Next up on my list of well-known nootropic brands is Profiderall, or to give it its full name ‘Profiderall Cognitive Energy Complex’. And complex it certainly seems.
Profiderall is marketed as a “smart” supplement aimed at improving concentration, focus and energy. An alternative to smart or prescription drugs and available to anyone. Claiming to be the first nootropic to combine clinically supported brain nutrients with “powerful” stimulants I am keen to check the formula out.
With an interesting take on brain health, compared to some of the other runners such as Alpha Brain and Focus Factor (which seem to have a slicker approach to their marketing and branding), I check out Profiderall in my in-depth review.
There are two things that strike me as I hit launch on the official Profiderall site.
Underwhelmed and vaguely disappointed by the lack of fancy marketing on the website, I immediately had to switch my brain to ‘science speak’ in order to read the blurb. It’s not like I don’t want to know what this stuff is supposed to do, I guess I just want them to simplify it a little more for me (I do consider myself something of an informed but nevertheless ‘average Joe’ type customer).
Profiderall also comes in a very bland container, styled to closely replicate a medicine bottle.
You would be forgiven for assuming it is actually a pharmaceutical medicine (it’s not). This is just part of the subtle deception (supplements – nootropics included – are, after all, considered to be a ‘food’ in FDA terms, not a ‘drug’) and products which claim so much, scientifically, seem to be sailing a little close to the wind for me. I’ll expand a little on this under the ‘Does it Work’ part of this Profiderall review.
The first few introductory lines of the information page are – to put it quite frankly – a jumble of science words and neurochemical jargon.
Amplifying the density of muscarinic cholinergic [frontal cortex, striatum, & hippocampus],
Don’t forget I’m trying my best to understand the whole market of nootropics and smart supplements, so I do find myself capable of digesting some of the basic science that these products are trying to put across to us, but this takes the cake. I know they aim to improve brain health. I know they want to seem ‘smart’. But I don’t find it accessible and therefore I wonder whether this is an appropriate tack for something which is supposed to be a food-supplement, not a medicine-drug.
Anyway, I don’t want to be accused of simply judging a book by its cover, so I’ll try my best to give a balanced review of Profiderall. I’ll revisit this overly-sciency approach later in the review.
Background on PROFIDERALL, LLC
As one of the first nootropics to put itself above the parapet, Profiderall appeared in around 2010. Created to steal a march on the rising popularity amongst performance-driven professionals in the USA for taking drugs such as Adderall (the ADHD drug) it, like others, mimicked the upper-and-downer effect of the amphetamine-based prescription drug. Producers like Profiderall LLC cherry-picked ingredients that would provide stimulation (for focus) but also relaxation to give the calm-focus that is thought to be the sought-after effect of drugs like Adderall.
Appealing to professionals and students alike, the promise of focus without the hangover / wired feeling of taking simply caffeine or other stimulants, helped to build the appeal of these new nootropic stacks.
The press release for the first wave of Profiderall promised:
key nootropic substances are clinically proven to improve creative thinking, information processing, attention, cortical/behavioral arousal, learning and memory… while the powerful synthetics give you incredible energy that lasts up to 6 hours.
Time would tell if this ‘clinical proof’ would ever be effectively challenged, but Profiderall is still one of the more popular brands of nootropic selling in the USA today.
What Ingredients are inside Profiderall?
This is not a hugely complex formulation, made with a combination of vitamins and ‘energy compounds’ though it is careful to say there are no ‘herbal stimulants’.
Formulated with the intention of improving neuron communication in the brain (much of the science behind Profiderall is based on the health of your brain at the cellular level – “Increase cerebral phospholipids & cellular membrane fluidity by interacting with the polar head moieties of the phospholipid bilayer” – I mean it’s just a bit much, am I right?). You do have to wonder at this biological explanation, because if your brain isn’t functioning properly at that level you’d have bigger problems than just concentration, I’m quite certain of that.
(The FDA only asks that supplement ingredients are established as ‘safe’, so product manufacturers can go ahead and make a formulation with a health claim that doesn’t ever really need to be tested, let alone challenged in terms of how the ingredients interact.)
Anyway, to say again that there are just a few ingredients in this product would be overstating the point.
So, what’s inside the Profiderall formula?
- Niacin (10mg)
- Vitamin b6 (20mg)
- Vitamin b12 (500mcg)
- Pantothenic acid (20mg)
- Choline (40mg)
- Caffeine (150mg)
- Bacopa monnieri leaf (100mg)
- L-Tyrosine (100mg)
- Taurine (100mg)
- Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) (50mg)
- Alpha-lipoic acid (15mg)
- Huperzine-A (50mcg)
I’ll look at a couple of the key ingredients and their amounts to see whether I think this formula could be effective.
