for January 2020
Consumer Advisor Online does not often review nutritional supplements, but since we have received dozens of requests for our opinion on the new brain and memory nootropics supplement craze sweeping the nation, we decided to weigh in and help demystify this so- called “wonder pill.”
We started hearing the buzz when Daytime TV Doctors, started touting these new pills that improve concentration, memory recall, focus, mental clarity and energy. And though we love the good Doctor and his purple gloves, we don’t love the droves of hucksters who prey on his loyal viewers trying to make a quick buck, often selling low-grade versions of his medical discoveries.
So, we researched over 38 popular brands being sold both online and in retail stores. We are going to sing like a canary about
What THEY don’t want you to know!
- These pills don’t work. The reality is that MOST of these products don’t work effectively. Maybe we’re cynical, but if you simply review the published studies on memory pills, you can quickly eliminate many of the products that don’t have “the right stuff.” The active ingredients in brain and memory health pills are expensive and most companies sell a watered down version that is not effective for memory and focus. The more brands we reviewed, the more we realized that many of these marketers are slapping slick labels on low-grade ingredients.
- Way Too Expensive. Our team saw it all! We reviewed products being sold at over $100 a bottle. That’s just way too much for something you don’t even know will work for you.
- Just another huckster pop-up shop. How do we know if a company is the real-deal or just a fly-by-night operation trying to make a quick buck on this new craze? How can you tell which company is focused on bringing a quality product to the market, and will offer you great customer service?
Though it often felt like the search for the Holy Grail, we narrowed our criteria down to a few major factors to address the key concerns our readers had.
- Memory & Focus Effective Ingredients: There are 5 critical ingredients that make a brain formula effective for improving memory, focus and mental clarity.The “Essential 5” Ingredients:
- DHA Omega 3 – helps improve blood flow to the brain, reduces inflammation and the plaque associated with disease.
- Huperzine A – Enhances general cognitive functions like memory and learning.
- Phosphatidylserine – Slows down aging-related process and essential for maintaining cellular function, helping to improve thinking skill and memory.
- Bacopin – helps repair damaged nerves in the brain and improves information processing speed.
- N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine – a key component in the production of and transmission by neurotransmitters essential to memory.
These are the most highly studied ingredients and must be combined together to achieve effective results. If any one ingredient is missing in the formula, you may not get the full cognitive benefits of the pill. It is important to go with a company that has these critical ingredients as well as a complete array of supporting ingredients to improve their absorption and effectiveness. Anything less than the correct mix will not work effectively.
- Integrity & Reputation: Go with a company that sells more than just a brain formula. If a company is just selling this one item,buyer-beware!!! It is an indication that it is just trying to capitalize on a trend and make a quick buck. Also, if a website selling a brain health formula does not have a highly visible 800# for customer service, you should walk away.
- Money-Back Guarantee: Find a company who has a “no questions asked” money-back guarantee. The last thing you want to do is waste your time arguing with a company that won’t let you return a product you sunk your hard earned money into. Also, if a company won’t stand behind its product, take that as a red flag.
- Third-Party Quality Testing. It’s important to know that what you are getting is what is actually advertised. Select a company who has documented third-party testing and verification of the ingredients on its label and its effectiveness.
Our Research Approach
With so many Brain & Memory products coming into the market, we decided to separate the winners from the losers. We pulled out our magnifying glasses, beakers and scientific calculators and got to work.
We reached out to several raw material manufacturers and learned that Phosphatidylserine and Huperzine A are in short supply. We also learned that these ingredients can be pricey, incentivizing many companies to cut corners. A company has to have the correct ingredients in the correct proportions in order for a brain health formula to be effective. We learned that not just having the two critical ingredients was important – but, also that having the correct supporting ingredients was essential in order to be effective.
We tested over 38 different brain, memory and focus brands in order to see which ones used sub-par or mostly filler ingredients, and which passed the quality verification test. Our strict process quickly eliminated many of the commonly advertised brands who were using these unwanted synthetic fillers and binders.
Lastly, we sought out real customers who used these products, and asked them about their experiences and results. Our team then reviewed all the responses, results and metrics.
The Results of Our Research
Yes, we are very cynical and who can blame us. The vast majority of the products we tested just did not pass our test for various reasons. The most common issue we found was that many did not contain the proper ingredients and proportion of the active ingredient.
Our research revealed that in order for a Brain and Memory pill to be effective and garner desired results, it had to have each of the “essential 5” ingredients at a minimum. It also needed to contain the correct ingredients to aid in your body’s absorption of these powerful ingredients.
This stringent requirement immediately eliminated 75% of the brands we reviewed.
Of the small handful of brands that actually did pass our key criteria, many had to be disqualified, as they did not offer an appropriate return policy, or they simply had too many unanswered negative customer reviews.
