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{"id":556065521737,"title":"Cerebra Review: Can It Optimize Brain Health?","created_at":"2021-12-20T15:26:47-05:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Cerebra Review: Can It Optimize Brain Health?\",\n \"keywords\": \"cerebra, cerebra review, cerebra reviews, cerebra medication, cerebra supplement, cerebra brain supplement\",\n \"description\": \"Our MD and research team review the formulation of Cerebra based on medical research to determine whether it's is likely to be effective. We also suggest some alternative supplements that we believe may be superior for enhancing nootropic function.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/cerebra-review\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Taylor Graber MD\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/taylor-graber\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/taylor-j-graber-md-81351642\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Content Partner\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"medicine, health, anesthesiology, iv therapy, science, drugs, pharmaceutical, medical research, scientific research, medical journals, entrepreneurship, healthcare, orthopedic surgery, biomedical engineering\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"University of California San Diego\",\n \"Arizona University\",\n \"University of Arizona College of Medicine\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"contributor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"DJ Mazzoni\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": [\n \"M.S.\",\n \"R.D.\",\n \"C.D.N.\",\n \"C.S.C.S.\"\n ],\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/dj-mazzoni\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/dj-mazzoni-rd-cdn-cscs-00a33038\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Medical Reviewer\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"exercise, drugs, pharmaceutical, health, workout, strength and conditioning, nutrition, dietetics, medicine, medical research, scientific research, scientific method, healthcare, patient care, wellness\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"State University of New York College Oswego\",\n \"D’Youville College\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Cerebra_Thumbnail.jpg?v=1642285194\",\n\"width\": \"2236\",\n\"height\": \"2236\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC1908237\/\", \n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/33053828\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/8624220\/\",\n\"https:\/\/academic.oup.com\/jn\/article\/151\/8\/2153\/6274469\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/9203170\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/prevagen-review\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5075615\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/25933483\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.fda.gov\/safety\/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts\/abh-natures-products-inc-abh-pharma-inc-and-stocknutracom-inc-issues-nationwide-recall-all-lots\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC6288277\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32592534\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/11466162\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/23326356\/\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"rhodiola rosea extract\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"ginkgo biloba extract\"\n }\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2021-12-21\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Logo.png?v=1641249064\", \n \"width\": 150,\n \"height\": 150\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"Address\": {\n \"@type\": \"PostalAddress\",\n \"streetAddress\": \"50 Union Street, Unit 9\",\n \"addressLocality\": \"Northampton\",\n \"addressRegion\": \"Massachusetts\",\n \"postalCode\": \"01060\",\n \"addressCountry\": \"US\"\n},\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Cerebra_Review_Article_Header_Image_Optimized_d0bbce51-407b-4694-82e7-522d6e36f3d3.png?v=1643917981\" alt=\"\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eB\u003c\/span\u003eoston Brain Science is a supplement brand which manufactures a popular nootropic product called Cerebra. The product claims to support memory, and improve focus and clarity.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article we’ll review the formulation of Cerebra based on medical research to determine whether the product is likely to be effective, as well as offer some alternatives we believe may be superior for nootropic function.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eFormulation Review\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Cerebra_Ingredients_Optimized.png?v=1640032601\" alt=\"Cerebra ingredients list\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCerebra only has three active ingredients, which makes it relatively easy to assess for efficacy.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe first active ingredient is a patented form of \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003eciticoline\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e at a dose of 500 milligrams (mg). The brand misspells this ingredient as “citicholine.”\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis is a naturally-occurring compound in human cells, and is thought to potentially aid brain function by increasing dopamine receptor density, based on \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC1908237\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eearly research\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWhile a \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/33053828\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e of the compound found that it has promise for slowing the progress of neurological disorders, there is less research suggesting its effectiveness for healthy subjects. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOne \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/8624220\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e found that citicoline improved memory in healthy elderly patients and found promising results, but the dosages used were 1000 mg\/day or 2000 mg\/day (2x and 4x as much as in Cerebra).\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA more recent \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/academic.oup.com\/jn\/article\/151\/8\/2153\/6274469\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical study\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e found that citicoline at the dosage in Cerebra was effective for improving memory in elderly adults with age-associated memory impairment (AAMI).\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe were only able to locate \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/9203170\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eone study\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e suggesting that citicoline improves some aspects of memory in healthy older adults at the dosage in Cerebra.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOverall, there is a significant amount of medical evidence for citicoline in the treatment of disorders, but in our opinion not enough to suggest that this ingredient at the dose in Cerebra is effective for improving memory in healthy adults. