Focus Factor Review: Good Brain Nutrition Supplement?10 min read
I’m quickly learning in my journey of discovery around the world of nootropics that more ingredients do not necessarily equal more value (or better quality), although many makers will claim precisely this.
I thought I’d take a look at some products that go for the more-is-more approach and break it down into a helpful overview.
The angle that is so compelling for those consumers who are interested in nootropics is achieving that elusive focus and concentration. In our hectic lives there is barely a professional or recreational task that doesn’t involve some element of focus, and many of us find that as we get older we are less able to reach the levels of focus and concentration that we once had.
In my research I came across Focus Factor and with claims of being America’s number one brain health supplement I couldn’t ignore checking this out in a full in-depth review. So, let’s jump straight in.
My First Impressions
Focus Factor is a product which says it is ‘America’s Number 1’ brain health supplement. They say they have the science to prove that it works (more on this later) and so I am intrigued to find out more about what the manufacturers say sets it apart from the competition.
This is a growing field and has been seen by supplement manufacturers as a veritable gold mine of consumers all looking for that elusive key to the focus they are lacking.
The range of products on the Focus Factor site sounds like a shopping list from a futuristic drug-store: ‘ThinkFuel Nootropics’ which are aimed at ‘The Athlete’, ‘The Student’, ‘The Gamer’, ‘The Hero Women’, ‘The Professional’, are complemented buy a Kids’ range – chewable tablets which offer ‘Neuro Nutrients’ to help increase kids’ attention and support brain function.
The Original Focus Factor also comes in Extra Strength and a Brain and Vision variety. I am checking out the original Focus Factor Extra Strength version in my review.
Background on Synergy CHC Corp
I’m interested in the product Focus Factor (which has no doubt reached popularity purely on its name and marketing alone) but I also want to find out a little more about the makers. Is this a brand I could rely on and that I would want my money to support?
Although I couldn’t find all the information I needed from their product shop website https://www.focusfactor.com, a little Googling led me to another site for the umbrella company.
Synergy CHC Corp say they are;
a category leading and value-enhancing group of brands on a mission to find powerful & proven products in the health space & build a portfolio of companies who make lives brighter & better
I wanted to look outside the corporate and marketing speak and do a bit more digging around to find out some more about the brands.
Focus Factor used to be manufactured by a company called Factor Nutrition Labs LLC. It was also previously made by Vital Basics, Inc. Unfortunately my digging uncovered some disappointing results.
The FTC settled a case with the marketers of Focus Factor in 2004 (then called ‘Vital Basics Inc’) and they were made to pay $1million for their numerous unsubstantiated advertising claims. Included in the claims were ‘improving the focus, memory and concentration of healthy adults’.
The respondents were told (in a consent agreement) not to make any further claims about products unless they ‘possess and rely upon competent and reliable evidence substantiating that representation’. Unfortunately it looks as though the makers have just renamed and regrouped and continue to make products with such claims.
With products as valuable as Focus Factor (again, think about the power of the brand name), this must happen a lot, and it is a sad factor in our consumer choices that we need to find out a bit more and do our research more when shopping for products these days.
What Ingredients inside Focus Factor?
Focus Factor claims to be a;
‘Synergistic blend of proprietary ingredients’
When I’m looking at the Focus Factor ingredients list I automatically find the use of proprietary blends disappointing as I think it’s dishonest to consumers and devalues a brand. Further digging reveals that there is actually a pretty low dosage in each tablet (you need to take 4 tablets per day?!).
So how can the manufacturers claim that it can be effective with these ingredients in such low dosage?
So, what’s inside the Focus Factor formula?
The list of ingredients in this formula is huge.
Somewhere around 40 ingredients are included in a single tablet. The list is below. I couldn’t type out the list in a column as it would take up too much space!!
The tablets also contain vitamins and minerals, the likes of which would be found in a standard broad spectrum multivitamin and mineral supplement.
I normally look on Examine for science-backed information on supplements ingredients, so take for example Choline. The recommended dose on Examine.com is 250mg to 500mg ‘for general health purposes’ once daily.
The recommended dose of gingko biloba is 120-420mg daily and the recommended doses of bacopa (in leaf form) range from 750-1500mg (it also is fat soluble so should be consumed with a meal) – Gingko source, Bacopa source).
