Apoaequorin, derived from the glow-in-the-dark jellyfish Aequorea victoria, has garnered attention as a potential supplement for memory improvement and brain health. This article delves into the science, claims, and safety considerations surrounding Apoaequorin to provide a balanced perspective.
What Is Apoaequorin?
Apoaequorin, a protein composed of 196 amino acids, first found its roots in the Aequorea victoria jellyfish. However, today, it predominantly emerges through synthetic means, utilizing recombinant techniques involving the bacterium E. coli.
Commonly available in the form of the dietary supplement Prevagen, this particular product boasts its ability to address mild memory loss related to aging. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to approach this “brain health supplement” with a discerning eye, distinguishing between marketing claims and scientific reality.
What does the research say about this protein—apoaequorin studies?
- A study  sponsored by Quincy Bioscience indicates a strong relation between Apoaequorin and improved mental performance.
— Findings of this study
- The total participants were 218, aged 40-91.
- They were divided into intervention (Apoaequorin) and controlled (Placebo) groups.
- The intervention group took 10 mg of Apoaequorin for 90 days, and the control group used a placebo.
After 90 days of studying both groups, the intervention group significantly improved verbal learning and cognitive functions.
- According to another study, Apoaequorin is tolerated well and is safe to use with no reported side effects.
Here is what they found.
- 10-16% improvement in verbal learning and memory in the intervention group.
- However, the control group showed a more modest (3-8%) insignificant change.
One of the drawbacks of this study was that the author should have compared both groups and concluded that the Intervention group worked better than the control group.
Also, The authors of this study are affiliated with the company producing this protein in the form of Prevagen. So we can only partially trust a company already advertising this product.
- Another animal study  assesses protein safety and the potential adverse events of Apoaequorin.
The tested animals were rats, and they were also divided into two groups and were given this protein for 90 days.
— Results Of the Study:
- No reported adverse effects or mortality were associated with this Apoaequorin use. The protein is safe to use with no serious side effects.
- However, no human data on this protein’s safety is available, concluding that the protein is 100% safe.
- According to another study , the intrahippocampal infusion of this ingredient may reverse aging‐related deficits in hippocampus‐dependent context fear memory.
- Another relatively new study suggests that taking Apoaequorin improves verbal learning and promotes memory maintenance.
Potential Benefits of Apoaequorin
People often seek Apoaequorin for various concerns, although it’s crucial to note that the scientific evidence supporting these claims is still limited. Nevertheless, here are some potential health benefits associated with Apoaequorin:
- Enhancing Brain Health, Memory, and Mental Functions: Some studies suggest that a daily dose of 10 mg of Apoaequorin may boost cognitive abilities and mental processes.
- Slowing the Progression of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS): Limited research indicates that taking 20 mg of Apoaequorin every three hours might help slow down the advancement of ALS.
- Improving Sleep Quality: A daily intake of 10 mg of Apoaequorin could improve sleep health for those seeking better sleep.
- Treatment or Prevention of Neurological Conditions: Apoaequorin has been explored as a potential therapy for Alzheimer’s, age-related dementia, Parkinson’s dementia, and vascular dementia. However, it’s essential to recognize that FDA approval is pending for these conditions, and more robust scientific evidence is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of this supplement.
This company offers three strengths: 10 mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg of Apoaequorin, emphasizing that it’s intended for healthy individuals without dementia. However, the critical question arises: can Apoaequorin, derived from jellyfish, truly benefit the human brain? Research suggests that it may not reach the brain effectively after digestion, raising doubts about its effectiveness.
Quincy Bioscience, a biotech firm based in Madison, Wisconsin, manufactures Apoaequorin marketed as Prevagen, claiming memory enhancement. However, it has faced legal issues due to alleged false advertising. In 2017, the FTC filed a lawsuit, and in 2020, a class-action case emerged, leading to product label changes and partial consumer compensation.
How Does Apoaequorin Work?