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe second ingredient in this product is \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003eBacopa monnieri extract\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e at a dosage of 300 mg. This is a well-studied nootropic compound used in other popular memory products such as \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/prevagen-review\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ePrevagen\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e300 mg appears to be an effective dose \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5075615\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ebased on medical research\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e. The linked study found that bacopa caused significant cognitive benefits in a healthy, young population after only 6 weeks of treatment at a 300 mg dose. There are other studies showing a similar effect.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe conclude that this is an effective nootropic ingredient.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe final active ingredient in Cerebra is a patented compound providing 100 mg of \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003ephosphatidylserine\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e. This is an effective ingredient for brain health but appears to be underdosed.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAn \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/25933483\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eextremely extensive medical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e of phosphatidylserine for brain health analyzed 127 individual medical studies on the topic, and 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 300-800 mg\/day (3-8x what you find in Cerebra).\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe could not locate a medical study suggesting 100 mg of phosphatidylserine alone was effective for improving any cognitive functions in healthy adults.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIt’s worth noting that Cerebra only contains two inactive ingredients, and both are extremely safe, so there is no risk of harm from filler ingredients as in some supplements we’ve reviewed.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOverall we find Cerebra to be a supplement with effective ingredients at generally ineffective doses.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eLack of Published Research or Testing\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe generally recommend that consumers be wary of proprietary supplements without any published medical studies backing their effectiveness. Just because a supplement company puts together a blend of ingredients which may be effective, doesn’t necessarily mean the finished product will be effective for any specific health goal.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThere are no published medical studies on the Cerebra supplement.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe brand also publishes no test results, independent or otherwise, proving the label accuracy or purity of their products. Supplement mislabeling and contamination \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.fda.gov\/safety\/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts\/abh-natures-products-inc-abh-pharma-inc-and-stocknutracom-inc-issues-nationwide-recall-all-lots\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eis a huge issue\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e in the U.S. market, which is why we recommend consumers only purchase supplements which are third-party tested.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eNootropics With More Data\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThere are nootropic compounds with significantly more data backing their efficacy than Cerebra.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch3\u003e\u003cb\u003eRhodiola Rosea Extract\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h3\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eRhodiola is an adaptogenic herb that’s been studied extensively for its benefit to cognitive function.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC6288277\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emeta-review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the Frontiers in Pharmacology journal analyzed 36 different studies on the topic, and concluded that rhodiola improved memory in a statistically significant manner.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32592534\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003erecent clinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e found that 400 mg daily of a patented rhodiola extract improved attention and executive cognitive functions, as well as improved mental speed. This was a human trial, whereas the previously-linked meta-study covered mostly animal trials.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch3\u003e\u003cb\u003eGinkgo Biloba Extract\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h3\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eGinkgo is probably the herbal compound with the most research backing its effectiveness for improving cognition. There is extensive human research suggesting that ginkgo can improve cognitive function and reduce age-related mental deterioration.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOne highly-cited \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/11466162\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e tested whether ginkgo could induce positive neuropsychological changes in healthy adults. The researchers found benefits in three different categories when comparing the group taking ginkgo to controls: speed of information processing, working memory, and executive processing.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAnother \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/23326356\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ereview\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the PLOS One journal found that healthy elderly human subjects taking ginkgo experienced significantly less cognitive decline than a control group not taking the supplement. The effect was particularly impressive, given that the same benefit was not seen with another popular nootropic compound called piracetam.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe don’t recommend Cerebra, as we believe it’s ineffectively formulated. All three of the ingredients included do have some research backing their effectiveness for improving memory and cognition, but we find the doses to be insufficient.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOur position is that there are herbal nootropics which are cheaper and likely to be more effective than this supplement, such as ginkgo biloba extract and rhodiola rosea extract. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSince bacopa monnieri extract was found to be the only effectively dosed ingredient in Cerebra, we’d recommend taking 300 mg bacopa monnieri extract in isolation rather than taking this product.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCerebra has not published any medical research proving that the unique blend of ingredients at the dosages used are effective for improving brain health or function.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2021-12-21T12:00:00-05:00","updated_at":"2022-02-03T14:55:39-05:00","summary_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eWe review the formulation of brain health supplement Cerebra based on medical research to determine whether it's is likely to be effective, as well as offer some alternatives we believe may be superior for nootropic function.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","template_suffix":"","handle":"cerebra-review","tags":"_related:nootropics"}