Bacopa Monnieri is an herb with some nootropic properties that has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to support cognition through reducing anxiety. The suggested dose is 300mg (with 55% ‘bacoside’ content).
Huperzine is a compound made from extracts of the Huperziceae family. It is recommended that it be taken in a dose of 50-200mcg daily. Believed to have an effect on acetylcholine, the learning transmitter, Huperzine-A is in trials for treating Alzheimer’s disease.
Choline is a molecule which is thought to aid cognition as it turns into acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter. Examine.com suggests a daily dosage of 250-500mg daily.
So it can be seen that some of the ingredients may be seen to have some effectiveness in terms of boosting cognitive health, but it remains to be proven that all the ingredients together, in this particular blend, in these quantities would have an effect on focus, improve concentration and boost energy as suggested.
Unfortunately, looking to older reviews of the product, it looks as though the formulation has changed and it’s not made clear anywhere on the website why this might be. Perhaps some combination of ingredients was found to be unpopular or caused side effects, or possibly certain ingredients didn’t come up as favourably in research.
Notwithstanding this factor, I still don’t find the formulation to be particularly premium nor cutting-edge.
Are There Any Side Effects to Profiderall?
There may be an interaction with any drugs or supplements you are already taking and it is up to you to read the label to make sure you don’t have any existing sensitivities to anything in the blend.
Does Profiderall Actually Work?
The ‘science’ behind the product would have you believe that it can make your brain function at an optimal pace. However it is always worth considering that you are not operating on the same level as a ‘control’ subject of a science experiment. You may not be well-rested. Your body might be poorly nourished.
There are a multitude of factors that will feed into whether or not a product would ‘work’.
But to look at the actual ingredients and the justification (‘evidence’) for their usage – there are some scientific studies reported on the ‘Research’ page of the Profiderall site.
Some of them are looking at specific interactions between ingredients in treatment of actual pathologies (Antioxidant agents in neuroprotection treatment of glaucoma, …macular degeneration, …dysadaptation syndrome, …hyperactive urinary bladder) while others are animal studies (Correction by nicotinamide and nicotinoyl-GABA of dopamine metabolism in rat brain in experimental Parkinson’s disease, Comparative study of the effect of picamilone and piracetam on learning in rats in a radial maze).
Not only does this give me scant confidence in the product, I find it vaguely misleading, given the amount of promising ‘sciencey-type’ speak we see on the opening pages.
Looking at the ingredients we must also remember that they appear in relatively low amounts.
Profiderall Customer Reviews
Looking at the customer reviews on Amazon I can see that people believe Profiderall to be effective at doing what it says it does:
Good brain boost5 stars
no need to buy coffee any more5 stars
Overpriced and overrated2 stars
Rip off1 star
Don’t bother1 star
How to Take Profiderall
The stated dose, for ‘maximum cognitive energy enhancement’ is two capsules daily. There is an odd amount (37) of servings per bottle.
Any Money Back Guarantee?
The sales go through Amazon.com and, therefore, there is no money-back guarantee avaiable.
Where to Buy Profiderall
You can only buy Profiderall on Amazon.com.
What’s the Cost of Profiderall?
Currently priced at $56.99 for 74 capsules this product is reasonably priced considering the cost of some nootropics. That being said I always encourage readers to look at the ingredients: the quality and the quantity, and with Profiderall, the ingredients are low in quantity so overall it is actually quite expensive for what you’re getting.
My Verdict: Profiderall
Profiderall once blazed the trail as a new ‘smart pill’ of the nootropic stable, a supplement for high-achievers who need to attain the next level of focus and sustained energy.
I don’t see how it differs particularly from other products, in fact I am vaguely annoyed by all the science speak and would rather see some clear and honest marketing.
Leaving aside the obvious fact that the name of the product has been created to sound more than a little like Adderall (which only heightens my feelings of suspicions toward it) this product looks too much like a medication but doesn’t, for my dollar, go far enough in terms of quantity of potent ingredients to be an effective nootropic supplement.
As a fairly bland mid-range nootropic, although cheaper than other brands, buying Profiderall is unlikely to grant you many – if any – of the life-changing cognitive effects it is so vocal about. But if it does, feel free to get back to me and let me know your story. In my opinion you would be better looking at alternatives like these or even a powdered nootropic.
If you’re looking for a cognitive game-changer, this nootropic stack misses the mark.