After an exhaustive study, the following are the top-rated brands we feel you can confidently choose from. Customers who used these brands had a good shopping experience and some even reported having an improved memory, focus and concentration in as little as one week.
Our Top Brain Health Pick
If you are thinking about trying a brain and memory supplement, then Thrive Naturals Super Brain Renew is your best bet for real results!
We don’t give out our top award to just anyone, but Thrive Naturals is doing all the right things to deliver the purest, highest quality, and maximum strength brain health formula, and we feel confident in recommending their product to you. Here is what we loved about their product:
- High Quality Ingredients
- Pure and Natural
- Contains ALL of the “Essential 5”
- Only Brand With 39 Key Ingredients
- The Right Proportions
- Third Party Tested
- 1-Year (365 Day) Money Back Guarantee
- No Hassle Return Policy
- Reputable Brand
- Affordable Price
QUALITY : They use pure and high quality Ingredients and are the ONLY ones we found that had a comprehensive formula including the top 5 most proven ingredients: DHA Omega 3, Huperzine A, Phosphatidylserine, Bacopin and N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine. Thrive Natural’s Super Brain Renew is fortified with just the right ingredients to help your body fully digest the active ingredients. No other brand came close to their comprehensive formula of 39 proven ingredients. The “essential 5” are the most important elements to help improve your memory, concentration, focus, energy, and mental clarity. But, what also makes them stand out above all the rest was that they have several supporting vitamins and nutrients to help optimize brain and memory function. A critical factor for us is that this company does not use fillers, binders or synthetics in their product. We love the fact that their capsules are vegetarian, which is a nice bonus for health-conscious consumers.
REPUTATION: We were blown away by the top-notch reputation that Thrive Naturals has in the industry. From the consumers we interviewed, we found that this company has a legion of loyal brand advocates. Their customers frequently told us that they found Thrive Naturals easy to communicate with, and quick to process and deliver their orders. The company has an amazing track record of customer service and prides itself on its Risk-Free No Questions Asked 1-Year Money Back Guarantee. As an online advocate for consumer rights, we were happy to see that they have no hidden fees nor ongoing monthly billing programs that many others try to trap consumers into.
The company also has a variety of other popular wellness products to choose from on their website, making them a unique shopping destination.
GUARANTEE: If you are searching for the best Brain and Memory product available from a reputable and customer-focused company with a 1-Year (365 Day) money back guarantee, then Thrive Naturals Super Brain Renew is the best choice we have found. They get our 2020 Editor’s Choice Award!
The only concern we had, which we did address with a representative of their company, was that due to their loyal repeat customers, strong reputation and overwhelming product demand, they tend to sell out quickly. We strongly recommend that you place your order as soon as possible, while supplies last.
Our 2nd choice for a Brain and Memory supplement is Clari-T by Life Seasons. We were pleased to see that their formula included 3 of the 5 necessary ingredients Huperzine A, Phosphatidylserine and Bacopin. In addition, we liked that their product came in a vegetable capsule. The product contains silica and rice bran, though, which we are not sure is necessary.
However, they fell short in several categories. The key issue with their product is that it does not contain DHA Omega 3 and the other essential vitamins and nutrients needed to support the absorption of Huperzine A and Phosphatidylserine. Without having DHA Omega 3 it will not have an essential piece to maximum effectiveness. This means that you would need to take a separate pill of DHA Omega 3 and several other essential vitamins to ensure you are able to reach optimal memory support. They also are still far less effective than our #1 pick’s complete array of the 3 essential brain supporting ingredients and over 30 supporting nutrients, making their product less effective.
We often really like the products made by Irwin Naturals, a quality supplier of supplements to health food stores. We like the variety of supplement options they tend to offer. Unfortunately, it was not the case with their Brain Awake.
We were initially impressed with the relatively lower advertised price of their product. However, we quickly determined not everything that glitters is really gold. Their formula is loaded with additives such as silicon dioxide, titanium dioxide, silica and others to reduce their manufacturing costs.
Though their product includes several vitamins including Bacopa, it seems to be missing the remaining four of the essential ingredients: DHA Omega 3, Huperzine A, Phosphatidylserine and N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine. It missed too many of our key criteria and so we could not endorse this product of theirs. Simply, if you don’t mind an insufficient amount of essential ingredients for improved brain and memory function and an inclusion of unwanted ingredients – then this could be a good fit for you.
P.S. Even though Thrive Natural’s Super Brain Renew is the best brain and memory supplement we have found, we would still love to hear about other Brain and Memory Supplements that you have tried! If you have had a great experience with a memory supplement that we did not cover in this article, let us know! E-mail me at : [email protected] We’ll check it out for you and if it looks good, we’ll post it on our site!