In my journey to discover the very best of nootropics I’ve found many products with a variety of formulations, from herbal to vitamin-mineral blends. Rarely, however, have I come across an amino acid blend which claims to aid brain health.
This is what seems to make the ingredients in the brand Cebria supposedly stand out from the crowd. Intended to help specifically in age-related memory loss and overall cognitive health (as opposed to specific cognitive degeneration due to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, for example), Cebria is a one-of-a-kind formulation.
There has been a huge amount of research around age-related memory loss, cognition, brain health and cures for symptoms such as brain-fog. Studies on the causes of degeneration, and on the potential cures to prevent mental decline are big business.
Imagine, someone comes up with a cure for age-related memory loss that actually works?
It would be a modern-day miracle! We often look outside the viability of drugs to the potential of supplements when we are eager to do the work ourselves, and that’s where brands like Cebria come in.
So how do the makers of pills like Cebria claim these things if the scientists who are working tirelessly for a cure haven’t yet come up with a proven formulation? I’m interested to know more.
The frustrating thing about trying to find out more about Cebria is that the current homepage of their website Cebria.com carries a free trial advert which doesn’t actually give much product information. The only other pages are Reviews (which just redirects you to the homepage, the free trial) and FAQs.
I’ve instead looked at the pages of Thera Botanics, the makers of Cebria, to find out more.
Navigating to the FAQs page I find out that Cebria is aimed at those of advanced age to combat age-related memory loss. This is the key to both the way that Cebria is marketed and the way that the ‘research’ is described.
Consisting of a ‘breakthrough formula that’s been scientifically tested and shown in a double-blind study to dramatically improve your memory in just 30 days’, Cebria consists of one active ingredient: ‘N-Pe p-12’. This is a proprietary blend of neuropeptides (amino acids).
The manufacturers say that they ‘run 12 quality-assurance tests on each production run’ which is by way of convincing customers of the veracity of their claims in terms of quality, but what does it really do? I’m struggling to find out as there isn’t much of a mission, vision or even an information page on the website.
Background on Cebria, LLC (Thera Botanics)
Thera Botanics was founded in 2007. Their mission is to ‘make the best natural products to support physical health and emotional well-being’.
Thera Botanics’ range includes Men’s Health and Women’s Health products, Digestive health and Memory health products (Cebria and Cebria Ultra blend, plus Omega blends) and Energy supplements. Cebria Ultra Blend is a variant of the Cebria formulation but which contains 459mg of the Neuro Pep Proprietary blend plus Vitamins B6, B12 and Folic Acid.
As I mentioned above there is an offer on the Cebria shop page where you can purchase a 60-day supply of Cebria for only $9.99. You also receive ‘Perfect Omega’ and a book.
Interestingly, the ‘free’ book (The New Memory Advantage) is co-authored by Dr Marcus Laux, a naturopathic physician who was part of the MLM company Qivana. Make of this what you will, you might not find this free book to be much of an incentive to purchase but if you do it would be interesting to do the research on who the authors are and their motivations.
The Cebria website states that the ingredients are:
Neuro Pep 12 Proprietary Blend 282.8mg
Lactose, Glutamic Acid, Lysine, Leucine, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Serine, Phenylalanine, Valine, Threonine, Tyrosine, Isoleucine, Histidine, Methionine, Tryptophan
Neuropeptides (small chains of amino acids) are essential for nourishing neurons in the brain and therefore are a vital part of brain function.
How to take Cebria?
The dosage is one capsule per day.
Cebria contains lactose so may not be appropriate for those who are lactose intolerant.
Does Cebria Actually Work?
As this is a proprietary blend it’s really hard to derive any sense from what the potential effects of the dosage could be. Looking at Examine.com I can see that the amino Lysine is sometimes supplemented alongside Vitamin C but that it is most commonly used to treat Herpes Simplex (up to 2g daily being the dose).
There is unlikely to be this amount in the blend.
