James Dixon puts two well known nootropics against each other in this Neuriva vs Prevagen comparison. Do either come out on top? Find out below…
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The nootropic market is blossoming as more and more of us seek to optimize our brain health and cognitive function, both long and short term.
More of us than ever before are relying on these smart drugs, potent blends of natural ingredients designed to keep our brains healthy and functioning at 100%.
More and more companies are bringing out often ever more sophisticated, high-quality products to meet this demand.
I want to look at a couple of these new products, two big hitters in the nootropic world: Neuriva and Prevagen. They are both simultaneously very similar and very different. They look to elicit very similar results, giving you very similar benefits, whilst using very different ingredients and focussing on different pathways to do so. Both Prevagen and Neuriva also use very different ingredients compared to most nootropics on the market – flawed or genius? We’ll find out…
Each seeks to improve cognitive function, with a solid focus on memory. There are few ingredients common to each formula, though they promise to do near enough the same thing. Do they manage it? And if so, which does it better?
I really did want to take a look. Unfortunately, I was sorely disappointed by both. This disappointment verged on anger on the consumer’s behalf. For my quick verdict and recommended alternative – see below. For the full story – keep reading.
TLDR: Prevagen Or Neuriva?
You don’t often get products like Neuriva or Prevagen. Both approach the same thing as one another and as many other nootropics in novel ways. Unfortunately, these novel ways don’t work. Ultimately, you just get overpriced, under-strength supplements devoid of solid clinical data underpinning them.
If you want a good nootropic, you won’t find it here. NooCube, Mind Lab Pro, Alpha Brain, or Vyvamind are all a good bet. Neuriva and Prevagen are a bust.
Let’s begin with Neuriva, a brain health nootropic brought to us by the British owned, Salt Lake City based supplement company Schiff Nutrition Limited. Schiff Nutrition Limited are an interesting company with quite a range of brands under their banner, including the likes of Move Free, Airborne, and Schiff Nutrition itself.
With Neuriva, they have put together something to allow you to prioritize your brain’s health. Its ingredients are all completely natural, as you would expect from any nootropic – they are pretty much all over the counter, natural products, not prescription medication like Adderall or Ritalin.
You get four main ingredients in Neuriva. This is a little underwhelming when you consider some of the competition out there. Products like NooCube and Mind Lab Pro give you a lot more at a relatively similar price point. However, the ingredients do all make sense – they are workable, if a little thin on the ground.
Firstly, you get two B vitamins, B6 and B12.
Vitamin B6 deficiency can be rough. It can leave you with a low mood, often bordering on depression, with a degree of irritability and confusion thrown in there. Supplementing with B6 should put a stop to any deficiency, leading to better mood and brain health if you were initially deficient.
B12 serves a very similar function, though it is more focussed on your central nervous system, which of course thus affects the brain. Depression, memory loss, and mood swings are all pretty common if you’re deficient in it.
The next ingredient is coffee fruit extract, which is decent enough. You get a lot of antioxidants with it. These should fight oxidative and free radical damage, keeping your brain healthy and limiting the effects of the aging process. It’s also been linked to a reduction in anxiety levels and the ability to keep a clearer head.
Finally, you get phosphatidylserine, a compound that has shown some promise in combatting the symptoms of common neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. There is some solid if tentative data backing up its use in this way.
The theory runs that it can improve general brain health and short term memory, whilst also leading to improvements in mood. There is a small amount of data supporting this, too.
Again, this ingredients list is thin on the ground. It’s pretty lackluster. There are a dozen ingredients I would like to see added to bring it up to something more like industry standard. As it is, a decent multivitamin supplement and a couple of cups of coffee each day will probably serve you better, whilst costing a lot less.
Prevagen is quite similar, though its ingredients list is completely different. It, too, is an over-the-counter supplement designed to improve brain function and memory. It comes to us from Quincy Bioscience, a company based in Wisconsin who pride themselves on their mission statement to create and discover new and novel technologies all aimed at limited the effects of the aging process on our cognitive health and abilities.
It was developed in partnership with Dr James R. Moyer Jr of the University of Wisconsin, who is an expert in cognitive function and memory.
