Procera Memory Supplement Review

Will Procera AVH improve your memory or is it a scam?  Well, if you go to the Procera website they say “Procera AVH is Americans #1 memory supplement and that it “helps to nourish the brain, to bring back the memory you had 10 or 15 years ago, improving your mental clarity.  Improving your concentration – And elevating your mood.”   WOW! Pretty impressive huh?  I wanted to write a Procera AVH review because of all the claims they made in their Procera TV commercial and because it seems that most other websites that review Procera AVH only tell you how great it is. I want to give you both sides of the story  – including Procera side effects – so that you can make a more informed decision about whether Procera is right for you.

What is Procera AVH?

Procera is not a drug.  It is an over the counter dietary supplement that they say helps to improve memory.  The Procera website makes this very clear but I wanted to say it again because the name Procera sounds like a drug to me.

Who makes Procera AVH?

The Procera website says the product is  made by the company called Brain Research Labs.  According to the Better Business Bureau, the address of Brain Research Labs is 325 SMITH STREET, Murfreesboro, TN 37128.  I’ve linked to the Google street map of this address so you can see it’s a residential area . There is no  “laboratory” at this address.

The Better Business Bureau also lists 15820 Euclid Ave, Chino, CA 91708 as an address for Brain Research Labs. But according to Google, this address corresponds to a company called Priority Business Services.

Update. For additional info, see my review of the brain booster Ceraplex which is also marketed by Brain Research Labs.

 

Brain Research Labs itself doesn’t seem to have an website because on the BBB website, they list the ProceraAVH website.

It’s common for supplement companies to have the word “Lab” or “Labs” in their name even though the company doesn’t do any actual “laboratory work”.

The Better Business Bureau gives Brain Research Labs a rating of C

Update: as of 10/2/13 the BBB has no rating on Brain Research labs

The website TopClassActions.com lists details on a Procera lawsuit (O’Brien, et al. v. Brain Research Labs, LLC) .

How long has Brain Research Labs been in business?

No starting date for Brain Research Labs can be found on the Better Business Bureau website.  On The BBB webite they say ” BBB made two or more requests for background information from the business.  BBB has not received a response from this business and/or has not been able to verify information received from this business.”

 

Procera Research

The Procera website (ProceraAVH.com) claims to have scientific proof that Procera works.  The research they mention was performed at The Brain Sciences Institute in Australia and was headed up by Dr. Con Stough.  Dr. Stough is an accomplished researcher with his name appearing on several published peer reviewed studies that I saw when I searched the National Library of Medicine.

The Procera website is very interesting because they say  – as I also do – that there are differences between studies conducted on a products ingredients and those done on the actual product.  I found this refreshing.

The website goes on to talk about sample sizes and institutional review boards (IRBs), and other stuff which is of interest to researchers.

But, the website does not tell us if the Procera AVH research study they cite was published in a medical or scientific journal.

 

 

In other words, the Procera website lists all this stuff  about how great the research study was – but they do not tell us where we can see where the study was published – or if it was published.  For me that is a red flag.

 

After some searching, I did manage to find what appears to be a memory study information sheet that participants could read before deciding if they want to be in the Procera study or not.  This is not a study of Procera AVH. It is listed on the website of Swinburn University (I used to link to this study but the link no longer works and I can’t locate it online)

 

 

On the “Compare” page of the Procera website you see Procera AVH compared to other memory supplements.  At the bottom of the page you can see that the Procera study was:

a Randomized, double blind, placebo controlled clinical study with a significant number of participants.

 

 

BUT, they do  not tell us how many participants were in the study.  Was it 50 people or 1000 people?

Just saying it was a “significant number of participants” is too vagueespecially for a website that seems to go out of its way to make references to clinical jargon like sample sizes and institutional review boards.

 

From what they are saying, the Procera study appears to be top notch.  But, until that study is presented to other competent scientists who can look it over, and make sure there were no errors – and is published in a science journal – then this reduces the significance of the study in my opinion.

 

 

Just to double check, I looked at the National Library of Medicine and typed in “Procera” and Procera AVH”  – and no studies came up.  This tells me there are no published peer reviewed studies on Procera AVH.