Similarly D-serine appears to have a cognitive use (being used in the treatment of schizophrenia) but it is unreliable as supplementation doesn’t always result in it being found in the blood. Again a dose of around 2g is common.
There doesn’t appear to be clinical evidence that the combined ingredients in Cebria can support neuropeptide levels or functions in the brain. The proprietary blend (called ‘Neuro Pep) is a formula of amino acids, and although they are listed we don’t know how much of each we are taking and therefore whether there is enough to make up for any dietary deficit.
On the website the manufacturers state there has been 10 years worth of research and development, yet they don’t state any of the findings or cite any medical papers. I’m really surprised. Something as ground-breaking as a cure for age-related memory degeneration would surely be big news?
In fact, the makers do say on their FAQ page that the product has been;
scientifically tested and shown in a double-blind study to dramatically improve your memory in just 30 days
But they DON’T give us a link to the journal where the findings were published!!
Again, I’m really confused as surely this would indeed be a breakthrough.
Cebria Customer Reviews
There are 94 customer reviews on Amazon, I include a selection below:
Good for keeping memory sharp5 stars
this isn’t the latest best Cebria product3 stars
Effects for you may be different – not sure the effects warrant the cost1 star
It is interesting to see that Cebria Ultra, which contains almost twice as much of the proprietary blend and vitamins alongside, has some better reviews.
Money Back Guarantee / Returns Policy
There is a 30-day “Love it or Return it” money-back guarantee (less P&P) if you order direct through the official website.
Where to Buy Cebria?
The ‘free trial’ consists of 2 boxes of Cebria (two months’ supply) plus a copy of “The New Memory Advantage” co-authored by Dr. Marcus Laux, and a bottle of Perfect Omega (brain, eye and heart support).
Is It Worth the Price?
At $39.95 for 30 capsules (one month’s supply) the standard price is already quite high. The ‘free trial’ is a potential bargain in that you receive a couple of months’ worth to try, but eventually you pay $39.95 if you keep up the subscription. So you could, in theory, just try it for $9.99 and cancel the subscription if you weren’t happy. This sort of incentive does make me wonder how sales are doing as it would be strange to offer such a good deal on an already popular brand.
As I mention above I’m really unsure about the value of a product that claims so much and yet doesn’t come through with the hard science and the research to back it up.
We often see with brain health supplements that there has been a leap-of-faith taken on the cause and effect of the ingredients used (i.e. the school of thought that certain diets – such as the Mediterranean diet – which is made up of plenty of fish and fresh vegetables supports brain health – ergo we take fish oil supplements).
In fact in a recent article by Harvard Health, Dr Gad Marshall from the Center for Alzheimer Research states;
The FDA doesn’t oversee product testing or ingredient accuracy — they just look out for supplements that make health claims related to the treatment of specific diseases.
This means that manufacturers can make broad claims about brain health, age-related memory loss, general cognition, and they don’t need to back up their claims with hard science.
Returning to Cebria, because the formula is a proprietary blend, we don’t know exactly what goes into their amino acid formulation. Most supplements are not tested rigorously and therefore the manufacturers can argue and state all kinds of claims, saying they have been discerning about the purity and sourcing or manufacturing of their formula. This is not the same thing!
The Bottom Line
I’ve gone around the houses a little bit with this product as it looked so promising but, having done the research, I’m disappointed. Cebria (at its usual market price) is an expensive product for what you get.
There are likely better-value products available on the market which contain more potent ingredients at a higher quantity.
If you’re keen on a brain and memory supplement then you can take a look at Mind Lab Pro a nootropic supplement popular with both young, professionals and older generation for brain support. I have reviewed this supplement – please take a look here.
I would personally rather take a supplement that supported all-round health with a broad spectrum of ingredients (check out my supplement), to cover where my diet may be lacking in key nutrients, than take a specific supplement aimed at reversing an age-related symptom.