Cerebra is a dietary supplement manufactured by a company called Boston Brain Science. The manufacturer describes the supplement as a "Next-Generation Brain Health Formula" and suggests that it can help users "Stay Sharp At Any Age."
But does Cerebra contain ingredients shown in medical studies to support brain function and cognition, or are these just marketing claims? Does the supplement contain any questionable additives? How do real users rate and describe its effects?
In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Cerebra based on medical studies to give our take on whether the supplement is likely to be effective for brain health and cognitive function or if it's a waste of money.
We'll discuss the potential for side effects, feature real Cerebra user reviews and highlight pros and cons of the supplement.
Cerebra contains three active ingredients: citicoline, Bacopa monnieri extract and SerinAid. The product's Supplement Facts label is shown above.
Citicoline is the first active ingredient, and is included at a dose of 500 milligrams (mg). This ingredient has been studied in a number of clinical trials for its effects on brain function.
A 1996 clinical trial found that citicoline improved memory in healthy older adults, but the doses used were 1,000 mg and 2,000 mg per day, or 200% to 400% of the amount in Cerebra.
A 2021 clinical trial reported that citicoline at the same dosage as in Cerebra was effective for improving memory in elderly adults with age-associated memory impairment.
Another medical study with healthy adults as trial participants found that citicoline improved a specific type of memory called free recall, which refers to the ability to remember previously-learned information in any order.
Bacopa monnieri extract is the second ingredient, and is included at a 300 mg dose. This is a well-studied nootropic compound used in other popular memory supplements such as Prevagen.
A 2016 medical review reported that Bacopa extract improved memory in healthy, young adults after only six weeks of treatment at the exact same dose as in Cerebra.
SerinAid is a patented form of phosphatidylserine. This is an effective ingredient for brain health but may be underdosed.
An extensive medical review published in the Nutrition journal analyzed results from 127 clinical trials on phosphatidylserine and brain health.
The study authors concluded that the compound “supports cognitive functions” and “reverses biochemical alterations and structural deterioration in nerve cells,” but the effective dose range was listed as 300 mg to 800 mg per day, or 300% to 800% of the dose in Cerebra.
We cannot locate any clinical trials suggesting that 100 mg of phosphatidylserine is effective for improving any parameter of brain function in healthy adults.
One benefit of Cerebra is that its inactive ingredients are safe and non-toxic.
Overall, we consider Cerebra likely to improve memory and support cognitive function, because two of the three active ingredients appear effectively dosed, and the other ingredient may be underdosed but still has research-backing as a nootropic.
This is one of the better nootropic supplements we've reviewed on Illuminate Health.
But does Cerebra cause side effects? We'll discuss in the next section.
Does Cerebra Cause Side Effects?
Cerebra doesn't appear to have been studied in any clinical trials, so it's challenging to say for certain whether or not the supplement causes side effects.
However, we can make an educated guess based on its active ingredients.
We do not consider Cerebra likely to cause side effects based on its formulation. Citicoline is a safe and non-toxic compound produced endogenously (which means the body produces it naturally), and has been studied in human trials at doses much higher than that in Cerebra and has been found safe.
Bacopa monnieri extract is one of the most well-studied herbal compounds and has a favorable safety profile. A dose equivalent to 180,000 mg was found to cause no adverse effects in a clinical trial published in the BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies journal.
The safety of phosphatidylserine has been shown in human trials at doses up to 300 mg per day, which is 300% higher than the dose in Cerebra.
But how do real users review and rate the effects of Cerebra? We'll discuss in the next section.
Real Users Review Cerebra
The manufacturer of Cerebra, Boston Brain Science, has been reviewed over 100 times on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, and has an impressive 4.36 out of 5 star rating at the time of this article.
Customers like "Neal Stewart" claim that the brand is responsive and helpful:
"I am most impressed with the personal service I just received by actually speaking with a Cerebra employee by the name of [redacted]. She was warm, personal and knowledgeable about the Cerebra product. I look forward to results that I will get from taking your supplement."
The majority of health companies that we've reviewed on Illuminate Health have a customer review rating under 2 on the BBB site, since many consumers go to that site to complain about a product or service, so we consider this a good sign about the legitimacy of the brand and product.
Boston Brain Science also responds to consumer complaints on the site and attempts to resolve them, which is another good sign in our opinion about the brand's diligence and trustworthiness.
Our Nootropic Supplement Picks
There are herbs which have been shown in medical studies to be effective for short-term cognitive enhancement and memory support.
Ginkgo biloba extract is arguably the most well-studied nootropic supplement apart from caffeine. It’s derived from the leaves of a tree native to China, and has been clinically shown to support memory, cognition and focus in many published research studies.
Ginkgo biloba has not only been shown effective in older adults (the population that most nootropic studies are conducted on), but also in young, healthy adults which is impressive. A medical review published in the Psychopharmacology journal found ginkgo biloba supplementation to improve attention and cognitive performance in healthy, young adults.
Illuminate Labs manufactures a Ginkgo Biloba Extract Supplement that's potent (standardized to minimum 24% flavone glycosides and 6% terpene lactones) and third-party tested to ensure purity and label accuracy.
Interested consumers can check out Illuminate Labs Ginkgo Biloba Extract at this link to the secure product page on our website, where it retails for only $15 at a subscription price.
Panax ginseng extract is another well-studied nootropic compound. A 2013 clinical trial found that ginseng extract caused "overwhelmingly positive effects on neurocognitive function across different cognitive domains."
Illuminate Labs manufactures a Panax Ginseng Extract Supplement that's potent (standardized to minimum 8% ginsenosides) and third-party tested to ensure purity and label accuracy.
Interested consumers can check out Illuminate Labs Panax Ginseng Extract at this link to the secure product page on our website, where it retails for only $15 at a subscription price.
MCT oil is a food supplement derived from coconut oil that was shown in a 2022 clinical trial to stabilize or improve cognitive function in 80% of Alzheimer's patients after nine months of continual use.
Bulletproof MCT Oil is our top MCT oil pick, because its only ingredient is MCT oil derived from coconuts and it has zero additives.
Interested consumers can check out Bulletproof MCT Oil at this link to the product page on the official brand's website, where it currently retails for only $15.50.
All three of the supplements mentioned in this section cost less combined ($45.50) at a subscription rate than one bottle of Cerebra ($69.95).
Pros and Cons of Cerebra
Here are the pros and cons of Cerebra in our opinion:
- Effective formulation
- Should improve memory
- Should support brain health
- No questionable additive ingredients
- Uses trademarked active ingredients which may have higher quality standards
- Brand website is easy to use
- Shouldn't cause side effects in healthy adults
- Doesn't appear clinically tested
- Phosphatidylserine may be underdosed