Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to nootropics.
Nootropics (cognitive enhancing supplements) are exploding in popularity these days with many Americans looking for a dietary supplement that can improve the brain's function. One of these is Neuriva, a supplement manufactured by a company called Schiff Vitamins, who suggests it can support learning, memory, focus, accuracy and concentration.
But does Neuriva contain ingredients shown in clinical studies to support optimal brain function? Does it contain any questionable additive ingredients? Is Neuriva Plus more powerful than original Neuriva? And why was Neuriva sued?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in both Neuriva and Neuriva Plus based on clinical studies to give our take on whether or not the supplements are likely to support optimal cognition, and to choose which is better-formulated between the two.
We'll feature unsponsored customer reviews of the brand, provide a cost comparison to show which retailer sells Neuriva for the best price, and explain why Neuriva was sued over some of its marketing claims.
We'll also compare Neuriva to another popular nootropic supplement called Prevagen, and discuss the risk of side effects.
Neuriva Original Ingredient Analysis
Neuriva Original only has two active ingredients: coffee fruit extract and phosphatidylserine.
Coffee fruit extract is included at a dose of 100 milligrams (mg), and this appears to be an effective nootropic ingredient.
A clinical trial published in the Antioxidants journal tested the effects of coffee fruit extract (at the exact same dose as exists in Neuriva) on cognitive function by administering a mentally-challenging test.
Participants taking coffee fruit extract had around 50% greater accuracy on the test than those taking placebo pills.
Phosphatidylserine is included at a dosage of 100 mg. This is a structural component of cell membranes that’s produced by the body, but can also be taken in supplemental form.
A medical review on phosphatidylserine supplementation, published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, found that this compound improved memory at the same dose as exists in Neuriva Original.
Phosphatidylserine has also been clinically shown to reverse some aspects of structural deterioration in the brain, as we documented in our review of another nootropic supplement called Cerebra.
Titanium dioxide is an inactive ingredient that is banned in the European Union (E.U.) for use as a food additive over concerns about genotoxicity (the potential to damage DNA).
Since we initially published this article, Neuriva has been shown to improve cognitive performance in healthy adults in a 2023 clinical trial.
This is a major development, as few nootropics have been clinically shown to work, and we commend the brand for funding legitimate clinical research published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
This elevates Neuriva over most nootropic supplements that we've reviewed to date on Illuminate Health.
Overall, we consider Neuriva Original highly likely to have a nootropic effect, but we don't currently recommend this supplement due to the inclusion of titanium dioxide.
Real People Try Neuriva
A YouTube creator named "The Magical Frequency" shared her experience after taking Neuriva for 30 days:
A TikTok creator named "JM4 Tactical Holsters" suggests that Neuriva was effective for him:
Is Neuriva Plus More Effective?
Neuriva Plus contains five active ingredients: vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, coffee fruit extract and phosphatidylserine.
Coffee fruit extract and phosphatidylserine are effective nootropic ingredients as we documented in the previous Ingredient Analysis section, and while the dose of coffee fruit extract is doubled in this version, we haven't come across any clinical evidence that and increased dose improves the nootropic effect.
Vitamin B6, folate and vitamin B12 are the three remaining active ingredients. All are B-vitamins, and we have doubts about their nootropic efficacy.
While these vitamins are essential for proper brain function, we haven't come across any medical research suggesting that their supplemental intake is beneficial for individuals without deficiency.
A medical review published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease analyzed the relationship between these same three vitamins and cognitive function, and concluded that the vitamins "may not be modifiable risk factors for slowing cognitive decline."
Interestingly, Neuriva has changed the formulation of their Neuriva Plus product since we last reviewed it. Their previous formulation was superior in our opinion, because it contained l-theanine and French melon fruit concentrate; both ingredients with more convincing reesarch for brain performance than the B-vitamins they've been replaced with.
Titanium dioxide is included as an inactive ingredient, and we explained in the previous Ingredient Analysis section why we recommend avoiding it.
Overall, we consider Neuriva Plus likely to have a nootropic effect, given that two of its active ingredients are effectively dosed for nootropic support.
We consider Neuriva Plus to be an inferior formulation to Neuriva Original, and to not be worth the increased price. Neuriva Original is the one clinically shown to work, and the three additional active ingredients in this formulation are unlikely to confer additional benefit in our opinion.
Why Was Neuriva Sued?
Neuriva was sued over allegations of false advertising in 2021. The supplement was allegedly marketed as "backed by science" and "clinically proven," and the plaintiffs argued at the time that never of these statements were true.
As Bloomberg documented, a settlement of $8 million was approved by a Florida judge in 2021 in this case.
Since this lawsuit, Neuriva has actually shown (in one clinical trial at least) that the Original formulation of their supplement is effective.
It will be interesting to see whether Neuriva reverts to these marketing statements now that their supplement does have some clinical backing.
We do not consider this to be a risk about the brand moving forward, as it appears at the time of updating this article that they've significantly toned down their marketing statements, and the supplement is clinically shown to work.
Does Neuriva Cause Side Effects?
Now that Neuriva Original has been studied in a clinical trial, we can evaluate the side effect data to determine if there's a risk to consumers.
In the trial (cited in the initial Ingredient Analysis section), more participants taking placebo pills (25 vs. 23) experienced side effects than participants taking Neuriva, which suggests that Neuriva does not cause side effects.
Neuriva is free of any harsh stimulants, which is another good sign in regard to the risk of side effects. As we discussed in our is Gorilla Mind safe article, some nootropic formulations contain stimulants that can cause anxiety and jitters.
Overall, we consider Neuriva unlikely to cause side effects in otherwise healthy adults. We feel more strongly about this statement in regard to Neuriva Original, because that's the formulation that was clinically shown to not cause any more side effects than placebo pills.