 

 

While there are studies on the individual Procera ingredients, there seems to be no published proof that Procera AVH itself improves memory.  Likewise there seems to be no good proof of Procera AVH side effects either.

 

The only “study” that I did find was something from the “Ask The Doctor” section of the June 2009 Harvard Health Letter where Procera AVH was mentioned in a question about whether it – along with a list of other supplements – would interfere with heart medications.  The doctor didn’t feel Procera was harmful, but he also did not find much proof that Procera worked either.

 

Procera Ingredients

Procera is also called Procera AVH.  The “AVH”  is refers to the 3 main ingredients in Procera. They are:

  • Acetyl-l-carnitine
  • Vinpocetine
  • Huperzine A

I am not sure how much of each of these ingredient is in Procera AVH.  When I called Procera customer service, they only told me that capsules contains equal amounts of each ingredient.

This is important because, below I will give you levels of these nutrients which have been shown effective in some clinical trials.

 

A day after I called Procera Customer Service they called me back to try to sell me Procera!  I did not give them my phone number when I called originally. Did they call anybody else back?

 

The person I spoke to tried to sway me repeatedly to buy Procera AVH by telling me about their “30 day money back guarantee”.   Their customer service seems very aggressive to me. I didn’t like that.

As an aside, the main ingredients in Procera, are similar to those in Focus Factor, another memory supplement I’ve reviewed.

Let’s now review each of the ingredients in Procera AVH  separately and see what we can discover.

Acetyl-l-carnitine

We make acetyl carnitine and it’s found in foods like red meat.   The molecule also “looks” like the brain chemical acetylcholine.

Several studies have shown that Acetyl carnitine may help older adults with memory issues.  The amounts used in research appear to be roughly 1- 2 grams per day.

 

This is why things like acetyl -L-carnitine often show up in memory supplements.

 

Other research hints acetyl L carnitine may help depression in older adults as well.   People with low-acting thyroids (hypothyroidism) should use caution with acetyl l carnitine because it appears to inhibit the action of thyroid hormone.   While there appears to be little proof that acetyl carnitine may increase the risk of seizures, those with seizure disorders should talk to their doctor first.

Vinpocetine

Another name you may see for vinpocetine is Cavinton.  Some older research hints that vinpocetine  may increase blood flow to the brain by opening up blood vessels .  Vinpocetine may also help memory in healthy people.

 

The problem with with the “vinpocetine helps memory” study above is that it only involved 12 people so it was very small and should be deemed preliminary. 15-30 mg a day has been used in research.

 

 

Use vinpocetine with caution if you are taking blood thinner drugs.  Vinpocetine appears to have a blood thinning effectct.

 

Huperzine A

Several studies, mostly conducted in china, show that huperzine helps dementia.   Huperzine A inhibits acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine.  As such, it will raise levels of acetylcholine in the brain.  Because it can raise acetylchoiline levels, Huperzine A side effects may range from elevated blood pressure and muscle cramps to, vomiting, sweating, seizures and blurry vision.

Huyperzine might also lower heart rate so it may – in theory – interact with some heart meds (like Beta Blockers).  This is just my opinion and I’m not a doctor, but I felt it should be mentioned.

These are not the only side effects.  Please check with your doctor if you have health issues before using Procera AVH or its ingredients.

See my review of Focus Factor for more information.

Who is Josh Reynolds?

Josh Reynolds is the co-founder of the company that makes Procera – Brain Research Labs.  The Procera infomercial says that Josh Reynolds is a brain scientist researcher and author as well as a pioneer in the study and science of the brain and cognitive performance.

What I did not see were any college degrees or medical training by Josh Reynolds.  His Linkedin profile does indicate he attended Colgate University from 1960-1964 but does not show what his degree was in.

This is ironic because the co-founder of Brain Research Labs is Robert Heller, MD. His medical credential is displayed on the Procera website.

 

Mr. Reynolds is the author of the book 20/20 Brain Power (which Dr Heller is also listed on the cover) published in 2005 and 20/20 Brain Power Recipes, published in 2006.  Both books are available on Amazon.com. In one infomercial I saw (11/14/11) they said Josh’s books were “medically acclaimed” but that is a vague term.  Have his books received any medical awards or been endorsed by the American Medical Association or any other similar organization?