Cerebra Review: Can It Optimize Brain Health?

Cerebra Review: Can It Optimize Brain Health?


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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.
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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.


Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Boston Brain Science is a supplement brand which manufactures a popular nootropic product called Cerebra. The product claims to support memory, and improve focus and clarity.

In this article we’ll review the formulation of Cerebra based on medical research to determine whether the product is likely to be effective, as well as offer some alternatives we believe may be superior for nootropic function.

Formulation Review

Cerebra ingredients list

Cerebra only has three active ingredients, which makes it relatively easy to assess for efficacy.

The first active ingredient is a patented form of citicoline at a dose of 500 milligrams (mg). The brand misspells this ingredient as “citicholine.”

This is a naturally-occurring compound in human cells, and is thought to potentially aid brain function by increasing dopamine receptor density, based on early research.

While a medical review of the compound found that it has promise for slowing the progress of neurological disorders, there is less research suggesting its effectiveness for healthy subjects. 

One clinical trial found that citicoline improved memory in healthy elderly patients and found promising results, but the dosages used were 1000 mg/day or 2000 mg/day (2x and 4x as much as in Cerebra).

A more recent medical study found that citicoline at the dosage in Cerebra was effective for improving memory in elderly adults with age-associated memory impairment (AAMI).

We were only able to locate one study suggesting that citicoline improves some aspects of memory in healthy older adults at the dosage in Cerebra.

Overall, there is a significant amount of medical evidence for citicoline in the treatment of disorders, but in our opinion not enough to suggest that this ingredient at the dose in Cerebra is effective for improving memory in healthy adults. 

The second ingredient in this product is Bacopa monnieri extract at a dosage of 300 mg. This is a well-studied nootropic compound used in other popular memory products such as Prevagen.

300 mg appears to be an effective dose based on medical research. The linked study found that bacopa caused significant cognitive benefits in a healthy, young population after only 6 weeks of treatment at a 300 mg dose. There are other studies showing a similar effect.

We conclude that this is an effective nootropic ingredient.

The final active ingredient in Cerebra is a patented compound providing 100 mg of phosphatidylserine. This is an effective ingredient for brain health but appears to be underdosed.

An extremely extensive medical review of phosphatidylserine for brain health analyzed 127 individual medical studies on the topic, and 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 300-800 mg/day (3-8x what you find in Cerebra).

We could not locate a medical study suggesting 100 mg of phosphatidylserine alone was effective for improving any cognitive functions in healthy adults.

It’s worth noting that Cerebra only contains two inactive ingredients, and both are extremely safe, so there is no risk of harm from filler ingredients as in some supplements we’ve reviewed.

Overall we find Cerebra to be a supplement with effective ingredients at generally ineffective doses.

Lack of Published Research or Testing

We generally recommend that consumers be wary of proprietary supplements without any published medical studies backing their effectiveness. Just because a supplement company puts together a blend of ingredients which may be effective, doesn’t necessarily mean the finished product will be effective for any specific health goal.

There are no published medical studies on the Cerebra supplement.

The brand also publishes no test results, independent or otherwise, proving the label accuracy or purity of their products. Supplement mislabeling and contamination is a huge issue in the U.S. market, which is why we recommend consumers only purchase supplements which are third-party tested.

Nootropics With More Data

There are nootropic compounds with significantly more data backing their efficacy than Cerebra.

Rhodiola Rosea Extract

Rhodiola is an adaptogenic herb that’s been studied extensively for its benefit to cognitive function.

A meta-review published in the Frontiers in Pharmacology journal analyzed 36 different studies on the topic, and concluded that rhodiola improved memory in a statistically significant manner.

A recent clinical trial found that 400 mg daily of a patented rhodiola extract improved attention and executive cognitive functions, as well as improved mental speed. This was a human trial, whereas the previously-linked meta-study covered mostly animal trials.

Ginkgo Biloba Extract

Ginkgo is probably the herbal compound with the most research backing its effectiveness for improving cognition. There is extensive human research suggesting that ginkgo can improve cognitive function and reduce age-related mental deterioration.

One highly-cited clinical trial tested whether ginkgo could induce positive neuropsychological changes in healthy adults. The researchers found benefits in three different categories when comparing the group taking ginkgo to controls: speed of information processing, working memory, and executive processing.

Another review published in the PLOS One journal found that healthy elderly human subjects taking ginkgo experienced significantly less cognitive decline than a control group not taking the supplement. The effect was particularly impressive, given that the same benefit was not seen with another popular nootropic compound called piracetam.

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Conclusion

We don’t recommend Cerebra, as we believe it’s ineffectively formulated. All three of the ingredients included do have some research backing their effectiveness for improving memory and cognition, but we find the doses to be insufficient.

Our position is that there are herbal nootropics which are cheaper and likely to be more effective than this supplement, such as ginkgo biloba extract and rhodiola rosea extract. 

Since bacopa monnieri extract was found to be the only effectively dosed ingredient in Cerebra, we’d recommend taking 300 mg bacopa monnieri extract in isolation rather than taking this product.

Cerebra has not published any medical research proving that the unique blend of ingredients at the dosages used are effective for improving brain health or function.





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