As we age we will all no doubt experience more and more forgetful moments. Life gets more hectic, we have more responsibilities and there are more pressures on us to keep up and to perform at our peak every day.
I’m quickly discovering that each supplement-maker wants to be clear about their niche, so in this review I’m moving away from the products that focus solely on performance and mental clarity, and am looking at a product which instead claims to help people struggling with what they might think of as age-related cognitive decline.
Provasil is a product that is formulated with one aim: to provide the brain with more-than-adequate nutrition to enable effective functioning even as the physical aging process starts to take its toll.
I’m going to take a closer look at the ingredients in Provasil and see if what the manufacturers claim is likely to be possible and have positive effects.
I first started my research by looking at the video on the home page of the Provasil website, which states the need for memory-enhancing supplements (age-related cognitive and memory decline) and sets out why Provasil is a cutting-edge product.
The makers say that Provasil will help brain function and also support the actual physical health of your brain with its ‘optimal blend of research-proven ingredients’. I’m interested in this as, aside from other nootropics, it seems to be focused primarily at supporting the parts of the brain related to memory loss in aging.
Claiming to be the;
most powerful all-natural memory and focus-enhancing product available on the market
it says that it achieves its aims through the following mechanisms: Boosts Memory, Intensifies Focus, Increases Mental Performance (all with its 100% Patented Formula).
On a simple user-level, the website is clear and informative, although I did find the long informative text a little bit hard to digest. At least the makers of Provasil aren’t sparing with the information. The product is definitely aimed at those who consider themselves to be suffering from age-related cognitive decline and ‘senior moments’.
Background on Cognetix Labs
Cognetix Labs are the US-based drug discovery and development company behind provasil. There is no background story available on the Provasil store website and I couldn’t find very much information about them by doing my usual search online.
What Ingredients inside Provasil?
Provasil contains, by the makers’ own admission, a ‘proprietary’ formula.
Normally this would mean they haven’t disclosed exactly how much of each ingredient goes into each tablet, but in this case, we can actually see from the ingredients listing how much of each ingredient IS in the formula!
I’m a bit confused as to how they are using the term ‘proprietary’ but that’s ok with me as they are at least being transparent with the amounts!
So, what’s inside the Provasil formula?
- Vitamin C – 300mg
- Folic Acid – 600mcg
- Vitamin B12 – 300mcg
- Biotin – 150mcg
- Choline Bitartrate – 150mg
- L-Tyrosine – 100mg
- N-Acetyl-L-Carnatine – 100mg
- Bacopa Monnieri (whole leaf) – 100mg
- Ginkgo Leaf – 60mg
- Phosphatidylserine – 50mg
- L-Glutamine – 45mg
- Phosphatidylcholine – 30mg
- Panax Ginseng root – 30mg
- Resveratrol (as polygonum cupidatum (root) extract) – 25mg
- Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) – 5mg
As with all reviews of nootropics, I try to give a lot of attention to the amounts of each ingredient in the blend. In this way, I can have a systematic approach to how effective I believe the formulation can be.
We can see from the 15 ingredients included (not to mention the binding ingredients that hold the blend together in the tablet form) that there are quite small amounts of each ingredient in this tablet.
This is not to say that this is problematic after all the body only needs a small amount of many vitamins and minerals each day to enable the functions to perform at an optimal level. This is a fantastic fact of survival! But are there enough of each powerful ingredient in this formula to have any effects?
I’ve had a look at the research-informed site Examine.com to see what the science says:
Bacopa Monnieri – known to improve cognition and traditionally used in Ayurveda, this herb should be taken in a daily dose of around 300mg (with a bacoside content of 55% of the extract by weight). Because the ingredients list doesn’t state the active compound amount we have to take it for granted that the manufacturers know this. If the whole leaf is used it is recommended as a supplemental dose of 750-1500mg daily. The formulation of Provasil doesn’t provide this amount.
Ginkgo Leaf is another traditional herb that has been used for cognitive health purposes. It is thought to especially alleviate the stress associated with mental performance (such as at times like taking examinations or needing to specifically focus on one task). Therefore the suggested dose is 120-240mg one to four hours before performance. Provasil again falls a little short of this dose.