Inside your brain, there’s a crucial element called calcium. It’s like the brain’s messenger, helping cells communicate. However, too much calcium can be a problem and might lead to memory issues as you age.
Usually, calcium levels are controlled by a protein called Calmodulin, but the makers of Apoaequorin think this ingredient works like Calmodulin. However, it’s essential to note that research on this topic is minimal.
Here’s where Apoaequorin’s potential role comes in: it’s like a calcium manager. It latches onto excess calcium and helps keep it at the proper levels. By doing this, Prevagen protects your brain from potential harm and ensures it works smoothly.
But that’s not all; Apoaequorin also protects against poisonous substances called free radicals, which can damage your brain. So, it’s like a brain bodyguard, shielding your mind from stress and potential harm.
In simple terms, Apoaequorin’s ability to manage calcium and protect your brain from harm makes it a promising ingredient for boosting brain performance as you age.
Does Apoaequorin Improve Memory?
The Prevagen website highlights a small study sponsored by the supplement’s manufacturer. This study involved 218 adults aged 40 to 91 with concerns about their memory. Participants took 10 mg of Prevagen daily for 90 days, while others received placebo capsules.
At the study’s end, some Prevagen users showed slight improvements in cognitive tests compared to the placebo group. However, it’s crucial to note that the improvement was observed in individuals with minimal cognitive impairment. Some experts remain skeptical, emphasizing the need for more extensive studies to confirm these findings.
Does Apoaequorin Have Side Effects?
Prevagen’s manufacturer enlisted doctors to review reported side effects from Apoaequorin-containing supplements. Side effects like;
- Hypertension (High BP)
- Fluid retention and swelling
Please note that these were generally considered mild and unrelated to the supplement. Two reports of low blood pressure and depression with suicidal thoughts exist but lack a clear link to Apoaequorin.
Based on current evidence, Apoaequorin supplements appear to be well-tolerated for most individuals when taken at low doses for a short duration.
Apoaequorin has yet to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means there’s no officially recommended dose. However, here’s some guidance based on available information:
- Consult Your Healthcare Professional: Before starting this or any supplement, it’s wise to talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist. They can help you decide the proper dosage based on your health and needs.
- General Dosage: Some studies suggest that 10 mg daily is well-tolerated and doesn’t typically cause side effects. This could serve as a starting point if your healthcare provider recommends it.
- For Cognitive and Memory Function: If you’re specifically interested in cognitive and memory support, a daily dose of 10 mg is often suggested.
- For Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS): In cases of ALS, some individuals have taken 20 mg every 3 hours. However, this usage is considered “off-label,” meaning it’s not Apoaequorin’s standard or approved use.
- For Better Sleep Quality: A daily dose of 10 mg may be appropriate if you want to improve your sleep.
Remember, your healthcare provider’s guidance is essential when determining the right dosage. To provide personalized recommendations, they’ll consider your age, health condition, and other factors. Always follow the directions or instructions on the product label and consult a medical professional for personalized advice before using Apoaequorin or any supplement or medication.
The Bottom Line
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not evaluated Prevagen for safety and effectiveness and has expressed skepticism regarding its memory-enhancing claims. Many experts caution against relying solely on supplements for memory improvement.
A panel of experts has emphasized that a healthy diet remains the best way to obtain brain-boosting nutrients. Claims about memory-enhancing dietary supplements, including Apoaequorin, are often grounded in limited scientific evidence.
If you’re experiencing memory concerns, consulting a healthcare professional is advisable. Before trying any new supplement, especially one containing Apoaequorin, discuss it with your healthcare provider. Ask about potential interactions with medications and the safety of long-term use.
Apoaequorin’s effectiveness and safety require further investigation. While it may offer promise for some individuals, consult with your healthcare provider to explore holistic approaches to brain health and memory enhancement. Remember that scientific consensus on such supplements is still evolving. If you still want to purchase this product, you can read our honest and unbiased review about Prevagen here.