Does Prevagen Really Work?

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content material. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, photos, and quotes to which Dr. Greger could also be referring, watch the above video.

Over the final twenty years or so, Big Pharma has invested greater than a half trillion {dollars} into dementia remedy analysis, however to date to little avail. In gentle of this, many have turned to dietary supplements. An AARP commissioned survey discovered that 36 p.c of these 74 years and older take a complement for mind health, to the tune of billions of {dollars} a 12 months. The mostly marketed mind complement was one I’d frankly by no means heard of earlier than: Prevagen.

Prevagen accommodates a protein derived from a luminescent jellyfish the corporate claims “has been clinically shown to improve memory.” According to the corporate web site, “A landmark double-blind and placebo controlled trial demonstrated Prevagen improved short-term memory, learning, and delayed recall over 90 days.” But whenever you really pull up the research, not solely did Prevagen fail to enhance reminiscence, studying, or recall over placebo, it failed to point out a big enchancment in any of the 9 measured cognitive duties examined. As an inquiry into Prevagen revealed by the Center for Science within the Public Interest was titled, “How Can This Memory Supplement Flunk Its One Trial and Still Be Advertised as Effective?” And not simply as efficient, however the #1 pharmacist beneficial model. Considering the dearth of sound medical proof, how is that attainable? Presumably, they’re simply as blitzed with the identical type of promoting as everybody else.

It’s no shock the complement didn’t do something, for the reason that firm’s personal research confirmed the jellyfish protein was quickly digested by abdomen enzymes. Of course, that didn’t cease them from raking in additional than $20 million a 12 months. Claiming the “marketers of Prevagen preyed on the fears of older consumers experiencing age-related memory loss,” the Federal Trade Commission and New York State’s Attorney General filed a client safety grievance charging the corporate with making false and unsubstantiated claims. The AARP weighed in, accusing the corporate of “deceiving millions of aging Americans.”

In a transfer straight out of the Big Pharma aducanumab playbook, the corporate went again and performed greater than 30 publish hoc analyses of the info, and located just a few constructive findings on just a few duties for some subgroups. This cherry-picking of subgroups after the actual fact is a basic instance of manipulation, generally referred to as “p-hacking” or “data dredging,” that may be described as “placing a bet on a horse after watching the race.”

The makers of Prevagen settled a category motion lawsuit in 2020 with the FTC over misleading enterprise practices and false promoting. Remarkably, although, the settlement permits them to proceed to promote it, with the court-approved disclaimer that claims are “based on a clinical study of subgroups of individuals …” But with the quantity of slicing and dicing of knowledge they did, the probabilities of discovering at the very least one false constructive was estimated at 80 p.c.

Prevagen could also be greater than only a waste of cash. The producer was cited for failing to report greater than a thousand hostile occasions associated by customers to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Regulators can’t have it each methods, although. If the jellyfish protein is digested away, how can it pose a security danger? Because dietary dietary supplements are too usually adulterated with contaminants. FDA inspectors particularly cited Prevagen’s manufacturing services for “objectionable conditions or practices.”

A 2019 survey by Pew discovered that greater than half believed that the Food and Drug Administration requires dietary supplements be examined for security, however that isn’t true. One research of 24 dietary supplements offered as cognitive efficiency boosters discovered that almost all claimed an ingredient on the label that wasn’t really within the complement. And worse, 38 p.c contained elements not allowed in dietary supplements, like prohibited medication. Another research of a dozen so-called “brain health supplements” equally discovered 8 out of 12 have been misbranded (lacking an ingredient promised on the label), and 10 out of 12 have been deemed adulterated (containing unlisted compounds, for instance caffeine in a product that explicitly highlighted all-caps ‘‘DECAFFEINATED’’ on the label). Only 1 of 12 was certified to comprise what it mentioned it did. ​​The backside line for Prevagen—there is no such thing as a acceptable proof that it’s efficient, and sufferers ought to be suggested to not take it.

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