In this way we can see that it is unlikely Focus Factor has an adequate dosage in one, four or even 8 tablets daily (and let’s be honest, why would you go to the trouble of taking handfulls of huge pills without any assurance they will really do anything for you?).
Are There Any Side Effects to Focus Factor?
There may be side effects to consumers sensitive to fish oils. It is always advisable to check the ingredients list before taking any supplement as you are otherwise unlikely to know (for example here there are allergenic ingredients included).
Does Focus Factor Actually Work?
For my research I need to know whether the claims being made here are overstated.
As I said above, while the claims for all nootropics are compelling, take caution. Anyone who tells you ‘just give this a try [for a few months, at a cost of hundreds of dollars] you will be amazed by your improved focus’ sounds like they have the key to something incredible, right?
But you need to understand the WHY and the HOW.
Focus Factor claims to be ‘The only double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinically tested & patented brain health supplement on the market’. You would need to look at the science yourself to see whether this is just more marketing speak or if there is a legitimate evidence base for these claims.
For the purposes of my review it is easy enough.
Just do the maths.
The ingredients simply can’t be potent enough.
At 692mg, although a large tablet, this will include ingredients in a very small dose. We are told by the manufacturers, however, that we can take up to 8 tablets a day!!
Many of the ingredients such as the vitamins and minerals are the same you find in a proprietary multivitamin for as little as $1 a month, so why would you pay upwards of $15 per month for a product which doesn’t disclose the exact amounts, or potentially won’t be any more potent than a $1 product?
It should be reiterated for the avoidance of any doubt that the ‘science’ backing up many of the claims for these ingredients points to studies (many of which are on patients with severely compromised cognitive functioning such as Dementia) which are as yet inconclusive.
The science on Gingko and Bacopa is possibly the strongest, however experts believe you need more than the dosage available in these tablets to have a significant effect in otherwise healthy adults.
Focus Factor Customer Reviews
The reviews of the products on the Focus Factor site are, of course, largely positive. So I’ve taken a few examples from Amazon.
Of 85 customer reviews 75% are positive.
This stuff really works!5-star review
It’s good for the brain5-stars
Product not effective2-stars
Appalled at the price3-stars
Not a ADHD replacement3-stars
It doesn’t work1-star
How to Take Focus Factor
A serving size is 4 tablets with food, however we are told that;
To accommodate body weight, activity level, stress level, and / or inadequate diet, take additional tablets up to a maximum of 8 tablets per day.
I note that some reviewers’ complaints are regarding the size of the tablets (being too large to swallow comfortably). This is worth noting if you have trouble swallowing larger tablets or capsules.
Any Money Back Guarantee?
I couldn’t find any information on the website about getting your money back.
Where to Buy Focus Factor
What’s the Cost of Focus Factor?
A bottle of 60 tablets from the Focus Factor online store costs $14.99. It should be reiterated that a serving size is 4 tablets so this is not a month’s supply.
This is one of the cheaper products on the market and the bundle (6-pack) sets you back about the same cost as many of the upper-end products (at $125.99) – that’s only $0.12 per tablet!
BUT (and it’s a really big but, which is why I’ve typed it in bold) I know I don’t have to tell you that cheap really doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for consumers.
My Verdict: Focus Factor
As with any consumer choice you are strongly minded to do your research, this is no less important when shopping for supplements, which is why I’m doing some of the hard work for you.
I would be very wary of taking a product which doesn’t disclose all ingredients and amounts on the label (which is why we like brands like Mind Lab Pro and SuperGreen TONIK), especially if the recommended dose is to take upwards of four tablets daily. I’m also very wary of claiming a product is backed up with ‘science’ when, after a little of my own evidence-gathering, it would seem the ‘results’ are from a very narrowly-tested claim.
If you want to feel as though you’re giving your brain some extra nutrition but you don’t really want to pay the big bucks charged by the more slick brands then this could be a product you are happy with.
There is little doubt, for me, that I would likely only choose a Nootropic which had solid evidence to back up every single ingredient used, and I just don’t see the point in taking cheap imitation products which use proprietary blends.
For me, Focus Factor just doesn’t have the x-factor.