What's better: Prevagen or Focus Factor? Prevagen claims to not only improve memory but also that it's the #1 pharmacist recommended memory supplement. Focus Factor claims to be “America's #1 clinically studied” brain supplement. Both of these are really bold claims. If you've researched these supplements you've probably been confused as to what's better. In this review, you'll learn about the research on both supplements, their ingredients, and their side effects. Are both supplements scams or is one really better than another?
What Are Prevagen And Focus Factor
Both are dietary supplements promoted to help improve your memory and brain health. The supplements are said to help differently. Prevagen, made by Quincy Bioscience, contains a protein from jellyfish called apoaequorin, which is supposed to remove calcium from the brain. Focus Factor, made by the Factor Nutrition company, contains ingredients that increase acetylcholine levels and improve blood flow to the brain.
Are You Confused Which Is Better?
The makers of Prevagen think you might be confused. Quincy Bioscience, the maker of Preveagen took issue with the Focus Factor claim that it's The “America's #1 Brain Health Supplement.” They asked the Better Business Bureau's National Advertising Division (NAD) to look into the matter. The NAD investigated and felt the company didn't have enough proof to make that claim.
The result is Focus Nutrition, the maker of Focus Factor will voluntarily remove their “America's #1 Brain Health Supplement” claim from all their advertising. It's rare to see a supplement company challenging the claims made by a rival organization. Why do you think Quincy Bioscience did this?
So, claims aside, what's better? Let's next look at their ingredients and clinical research.
Prevagen vs. Focus Factor Ingredients
Here are the ingredients in both memory supplements side-by-side
|Prevagen (1 capsule)||Focus Factor (4 tablets)|
|Vitamin D3 2000 IU (50 mcg)||Vitamin A 4000 IU|
|Apoaequorin 10 mg||Vitamin C 250 mg|
|Vitamin D 100 IU|
|Vitamin E 30 IU|
|Thiamin 3 mg|
|Niacin 25 mg|
|Vitamin B6 15 mg|
|Folate 400 mcg|
|Vitamin B12 20 mcg|
|Biotin 300 mcg|
|Pantothenic acid 12 mg|
|Calcium 50 mg|
|Iron 15 mcg|
|Iodine 15 mcg|
|Magnesium 100 mg|
|Zinc 10 mg|
|Selenium 50 mcg|
|Copper 0.4 mg|
|Manganese 2 mg|
|Chromium 100 mcg|
|Molybdenum 10 mcg|
|Potassium 50 mg|
So what are we to make of this? The first thing we see is Focus Factor has a LOT of ingredients. It's almost a multi-vitamin! Prevagen, on the other hand, has just 2 ingredients. If you were to just look at the ingredients you might conclude Focus Factor was better.
So is it?
Things aren't as simple as that. To get a better idea, let's look at the clinical research on both supplements.
Prevagen vs. Focus Factor Clinical Research
Both memory supplements have some research that their respective companies say prove that they work. Let's look at the research for each and see what we can make of them.
Prevagen Clinical Research
Here is a summary of the research on the Prevagen memory supplement
Madison Memory Study
The Madison Memory Study is their best study so far. In this clinical investigation, 218 people, age 40-91 years (from Madison, Wisconsin) were followed for 90 days. They were given either a placebo or 10 mg of apoaequorin, the jellyfish extract active ingredient in Prevagen.
Results: In people with no memory issues, Prevagen was said to improve memory by about 15%. But, it did not seem to improve memory in those who had memory problems.
Problems: If it works, their own research shows it might work best in those without cognitive problems. Whether it helps people with memory problems -dementia, Alzheimer's, etc – needs more study.
There are also a few rats and test-tube studies on Prevagen as well.
Focus Factor Clinical Research
It's claimed that Focus Factor “is clinically shown to improve memory, concentration, and focus.” As proof, the company sponsored a study where 96 healthy people were given either the supplement or a placebo for 6 weeks.
Results: Focus Factor was shown to improve memory, concentration, and focus.
Problems: Their study is interesting but it doesn't seem to be published in a medical journal. It can however be found on the company website for everyone to look at. Also, the people in the study were said to be healthy. There's no mention if they had memory problems. So, if Focus Factor works, it might work best in people who don't have memory impairment.
Making Sense Of The Research
Here's a quick rundown of the research of both supplements:
- Both supplements have been tested in clinical trials
- Prevagen has one clinical study published in a science journal
- The Focus Factor clinical study might not be published in a science journal
- Studies on both supplements appear to show they may help memory in healthy people
- Neither supplement has been proven to improve memory in those with dementia
- Neither supplement has been shown to help concussions, TBI or other brain trauma
How Many Do You Take?
- Focus Factor: 4 tablets per day with food
- Prevagen: 1 capsule per day with or without food
The research on both supplements doesn't reveal any significant negative side effects. That said, here are some things to keep in mind when taking these or any other memory-boosting nootropic supplement:
- Start with less than recommended for the first week
- If you're taking dementia medications, ask your doctor first
- Talk to your doctor first if you take any prescription medications
- Stop at least 2 weeks before having surgery
- Some have reported Focus Factor capsules are very big and hard to swallow
- The Focus Factor website states they don't give refunds unless the product is faulty
- Prevagen has a 45-day return policy if you're not satisfied
Both supplements have had their tangles with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In 2004 the FTC fined Focus Labs a million dollars over what it said were unsubstantiated claims made about the brain health supplement
As for Prevagen, The FTC basically maintains that it does not work. They criticize the Prevagen research and have pointed to one of Quincy's studies which showed its jellyfish protein, apoaequorin is digested in the stomach. If its digested, how does it make it to the brain to work its magic?
What's Better Prevagen or Focus Factor?
In the movie Highlander, it was said: “there can be only one.” But I'm not convinced that's the case here. While both Prevagen and Focus Factor have some clinical evidence, their research has issues. At best, if they are effective, their own research seems to show they might work best in people without memory problems. As for either of them helping people with dementia, it will take better studies to know for sure.
Have you tried either supplement?