Prevagen vs Aricept (aka, Donepezil) – which one is better for brain function? Just to make it clear from the start, Prevagen is a dietary supplement that’s available to buy over the counter. It’s available online and in some food stores, and comes in two different versions: ‘regular strength’ and ‘extra strength’. Both variants come in 30-capsule bottles.
Aricept, on the other hand, is a medication that you can only get via a doctor’s prescription. It’s designed to help fight memory loss, lack of focus, and other symptoms of cognitive decline.
But which one of these is better for memory and cognitive function? Are they safe? And how do they compare to our current best rated natural brain supplements? Let’s start looking closer at both of these products to learn more.
Prevagen vs Aricept – The Basics
Produced by a Wisconsin-based company Quincy Bioscience. Prevagen belongs to a class of supplements called ‘nootropics,’ which is another name for natural brain supplements.
You can think of nootropic supplements as a mental equivalent of a multivitamin. A good nootropic supplement provides certain nutrients – antioxidants, herbs, vitamins, minerals – that help improve different aspects of your cognitive function.
Prevagen, specifically, claims to enhance your:
- Word recall
While it doesn’t exactly state it anywhere, it’s clear Prevagen targets older demographics and people who’re looking to maintain a youthful brain. One thing we didn’t like is that Prevagen’s makers have been sued for false marketing claims by Federal Trade Commission.
Prevagen’s main ingredient – a jellyfish protein – is what’s behind the controversy. It’s heavily marketed and claimed to give you all sorts of benefits, some of which are questionable. Below you’ll see what we mean.
Aricept or Donepezil is a medication that improves function of nerve signaling in your brain. How does it work, you ask? It increases the levels of acetylcholine in your brain.
People with low acetylcholine levels typically suffer from memory loss and dementia. Therefore, keeping the levels of this critical neurotransmitter healthy will help you remember things better.
Aricept is used in patients with dementia and mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. It’s not a cure for any of these conditions, but rather, helps to fight their symptoms. But Aricept also comes with a number of downsides, which we’ll cover below.
Prevagen contains two active ingredients, and a bunch of ‘other’ filler ingredients which don’t do anything. The active ingredients are vitamin D and Apoaequorin.
- Vitamin D is a nutrient we get from sunshine and foods like fatty fish. It’s not only essential for your brain but also physical health. However, unless you’re getting 20 minutes of direct sunlight every day, it’s unlikely you’re getting optimal levels of this vitamin. So supplementation is a good idea.
- The other ingredient in Prevagen is Apoaequorin. It’s basically a protein that’s sourced from glowing jellyfish, and is rumored to help improve signaling between your brain cells – leading to clearer thinking and better memory.
Looking at Prevagen’s marketing, you’d think this is a kind of a miracle ingredient. But the actual science says otherwise – so far, there’s no concrete proof that Jellyfish protein can do anything for our brain.
Aricept’s active ingredient is Donepezil. As you’ve seen above, it’s used to help treat dementia. Some early evidence suggests that it also might boost cognition in healthy people.
Aricept works by inhibiting the enzyme that destroys acetylcholine, a brain chemical that helps you remember and learn information.
However, the science is still not conclusive on how safe and reliable Aricept is. It’s a synthetic compound, one that can cause a number of side effects.
Natural alternatives are safer and more reliable. These include food supplements that help boost your acetylcholine levels naturally, resulting in better memory and focus.
Our Thoughts on the Ingredients in Prevagen vs Aricept
We don’t currently rate either one as the best brain enhancer right now. Prevagen only has two ingredients. One isn’t proven to work while the other is vitamin D which can’t do much on its own. Plus, it’s cheaper to get vitamin D as a standalone supplement if you can’t get it from food or sun
Aricept, on the other hand, should only be taken if your doctor told you so. Otherwise, it’s best to choose a natural alternative that works just as well, if not better, and doesn’t have any side effects.
Prevagen only uses 2 ingredients, one of which (Apoaequorin) isn’t studied well enough to know how it works in humans. If you look at the user reviews and testimonials though, Prevagen appears to be a harmless product.
As for Aricept, it’s a bit different story. This synthetic is known to cause a range of symptoms, including:
- feeling unwell
- appetite loss
- weight loss
- sleep problems
- muscle cramps
- shakiness (tremor)
- itchy skin
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these side effects. Remember that this article isn’t medical advice. It’s for informational purposes only!
Can You Take Prevagen and Aricept Together?
This is one of the more common questions we hear regarding Prevagen and Aricept. However, it’s a question you’ll need to ask your doctor. We aren’t medical professionals and can’t offer you any advice in regards to this, unfortunately.
Price and Value For Money?
Prevagen’s price is around $40 on Amazon and the official website. It’s a disappointing value for money, considering that it only has one ingredient that works – a basic vitamin which you can get for a couple of dollars online.
Aricept’s price depends on your medical insurance plan and other factors. You can only get it via a doctor’s prescription! It’s not available OTC like Prevagen.
Conclusion on Prevagen vs Aricept
We don’t currently rate Prevagen as one of the best brain supplements available. It’s missing some of the core ingredients, it costs a lot, and it isn’t backed by real science. In our opinion, Prevagen is a big letdown.
Aricept is a synthetic cure that you shouldn’t take without your doctor’s permission. It comes with a whole host of side effects and is not the safest and most reliable option for supporting your brain health. Just because it’s a pharmaceutical pill doesn’t mean it works flawlessly for everyone!
If you’re just looking to stay mentally sharp and support your brain health naturally, then be sure to check our top 3 supplements by clicking on the image below.
We’ve picked the top three leading nootropic stacks on offer right now to support your goals.
*Disclaimer: The information found on this page is not medical advice, nor should it be taken as such. This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for medical care or to prescribe treatment for any specific health condition.