Prevagen (Apoaequorin) a Miracle Protein?
“Prevagen has been shown to improve memory and protect the brain by keeping brain cells alive longer.”
That sounds fantastic, and in an effort to know more, I notice an asterisk (*). Scrolling down the webpage the asterisk informs me that…
“these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug administration and the product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease”
Confidence Inspiring Indeed…
So we known that the package says all our memory problems will be fixed, but the legal mumbo jumbo written by lawyers tells us otherwise. Perhaps the lawyers really are telling us the truth.
No matter, lets dig into the ingredients and see what the real deal is.
Apoaequorin is the main active ingredient in the Prevagen — a supplement that is supposed to help with your brain power, memory recall and cognitive function.
What is Apoaequorin?
In short it is a calcium binding protein. Studies show that part of the reason for a decline in cognitive abilities (specifically as it relates to memory), is because as we age our ability to produce these calcium-binding proteins that promote brain power and cognitive function declines.
Calcium plays an important role in the ability of cells to talk to each other. But like a finely tuned automobile, you need just the right about of oil for the car to run properly. Too much oil, you spit out black smoke from your tail pipe. Too little oil and your car engine seizes up.
In other words: We get old and we stop making the stuff (calcium binding proteins) that we need to have a healthy functioning brain that runs like a finely tuned automobile.
How does Apoaequorin work?
Apoaequorin works as a neuroprotective calcium binding protein. Basically Apoaequorin protects your neurons from excessive levels of calcium.
But here is the problem:
In order for a calcium binding protein like Apoaequorin to actually works properly, it must first get through the blood-brain-barrier. In order to get through this barrier you must be smaller than 400 Daltons.
And what size do you think Apoaequin is? 22,000 + Daltons.
Sorry Apoaequorin, but you are too big for the blood-brain-barrier ride.
According to this study the way this supplement was tested was directly injecting it into the brains of lab rates.
They did not concern themselves with crossing the blood-brain-barrier and instead were just testing the effectiveness directly in the brain.
But even worse still is the fact that it is very unlikely the active ingredient in Prevagen would even survive the harsh environment of the human stomach.
Summary of Prevagen
This supplement has not been clearly tested in its current form and delivery method. There is no evidence that the active ingredient (Apoaequorin) would survive the stomach or pass the blood brain barrier.
The placebo effect is very real and also very powerful. Most users of Prevagen are most likely experiencing a placebo effect. If you expect something to make you feel a certain way you probably will feel it. Further, if you expect something to improve your memory, you might also try a little bit harder to remember things.
So basically, you probably shouldn’t buy this memory supplement. It doesn’t appear to actually do anything. As always, consult your doctor before taking any pills, starting any exercise program or changing your dietary habits.