Interestingly the research around the combined effectiveness of Ginkgo with Phosphatidylserine has been called into question. More can be found here.
Panax Ginseng has been frequently studied for its properties of aiding memory-formation, cognitive function and focus during performance. Often taken alongside Bacopa and Ginseng, the suggested dose is 400mg.
Resveratrol (polygonum cupidatum root extract) is a compound which is also found in red wine and is one of the reasons why so much research has been conducted around the health benefits of diets which frequently include red wine. For cardiovascular health of blood flow benefits a dose of 150-445mg daily is recommended.
As we can see it looks as though the makers of Provasil have done their research into many traditionally-used compounds for cognitive enhancement, but in terms of effectiveness we have to question whether their more-is-better approach is leading to the power of the ingredients being watered down.
It’s possible that more effective nootropic stacks are available which have fewer ingredients combined into one daily dose, which have higher proportions of each in the blend. One such example is Mind Lab Pro (check out my review here for why I suggest this alternative).
Are There Any Provasil Side Effects?
Unless you have a pre-existing sensitivity to any of Provasil’s ingredients it is unlikely that you would experience side-effects, however, it is important to look at all the ingredients and consult your medical practitioner before you start supplementing your diet.
Does Provasil Actually Work?
As anyone who has looked into nootropics will know (and anyone who has read any of my other reviews) I’m not a fan of the proprietary formula. Having said that, the makers have actually been transparent about the amounts of each ingredient they are using!
I’m not convinced, looking at the amounts of the herbal compounds included, that this ‘more-is-better’ approach is going to result in proven benefits. As with all nootropics it probably takes consistent use and giving Provasil time to build up in the system. For me, it feels as though there are just too many ingredients and I would rather see more of a few powerful compounds in this product that a broad spectrum of ingredients.
From the customer reviews I can see that some find the tablet hard to swallow, or don’t like the taste. A selection of Provasil customer reviews are included below.
Feedback is very mixed.
Some customers really rate Provasil for its effectiveness in giving mental clarity and improving cognition, where others find it to be not as effective.
Provasil Customer Reviews
There are plenty of success stories on the Provasil website and on the Amazon selling pages. I’ve included a few reviews below to show a cross-section of what some customers have said about Provasil.
tastes absolutely horrible but it worksfive stars
awesome productfive stars
Does not do what it saysone star
didn’t workone star
This is quite usual for Amazon reviews and the reason I provide a cross-section is that I believe not everyone gives a new product time to actually work and show its benefits.
How to Take Provasil
The manufacturers state that an effective dose is one or two tablets a day. One bottle contains 60 tablets and there are a number of purchasing options available on the Provasil store site.
Any Money Back Guarantee?
Provasil comes with a 60-day risk-free money-back guarantee for first-time purchases if you are not satisfied. You do need to call for an authorization number and all products must be returned. Only one bottle may be unopened and unused (therefore if you buy multiple bottles you must only have opened one).
Where to Buy Provasil
What’s the Cost of Provasil?
The pricing structure is a little confusing, but like many supplement manufacturers, they have structured their pricing to make it more affordable to bulk-buy. One bottle of 60 tablets costs $49.95 on the Provasil site. Three bottles are $127.37 (saving $82) and five bottles are $199.80.
Because the first purchase comes with a guarantee the manufacturers are banking on you choosing a best-value option and benefiting from a saving from the first purchase.
My Honest Opinion on Provasil
I struggled with this one as I was so sold on the story and the marketing information on the Provasil website. In the process of writing my review, I’ve discovered that the amounts of each ingredient are quite low. In focusing specifically on the brain’s aging, the manufacturers have necessarily reduced their reach and market, although they do give a powerful message that it’s an area we will likely all face and something we should be thinking about if we are already supplementing our diet in terms of supporting brain health.
I’d like to see some more research studies, for example through looking at Examine and the research stated on that site, I can already tell where research studies focussing on just one compound have had proven benefits on cognition and memory function in older people, and that makes me confident that supplementing with that particular compound might have benefits in the long term.
If you want to support your brain in later life, it might be more beneficial to look at some of the existing research and reach for a potent blend of fewer, proven ingredients than taking this all-rounder.