They’ve not done too good a job, here. As with Neuriva, it’s a short, lackluster ingredients list. This isn’t to say it’s all bad. Nor has it been panned. In fact, it was voted the Number One Pharmacist Recommended Memory Support Brand in 2020, 2021, and 2022. People who know what they’re talking about endorse it.
But still, the ingredients list is limited. It doesn’t fulfill its potential.
The formula relies on two main ingredients for the bulk of its efficacy, vitamin D3 and apoaequorin.
Vitamin D3 is a fat soluble vitamin which plays a central role in maintaining bones, teeth, and muscle mass and overall health. It enables your body to absorb phosphorous and calcium, which are both key to this. However, it may also benefit your mood, at least according to some theorists.
Vitamin D deficiency can certainly lead to depression – it’s a core element of Seasonal Affected Disorder, or SAD. By including vitamin D3 in Prevagen, the manufacturers hope to overcome any deficiency, though it remains unclear if there are any benefits, especially to those without a pre-existing deficiency.
Then there is apoaequorin, an ingredient that I have rarely come across. To be fair to Quincy Bioscience, this is pretty novel and pretty exciting. Apoaequorin is a protein form most typically found in jellyfish, though Prevagen contains a synthetic, lab-grown version, making the product vegetarian friendly.
Apoaequorin also manipulates calcium levels and use in the body. Or, at least, that’s it’s most relevant, beneficial attribute in this context. It binds calcium. As calcium has long been tied to brain health and memory function, this could be quite potent. It should help to better balance calcium levels in your brain to bring about greater health and function therein.
There is more work to be done before we can say all of this for sure, though. Though Quincy Bioscience have done their due diligence and conducted their own research, more third party work is needed on apoaequorin before we can say with any certainty that it does much at all for your brain and memory.
Again, thin on the ground, thin on the science. It’s certainly novel, but that’s not always a good thing. I struggle to see how Prevagen can keep up with the competition given the high-quality state of the modern nootropics marketplace.
What do Neuriva and Prevagen have in common?
So we’ve seen that the ingredients lists for both Neuriva and Prevagen are completely different to one another. However, we’ve also seen that there are some distinct similarities, not least in the end goals of each. Each seeks to boost your memory, with much of their formulas dedicated to improving it – ‘much’ in a comparative sense, as there isn’t all that much of anything in either.
Both make virtues of slim ingredient profiles. Or, at least, of slim active ingredient profiles. You get two main ingredients doing all the work in each: coffee fruit extract and phosphatidylserine in Neuriva and vitamin D3 and apoaequorin for Prevagen. It’s paired back in both cases, with nothing superfluous added (though an awful lot lacking).
Both are largely safe with no ingredients containing known, nasty side effects. Independent bodies have both found them to be safe, with only the kinds of minor side effects occurring that you would expect of any nootropic.
Both, however, contain common allergens, which those suffering with allergies or intolerances should be wary of. Both contain soy. Prevagen also contains dairy (which also makes it unsuitable for vegans).
Dosing either is also very easy. These are easy supplements to live with, as you only need to take a single capsule of each daily. This means no fussing about, no worrying about timing doses, and no taking whole handfuls of pills each time you want to knock back your supplements (we’ve all been there, right?)
You also don’t need to rely on these single-dose capsules for either. Both have additional forms available, from gummies to higher strength products.
What are the differences between Neuriva and Prevagen?
These similarities are important, but kind of superficial. There are, of course, some pretty distinct differences in the DNA of each product. This includes the ingredients, where no overlap exists. This isn’t an issue in itself. However, I struggle to keep much trust in two nootropics that forego some of the most basic nootropic ingredients out there – there should be some kind of overlap between different supplements just by virtue of them using the same few ingredients known to work.
I also don’t know of any other nootropic but Prevagen that uses apoaequorin. This is likely because its potential benefits are unproven. You also seemingly pay for the privilege of taking this apoaequorin – Prevagen is a little more expensive than Neuriva, though neither particularly represents value for money.
Side effects from Prevagen and Neuriva
Both products are safe. Any nootropic should be – almost by definition, they are completely natural products that should cause no major health disruption to any adult, unless they are pregnant, breastfeeding, or suffering from any overlapping health complication.