Neuriva Gummies Ingredient Analysis
The ingredients in Neuriva Gummies are shown above.
This formulation has the same active ingredients at the same doses as Neuriva Original, so we consider it likely to be effective for supporting optimal cognitive function.
However, this product also contains some inactive ingredients that may be questionable from a health perspective.
Corn syrup and sugar are used as sweeteners, and a Harvard medical review established that excess sugar has a negative impact on brain function. Many Americans already consume too much sugar from diet, so it may be logical to avoid it in supplements.
Citric acid is another inactive ingredient in this formulation that we recommend avoiding. As we documented in our Auri Mushroom Gummies review article, some individuals experience whole-body inflammation in response to oral ingestion of citric acid.
Overall, we consider the formulation of Neuriva Gummies to be inferior to the formulation of Neuriva Original Capsules and Neuriva Plus Capsules from a health perspective.
Where to Buy Neuriva for the Best Price
Neuriva is sold at a variety of online retailers. Here's a price breakdown for a one-time purchase of the three products reviewed, at the time of updating this article:
Target: $33.99 (plus shipping, link)
Brand website: $32.99 (free shipping, link)
Amazon: $27.69 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)
Brand website: $49.49 (free shipping, link)
Target: $40.99 (free shipping, link)
Amazon: $39.97 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)
Target: $32.99 (plus shipping, link)
Amazon: $29.67 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)
Neuriva is currently around 15% cheaper on Amazon than at other retailers.
Neuriva vs. Prevagen
Prevagen is another popular nootropic supplement, so consumers are often curious about which has a better formulation. We published a Prevagen reviews article, so we've analyzed every ingredient in both formulations.
While we don't recommend either supplement, we consider both Neuriva and Neuriva Plus to be better-formulated than Prevagen, because Neuriva supplements contain several nootropic ingredients that are effectively dosed, while we consider the clinical research backing for Prevagen to be less impressive.
Prevagen also engages in highly questionable business practices in our opinion, which we go into detail about in the above-linked article, and the company received an FDA warning letter due to failing quality controls in their manufacturing facility.
Our Clean Nootropic Picks
There are compounds which have been shown in medical studies to be effective for cognitive enhancement and memory support.
MCT oil is a food supplement derived from coconut oil that improved memory recall by 20% in adults in a 2022 meta-study.
Bulletproof MCT Oil is our top MCT oil pick, because its only ingredient is MCT oil derived from coconuts and it has zero additives. It currently retails for under $16.
Ginkgo biloba extract is arguably the most well-studied nootropic supplement apart from caffeine.
A medical review published in the Psychopharmacology journal found that ginkgo biloba supplementation improved attention and cognitive performance in healthy, young adults.
Illuminate Labs Ginkgo Biloba Extract is our supplement which is third-party tested to ensure purity and label accuracy, and retails for only $15 at a subscription price.
Panax ginseng extract is another well-studied nootropic supplement. A 2013 clinical trial found that ginseng extract caused "overwhelmingly positive effects on neurocognitive function across different cognitive domains."
Illuminate Labs Panax Ginseng Extract is our supplement which is third-party tested to ensure purity and label accuracy, and retails for only $15 at a subscription price.
Real Customers Review Neuriva
Amazon is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.
Neuriva Original has been reviewed over 3,500 times on Amazon, and currently has an average review rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars.
The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named "Peter T." who gives the product a 5/5 star rating, and claims it improved memory:
"To my surprise this product actually works. Within about a week I noticed my memory getting better when it came to names and places."
The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named "Teresa S." who gives the product a 1/5 star rating, and claims it caused side effects:
"I started having weird feelings in my jaw and sometimes bad headaches. I stopped taking these and both stopped. Ive taken these for a few months and did not notice much as far as a sharpness that i didnt already have without them. I dont think these are good for you. Anyway, i feel way better since ive stopped taking these. And they are too expensive."
Neuriva currently has an average review rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars on Facebook.
Neuriva Plus currently has an average review rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Google.
Pros and Cons of Neuriva
Here are the pros and cons of Neuriva in our opinion:
- Neuriva Original is clinically shown to be effective
- All formulations contain effective ingredients
- Cheaper than many nootropic supplements
- Mostly positive online customer reviews
- Free of potent stimulants
- Unlikely to cause side effects
- Free shipping from brand's website
- Neuriva capsules contain titanium dioxide
- Neuriva Gummies contain added, refined sugar
- Neuriva Gummies contain citric acid
- Brand settled in court over alleged false claims of clinical efficacy
Is Neuriva FDA approved?
Dietary supplements are regulated but not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so Neuriva is not FDA approved but neither are any of its competitors. Only pharmaceutical medications are approved by the FDA.
Is Neuriva as effective as Adderall?
Adderall is a prescription stimulant. We consider Adderall to be more likely to improve short-term brain performance than Neuriva given its considerable research backing.
Adderall is an amphetamine with addictive potential, and may be a less safe option than Neuriva in our opinion.
Do you recommend Neuriva De Stress Capsules?
Neuriva seems to have branded their old Neuriva Plus formulation as "De Stress" capsules. We consider these to be overpriced, because the only effective anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) ingredient that we can identify in this Neuriva De Stress capsules is l-theanine at a dose of 200 mg.
Should you take Neuriva at bedtime?
We don't recommend taking Neuriva at bedtime, because some users have reported a stimulatory effect of the coffee fruit extract.
Taking Neuriva capsules with breakfast seems like a more logical choice, even though Neuriva's directions state that the product should be taken at bedtime. No explanation is given as to why they recommend this.