For those familiar with Ginkgo biloba, you may be a believer in supplements improving one’s brain function — and that such additives enhance memory and sharpen one’s thinking. While studies show that GB improves blood flow to the brain and acts as an antioxidant, according to WebMD.com, the results regarding effectiveness has been mixed over the years. The same might be said for a new supplement that just hit the market and is promoting itself widely with a hefty advertising budget.
From trees to fish . . .
For thousands of years, it was the leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree that served as a common Chinese medicinal treatment for memory enhancement. Today’s shift to Prevagen is based on new scientific research that relies on a protein found in jellyfish.
The research done by Quincy Bioscience, the company that markets Prevagen is relying on the calcium-binding proteins produced by jellyfish to prompt nerve cells in the brain to operate at optimum.
Some scientific circles do believe that the jellyfish protein known as ‘apoaequorin’ has an amino acid sequence that is very similar to that of the human body’s calcium-binding proteins. So, when these cells in the lab are treated with this protein, they believe they are more resistant to induced damage. This has spawned the idea that apoaequorin can protect nerve cells from some of the consequences of aging.
FDA vs Prevagen
However, like Ginkgo biloba, this new discovery is receiving similar speculation. While the Federal Trade Commission (FDA) and New York’s attorney general are calling the product a fraud, the manufacturers are not only doubling down that Prevagen is a legitimate “memory booster,” they are also taking the FTC to task.
According to their spokespeople, they see the the “FTC as a ‘lame duck,’ federal agency,” that will be replaced soon by the Trump administration.
The case filed by the FDA dates back to a 2012 when a warning letter was issued disputing the benefits of the supplement.
“The Federal Trade Commission and New York State Attorney General have charged the marketers of the dietary supplement Prevagen with making false and unsubstantiated claims that the product improves memory, provides cognitive benefits, and is clinically shown to work,” the FTC said in a statement.
So the jury is still out. However, If you believe in the benefits and attributes of Prevagen, we’d like to hear from you? Please comment below pertaining to your experiences with this supplement and/or Gingko biloba?
However do bear in mind the irony here. While Prevagen would like us to believe that jellyfish can make us smarter, this anemone — in and of itself — is not known for its smarts. In fact, they don’t even possess a brain — and no central nervous system to boot. So brainless and spineless and a proclivity to sleep a lot, do we really think humans can benefit from such creatures? Or is the fact they survived 650 million years without a brain, something that might give hope to stupid people? The jury is out on that one too!
Primary Source: Jellyfish Memory Supplement