This being said, there are still some side effects to note with both supplements.
Both supplements have been found to commonly cause nausea. Take either Prevagen or Neuriva and you run this risk. Take either on an empty stomach and you compound this risk. Given the questionable benefits each offers, this makes them quite unattractive in my eyes.
This is made worse by the potential for headaches present with each, especially when you take them on an empty stomach. If you’re already prone to headaches or migraines, consider giving them both a miss. You won’t actually be missing out on all that much.
Additionally, Neuriva may lead to, or exacerbate, insomnia. This is due to its use of phosphatidylserine (which may also be responsible for upset stomach and nausea). This can lead to fatigue, stress, low mood, cognitive impairment, and memory concerns, amongst other factors – in other words, everything that Neuriva is supposed to be combatting.
If you do decide to take either, bear these side effects in mind. Consult your doctor before starting in on them, and if these side effects occur or persist, speak to your healthcare provider again and stop taking them.
Cost comparison between Neuriva and Prevagen
Neither product is worth the money you pay for them.
Neuriva is a sliver more cost-effective than Prevagen. Or, rather, it costs less (neither is cost effective – at least not for the consumer). A month’s supply of 30 capsules will set you back around thirty-five dollars, so about a dollar sixteen per dose. This is very expensive compared to the competition it faces on the nootropics market – competition against some far better, more full-bodied supplements like NooCube and Mind Lab Pro.
Prevagen is worse. That 30 serving month’s supply will set you back around forty dollars, or around a dollar thirty-three per dose. This is high-end pricing for low-end nootropics.
In either case, you’re looking at small change from five-hundred dollars per year for some supplements that really don’t do much at all. The main ingredients worth taking in them are basic vitamins, which any drugstore can sell you for a couple of bucks.
You might be able to find some offers or multi-buy discounts if you shop around a bit. However, they would be expensive at half their current price. I really cannot see a market for them in which the consumers are not getting duped.
Choosing between the two
Sometimes it is easy to choose between two products. If there were a more credible nootropic, like Mind Lab Pro, NooCube, or even Alpha Brain on this list, this would be the case. Sometimes it’s hard to choose between them – how do you separate Mind Lab Pro and NooCube, coming up with a clear winner? You can’t. Both are too good.
We don’t have that issue, here. The more I learn and write about Neuriva and Prevagen, the more convinced I am that it’s something of a race to the bottom.
Each promises pretty much the same kind of thing. Improved cognitive health, specifically memory. Neither backs up their promises with much. Neither offers a well-rounded approach. Neither gives you an ingredients profile worth your time or money.
The clinical data is often useful in separating two supplements. In this case, there is more robust science underpinning Neuriva’s use than Prevagen’s. We simply don’t know enough about apoaequorin. This may be attractive to some – it may be the missing link in your supplement regime you’ve been looking for. It’s not attractive to me. If you’re going to charge these kinds of prices for such a slim ingredients list, the least you can do is back up the ingredients you do bother including with third party research.
Neuriva is also cheaper by five bucks a month. This makes Neuriva something of a winner, but only when stacked against something as lacklustre as Prevagen. Because really, if you’re wondering how to choose between the two, it’s safest just to bail. Choose neither. Save your money.
So there isn’t a good choice to be made, here. Weighing Neuriva Vs Prevagen is like weighing a couple of different Eurovision winners against each other. Sure, both are technically music; both technically won a thing; both will pass three or four minutes for you. But there are better options out there. There are proper musicians out there writing proper songs.
There are proper supplement companies producing proper nootropic supplements out there, waiting to help you out in return for fair recompense. Neuriva and Prevagen don’t do this. Their supplements are thin and weak, their data shaky, their prices bloated. I don’t see much of a future for them on a fair market, not when the competition is so good and so fierce.
Because you have options. It’s your right to exercise them and avoid dodgy products like this altogether.
If you want a good-quality nootropic supplement that actually does what it says, that gives you value for money, that gives you full, well-rounded support for your mental wellbeing, brain health, and cognitive function, don’t bother with either of these supplements. Go for NooCube or Mind Lab Pro. Their existence makes Neuriva and Prevagen’s place in the market obsolete.