When choosing the best memory-boosting dietary supplement, 2 product names can come up very often: Prevagen and Neuriva.
But deciding between these two can be challenging because both of them have their pros and cons.
While you can buy those brain boosters over the counter, it is always a good idea to talk to your health care provider first before deciding to take a particular medicine.
What are Prevagen and Neuriva?
Both Prevagen and Neuriva are classified as Nootropic agents/drugs.
Nootropics (also called smart drugs and cognitive enhancers) are a family of supplements that can improve your cognitive function, especially thinking process, creativity, motivation, and memory 1.
They consist of vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other natural substances.
Many of those drugs are yet to be confirmed for the actual benefits. Many nootropics also claim that they can delay or prevent neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Multiple Sclerosis 2.
Different nootropics have different mechanisms of action and intensity. This includes increased brainpower, blood supply, neurogenesis, and regulating neurotransmitters (brain chemicals).
Since we don’t have enough evidence about the effects of nootropics, it’s hard to talk about their safety.
However, most of them are safe at low doses and have few side effects. Make sure that you talk to a doctor before choosing one.
Common side effects include:
- vision problems
- insomnia and other sleep disorders
- fast heart rate
- high blood pressure
Some nootropic drugs are prescriptive. They include modafinil (Provigil), Adderall, methylphenidate (Ritalin), memantine (Axura).
Others are over-the-counter and can include many of the familiar substances we eat or drink every day. Examples include caffeine and omega-3 fatty acids.
While evidence about the effectiveness of nootropics is unclear, at least coffee-lovers would agree that nothing can beat the morning coffee to open up our minds.
Although Prevagen and Neuriva are not well-established nootropics, they are sometimes used for memory problems associated with aging.
What is Prevagen?
How Does Prevagen Help?
- Enhancement of mental acuity
- Promotion of healthy mind
- Improvement of concentration
If you ask the pharmacist which brain performance supplement they would recommend, most of them answer Prevagen.
Prevagen is manufactured by the Quincy Bioscience team 3. According to their website, the supplement is “safe and uniquely supports brain function.”
It’s available over the counter nationwide. It contains Apoaequorin (pron. ‘a-po-ah-kwor-in’), which was first identified in jellyfish.
Apoaequorin substance improves mild memory loss associated with aging. However, this benefit isn’t proven.
According to Quincy Bioscience, Prevagen should be used for 90 days for full effectiveness.
I will get back to more details about Prevagen below.
What is Neuriva?
How Does Neuriva Plus Help?
- Enhancement of memory & concentration
- Better learning & clarity
- Improvement of reasoning
While Neuriva is a lesser-known nootropic compared to Prevagen, they make very similar claims. They are also available over the counter.
Schiff Vitamins develop Neuriva, and it purports to help all five essential indicators of brain health: fuel focus, accuracy, memory, literacy, learning, and concentration 4.
They even have a personal app (Neuriva Brain Gym app) to track your progress.
Unlike its competitor, Shiff Vitamins has been out there since 1936. They have produced numerous supplements, out of which the most popular is Neuriva.
The website also looks much cleaner and better-looking than Prevagen’s. Neuriva Plus is significantly better than their original product.
Prevagen vs. Neuriva: Ingredients list
If we compare their ingredients list, Neuriva is the clear winner in numbers (5 compared to Prevagen’s 2).
Prevagen’s ingredients include vitamin D and Apoaequorin.
Let’s dig deeper into Prevagen ingredients:
- Having vitamin D in the supplement bottle is always beneficial, especially during the pandemics, where most of us are kept at home for prolonged periods and don’t get enough sun exposure. Vitamin D, among other benefits, supports immune, brain, and nervous system health and regulates insulin levels. All of these can help the brain’s performance.
- However, the significant component of Prevagen is their Apoaequorin, which is a dubious compound, since there wasn’t conclusive evidence about its effectiveness. There was only one reputable study done on its efficacy, and the results were apparent: Apoaequorin didn’t have an impact on mental performance. Quincy Bioscience team has even been sued for “false advertising claims” by The Federal Trade Commission.
To sum up, Prevagen’s principal ingredient, Apoaequorin, has been refuted. The only benefit you can get from the supplement is vitamin D.
If we compare standard vitamin D supplements to Prevagen, vitamin D wins in terms of price.
Neuriva overall has five ingredients. Three of them are standard b vitamins, such as vitamin B6, B9, and B12.
All of those have direct or indirect effects on brain performance:
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) helps create neurotransmitters, which are essentially chemical messengers in the brain. It also regulates energy use in the brain. Deficiency of Vitamin B6 can cause cognitive decline and dementia 5.
