Maintaining a sharp mind is a top priority for John, a pharmacist in Ohio.
But at age 54, John knows his faculties aren’t a lifelong guarantee. Research shows that subtle but steady declines in cognition can begin any time after age 30, due in part to changes in brain structure.
"As a part of the normal aging process, you hear that your memory can sometimes start to slip a little bit, and we wanted to try to fend that off the best way that we could," John says.
So, in addition to a healthy diet and regular exercise including walks with his chihuahua-dachshund mix and pickleball games, John started taking Prevagen, a memory-support supplement, about two years ago after noticing it on a commercial and looking into the research himself. He’s glad he did.
"I feel that the Prevagen is helping me with overall clarity," says John, whose wife, Sherry, takes it too. "Prevagen has definitely helped us in our normal, everyday activities."
The power of a protein found in jellyfish
Prevagen is an over-the-counter memory-support supplement intended for adults with mild memory loss associated with aging. Users take just one daily pill, which are sold in both regular and extra strength. A chewable is available, too.
Prevagen’s trademark ingredient, apoaequorin, is a protein originally found in a species of jellyfish that’s been shown to support the brain. The supplement also contains vitamin D, which supports brain function.
In one clinical trial, researchers gave adults with some concern about their memories either 10 milligrams of apoaequorin or an identical-looking capsule filled with rice flour. Neither the study participants nor the facilitators knew who was on the supplement versus the placebo.
The participants took a battery of tests that evaluated various aspects of cognition related to memory. When researchers compared their initial results with those after three months on the pills, they found that subgroups including around 100 people with normal cognitive aging or very mild cognitive impairment improved significantly more on apoaequorin than on a placebo. (As a dietary supplement, Prevagen is not suitable or intended for treatment of any disease including dementia or Alzheimer’s.)
"I read the clinical study myself, and decided that I was going to try Prevagen," John says.
A go-to among pharmacists nationwide
John is not the only pharmacist to take note of Prevagen. For the fifth year in a row, thousands of pharmacists surveyed by the Pharmacy Times named it the top-recommended supplement for memory support in 2023. Specifically, 48% of the providers said they recommended Prevagen most often; the second-most recommended memory supplement received only 15% of their votes.
"The interest in self-care continues to be strong and OTC products play a key role in people’s focus on managing their own well-being," Pharmacy Times Vice President Gil Hernandez said. "The OTC Guide gives consumers a trustworthy resource to support their self-care, as pharmacists themselves are among our most relied upon healthcare professionals."
Like all supplements, Prevagen is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Third parties including NSF, a highly-respected independent certification organization, have confirmed Prevagen is manufactured rigorously, contains what it says it does, and contains safe ingredients in normal amounts.
That’s good enough for John – and his customers. "If you’re concerned about memory support, I recommend Prevagen," he says. "It’s safe, doesn’t require a prescription, and it works for me."
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Testimonialists are compensated for their time.
*Based on Pharmacy Times Survey 2023-2024