Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — Give Your Memory Muscle a Workout

Dear Dr. Walt,

No matter what TV channel I watch, I seem to come across ads touting a product called Prevagen that suggest it can help me “experience improved memory, a sharper mind, and clearer thinking.” I’ve researched it a bit. It looks like it costs about $40 per month, which would be a lot more expensive than the vitamin E and ginkgo I’ve been using. Thoughts?

—Trouble Remembering in Rhode Island

Dear Forgetful Reader,

ConsumerLab.com says, “Unfortunately there are no peer-reviewed studies to back up these claims.”

In addition, according to news reports, the FDA has warned the manufacturer in the past against about claiming Prevagen could treat conditions such as head injuries and Alzheimer’s disease and for failing to report adverse reactions.

Furthermore, the FDA has also claimed that the key ingredient, apoaequorin, is not an acceptable ingredient in a dietary supplement. Apoaequorin is a calcium-binding protein originally found in jellyfish, which some tout as protecting brain cells.

The folks who advise doctors at Prescribers Letter say, “Tell patients not to buy into the Prevagen hype. There’s not much evidence it works and there are reports of serious side effects such as stroke and seizures.”

In addition, Prescribers Letter says, “Tell patients not to count on other ‘memory supplements’ such as vitamin E or ginkgo,” as these “may not work and could cause harm.”

So, what can we do to assist and protect our aging brains? There’s nothing better than staying physically and mentally active to help prevent cognitive decline.

Dr. Walt


This Q&A was published in the November 2016 edition of Today’s Christian Living.

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2016. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

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