- Vitamin B9 (folic acid) – Critical for adequate brain function and plays a vital role in mental and emotional health. It is crucial when cells and tissues increase, such as in infancy, adolescence, and pregnancy 6.
- Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) – deficiency has been associated with memory loss, especially in older adults. It may prevent brain atrophy, which is the loss of neurons in the brain and often linked with memory decline or dementia 7.
- Coffee Cherry (Fruit) Extract – While most of us are familiar with coffee beans, coffee cherry fruit is not common. They are from the same plant as the coffee bean, but coffee fruits are often discarded during the coffee-making process. Researchers examined the extract on numerous occasions and concluded that it helps protect brain function and slows aging. The primary mechanism is to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) – an essential protein for the survival and growth of neuronal cells in the brain 8.
- Phosphatidylserine (PS) – It covers and protects the cells in your brain and carries messages between them. PS plays a vital role in keeping your mind and memory sharp. The amount decreases as we age. This deficiency causes memory loss and mental decline in older adults 9.
The last described two unique ingredients in the Neuriva Plus that distinguish them from competitors are Coffee Fruit Extract and Phosphatidylserine.
Prevagen vs. Neuriva: Safety
Both of those products are pretty safe. Side effects and overdosing are rare.
Both of them use light doses of ingredients. If you have any side effects or are worried about safety, speak to your doctor or a medical professional before proceeding with either of these nootropics.
- Prevagen dosage is one capsule per day with water. The single-serving has 10 mg of Apoaequorin.
- Neuriva dosage is also one capsule, but it’s recommended to take it before bedtime.
Prevagen vs. Neuriva: Price
Prevagen is significantly more expensive than Neuriva Plus. Typically, you can get Prevagen for $40 and Neuriva for $22. Since both products come in bottles with 30 capsules, it’s clear enough how pricier is Prevagen.
Prevagen looks much costly if we compare it to typical vitamin D supplements. Neuriva’s price is about average for most nootropics on the market.
Prevagen vs. Neuriva: External Reviews
If we ask customers from Amazon: Neuriva or Prevagen, Neuriva Plus has slightly more positive reviews than Prevagen (3.5/5 stars for Prevagen and 3.6/5 for Neuriva Plus). Furthermore, Neuriva Plus has marginally more reviews than Prevagen, which is strange if we compare the distribution scale of Prevagen in the USA.
Alternatives of Prevagen and Neuriva
While those two products might not be the most well-researched or cost-effective, several alternatives are backed up with science.
- NooCube – One of the best nootropic supplements out there. It is produced by Wolfson Berg Limited, a company with a solid amount of experience in dietary supplements.
- Mind Lab Pro – Manufactured by Opti-Nutra. Great for brain fogs and anxiety.
- Qualia Mind – Produced by Neurohacker Collection. It helps improve focus.
Neuriva vs Prevagen: Conclusion
All in all, Neuriva is the clear winner here. It contains much more and much better ingredients, most of which are proven by research. People overall trust Neuriva Plus more than Prevagen.
Neuriva Plus is also cheaper and well-designed compared to Prevagen. Neuriva Plus is still far from a complete nootropic formula.
It misses many important and proven nootropics, such as Tyrosine, Pine Bark Extract, and Citicoline. Hopefully, they will add missing ingredients to their list in the future.
- What Are Nootropics or Smart Drugs or Cognitive Enhancers? (2019, July 30). WebMD. Retrieved April 11, 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/features/nootropics-smart-drugs-overview
- Berry, J. (2019, September 19). What are nootropics (smart drugs)? Nootropics. Retrieved April 11, 2021, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326379#safety
- Bioscience, Q. (n.d.). Prevagen | #1 Pharmacist Recommended Memory Support Brand. Prevagen. Retrieved April 11, 2021, from https://www.prevagen.com/
- Neuriva – Benefits of Natural Ingredients. (n.d.). Schiff Vitamins. Retrieved April 11, 2021, from https://www.schiffvitamins.com/pages/neuriva-ingredients-benefits
- Brazier, Y. (2020, December 18). The benefits and food sources of vitamin B6. Medicalnewstoday. Retrieved April 11, 2021, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/219662#
- Ware, M. R. (2018, June 26). Why is folate good for you? Medicalnewstoday. Retrieved April 11, 2021, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287677
- 9 Health Benefits of Vitamin B12, Based on Science. (n.d.). Healthline. Retrieved April 11, 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-b12-benefits
- What Is Coffee Fruit? Coffee Berries Explained. (n.d.). Healthline. Retrieved April 11, 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coffee-fruit-coffee-berry
- PHOSPHATIDYLSERINE: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing, and Reviews. (n.d.). Webmd. Retrieved April 11, 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-992/phosphatidylserine