Prevagen Experiment: A Lesson in Detecting Bullshit

After doing lots of experimentation and research I started to develop a sixth sense – namely, detecting bullsh*t  claims by companies.   Take a look at this supplement called Prevagen.

The studies that were done were terrible and I had no faith it would work.  But I did get a free bottle that I ordered a year and a half ago and that I had never used.  So I figured I should try it out.

For one, they mention the effects take time.  Never a good sign.  If something works you should feel it right away(within 45 min).

Second, they don’t provide the full studies on their site (at least it isn’t easy to find).  If you look at what they do provide you see the results are clinically insignificant.  What I see are graphs that are made to look significant but aren’t.

The nicely designed site and an entertaining video with no information didn’t help the matter.  It seemed like this was all marketing.

Assumptions Made by Company

1) That a protein is taken orally can get into and affect the brain. Proteins are digested in the stomach and intestines, so it’s likely this wouldn’t even get into the bloodstream untarnished, if at all.

2) If it was able to get into the bloodstream intact, it probably wouldn’t be able to cross the blood-brain barrier, especially proteins.  This is why they had to drill a hole in a rat’s skull and stick a microinjection needle in its brain to put the prevalence in there and get any kind of result in the rat study.  The stuff is not getting into the brain of a living creature through any other route than the hole in skull/needle in brain route.

3) Even if it overcame these obstacles, aequorin is involved in calcium signaling inside the cell. in order to use aequorin in scientific applications relating to calcium signaling, it needs to be microinjected into the cell, because as you might imagine, a large protein molecule cannot cross a cell membrane either.

My Experiment and Results

I figured if this was to have any effect I’d need to take a large dose.  I  looked at the safety data and there was a huge margin for error, so I decided to take most of the bottle in one shot.

The suggested serving size is 1 capsule and it comes with 30 capsules.  I took 20 capsules.  I would’ve taken the whole bottle but I was more concerned with the excipients, like rice flour.

There was really no point in even experimenting but I wanted the empty capsules and I figured why not…I assumed there may have been some tiny chance that I would notice something…

Result: The only effect I noticed was slight fatigue, but that could’ve been because I had 4 hours of sleep the night before.  Otherwise, I didn’t feel anything.

The Takeaway

What I’ve learned in life is never to buy anything with extensive marketing – in any sphere.

Products with marketing are going to cost 5X the amount with less efficacy.  I’ve always found cheaper, more effective products that offered similar results without the accompanied marketing.

Knowledge is power (and saved money).


  1. Candra

    I tried Prevagen and it has made me foggy, extremely depressed and fatigued. Still, days later I am only slightly better. Does anyone have any idea how long the ill effects last? I’m sensitive so I only took 1/4 to 1/2 capsule on my tongue for about four days. Also, just FYI my vet recommended it for my little dog. After taking it she was no longer standing in corners. BUT she also developed seizures. I had no idea Prevagen causes that. She has crossed over but this company should NOT be allowed to continue. They are a danger to the public.

  2. I wrote an unflattering post about Prevagen and their legal team was all over me. I guess I should be flattered that I’m “big” enough for them to care about. So I kept modifying it until they could no longer infringe on my freedom of speech. Now I just link to the FDA’s warning letter and what a lawyer and a newspaper article found out about Prevagen. I was contacted by one of their scientists who said he was fired for refusing to falsify data for their investors. Within 2 days all of his social media accounts disappeared and I could no longer contact him. I’ve had several readers tell me about their horrible side effects including developing MS. I hope someone brings this company DOWN. You can find those links I mention in my post:

  3. Clark

    Prevagen contains apoaequorin which has been shown to help improve memory in clinical studies. Apoaequorin is a protein that was originally discovered in jellyfish and now produced at our cGMP compliant and NSF certified facility in Wisconsin.

    Food and Chemical Toxicology
    Safety studies conducted on the toxicity and allergenicity of apoaequorin show that apoaequorin is safe. In rats following subchronic administration of amounts up to 666.7mg per kilogram of body weight per day Apoaequorin preparation did not result in any mortality.1 This was the maximum dosage that was tested. Researchers concluded,

    “The administration of the Apoaequorin preparation did not result in any mortality. There were no further clinical or opthalmological signs, body weight, body weight gain, food consumption, food efficiency, clinical pathology, or histopathological changes attributable to administration of Apoaequorin.”2
    Dosing in the study was the equivalent of 4,000 times the recommended daily amount of Prevagen 10mg and 2,000 times the recommended daily amount of Prevagen Extra Strength 20mg. In addition, apoaequorin achieved self-affirmed GRAS status (generally recognized as safe) after an independent panel of expert scientists concluded that apoaequorin is safe for use in food products.


    1. Marone, P.A., Bauter, M., Hofman-Hüther, H., and Moran, D. (2013). Safety assessment of Apoaequorin, a protein preparation: Subchronic toxicity study in rats. Food and Chemical Toxicology 57.

    2. Marone, P.A., Bauter, M., Hofman-Hüther, H., and Moran, D. (2013). Toxicologic Evaluation of the Calcium Binding Protein Apoaequorin. Poster presented at the Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting, San Antonio, Texas.


    To a certain extent I have already made such a post. Look at my regimen

    I’m not a fan of the idea of what works for me will work for you, so I don’t recommend for other people to adopt my regimen. People really can’t follow other people. It’s that very idea that creates confusion in the health sphere. For example, the bullshitexec assumes that if mycotoxins are bad for him, they’re bad for the rest of the population. In reality, Maybe 1% of the population could be sensitive to it. Yet this is what worked for him – getting rid of mycotoxins. So we need to be careful with this idea.

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