
But meanwhile, the FDA still allows the sale of this potentially dangerous brain supplement at any drugstore or online!
And There’s More
While looking for the FDA letter, I came across something else incriminating. Milk Specialties Global, who supplies ingredients for Prevagen, also received an FDA warning letter stating that an inspection of its facility revealed serious violations of the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice. You can read that letter here.
I always like to see what real customers are saying about a product, so I visited Prevagen’s page on Amazon.com to see what was up. Besides the usual complaints that the product didn’t work or of minor side effects, there was a very meaty review written by Wayne L. Klein PhD.
I did some checking and he’s a practicing neuropsychologist, so I’m going to put stock in what he has to say. He contends that Prevagen’s active ingredient can’t get into your brain because it is too large a molecule to cross the blood-brain barrier and that it could work only if it was injected into your brain. I’ll pass on that, thank you. You can read his full review here.
NEWS FLASH! A few days ago I received a message via Facebook from a former Quincy Bioscience scientist. He claims he was fired when he spoke out against the company falsifying his data to get investment funds. Mysteriously, since then his Facebook and LinkedIn accounts have been taken down. I’ve tried to contact him with no luck. I’ll let you know if I hear from him again.
The Start of a Trend
I think we’ll be seeing a lot more clamping down on companies selling “brain” or “memory” supplements. Already there have been class action suits against Procera AVH and Focus Factor for making bogus claims.
I don’t want you to think I’m anti-supplement. I’m a big believer in taking supplements, but only from reputable companies that care about putting out a decent product. But too many companies see the growing elderly population and get dollar signs in their eyes. I hate seeing people being deceived by false marketing and getting ripped off. It makes me really, really mad.
I hope you’ll help us spread the word. If you know anyone who is taking Prevagen, please do them a kindness and forward them this information.
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Neither advertise and both exist by word of mouth only. That’s what I like to see — companies that spend their money on developing a good product, not on hyped-up marketing.
Our Best Recommendations for Brain Health
Prograde Total Wellness Package
Omega-3, antioxidant & multivitamin supplements
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Wellness Resources Super Brain Booster
Helps improve your memory and mood by increasing circulation to the brain and brain chemical production. Wellness Resources, owned and operated by nutrition expert and author Byron Richards, offers a number of brain supplements to sharpen memory and improve focus and mood.