 

Here is a newspaper article about Procera published in the Tampa Bay Times dated May 24, 2010.

 

 

Procera AVH side effects

As far as I can tell Procera AVH has never been tested for safety in healthy or non healthy persons.  While I think in “healthy people” it probalby would be safe at least for short term use, I do believe people who have health conditions should speak to their doctor before using Procera AVH.  The ingredients in Procera AVH do have some potentially serious side effects in some people.

Below are some of the possible side effects of Procera AVH.  These are not all of the side effects, which is why I highly recommend people speak to their doctor before using.

 

Acetly L Carnitine might have a blood thinner effect, and so it may interfere with anti coagulant drugs people take for heart disease.  It might also lower thyroid hormone levels and cause seizures in people who have seizure disorders.

 

Vinpocetine appears to have a blood thinner effect.  This effect may be increased when added to other supplements and medications.

Huperzine A might increase blood pressure and interfere with high blood pressure medications.  In addition Huperzine might slow heart rate, increase seizures in some people and worsen conditions like emphysema, asthma and other forms of COPD.

 

How much does Procera AVH cost?

On the Procera AVH website, one bottle costs $59.95 plus shipping and handling.

If people choose to buy 3 bottles, each bottle will cost $39.95 each -plus shipping and handling. This will cost 3 x 39.95 =119.95.

Shipping & Handling costs $14.95 if you buy 3 bottles

Shipping $ Handling costs $7.95 if you buy 1 bottle.

So, 3 bottles of Procera will cost $119.95 + 14.95 =$134.80

One bottle, will cost $59.95 + 7.95 =$67.90

People who buy 3 bottles at a time will also be enrolled in a “Power Saver” program.  This means that another 3 bottles will be sent on a regular basis. The cost of each additional shipment stays the same.

 

You must call customer support to stop this automatic shipment. Remember Procera AVH customer service seems to be very aggressive and may try to convince you to keep using  Procera AVH. 

Here is Procera on Amazon for those who are interested or want to see the comments of others who have tried this product.

 

Who is Patrice King Brown?

on 11/14/11 I noticed another 30 minute Procera commercial called “Stop Memory Loss.”  This new Procera infomercial featured a “host” named Patrice King Brown, who was listed as “an award winning investigative reporter.”

I did some research on Patrice King Brown and discovered her Wikipedia page (link deleted) where it’s said that that she was a news anchor in Pittsburg on TV station KDKA, where she has worked since 1978.  In January 2011 she announced her retirement from KDKA.  Her last day as a news anchor was January 28 2011.  I mention this because at the website Post-Gazette.com it is said that only 2 days after her retirement, Patrice King Brown shows up on TV as the host of this Procera AVH infomercial.  Only 2 days later!

Patrice King Brown is married to Dr. Paul Nemiroff PhD, MD, who also appears in the Procera AVH infomercial – but their relationship is not divulged during the 30 minute commercial.  Here is a transcript of the Procera commercial that features Patrice King Brown and Dr Nemiroff.

At several times during the 30 minute Procera commercial I notice “Breaking News” in the lower left hand corner of my TV screen, giving people the impression that this commercial was a “news segment.”

Were they trying to capitalize on Miss King Browns previous role as a news anchor? I think they were.

At one point during the Procera AVH infomercial Dr Nemiroff shows an illustration of two brains – “before” and “after” pictures which gives the impression of what’s supposed to happen before and after using Procera AVH. At one point Patrice King Brown says the “after” picture is “lit up like a Christmas Tree!”

If you saw this infomercial, notice in the picture is says “brain illustration.” It doesn’t say CT scan or PET scan.  It says “illustration.” To me, this says that the before and after pictures you see are NOT an actual brain scan of somebody who took Procera AVH, but rather is just an illustration to dramatize things.

 

Also the picture says “Illustration of just one ingredient in Procera AVH.”. What about the other ingredients?  In other words, why are they showing you what only one ingredient in Procera AVH supposedly does.  Procera AVH has several ingredients.  What do they do to brain function? Make it better? Make it worse? Add no value?  They don’t tell us that.  To me, that is just bad science.

At the end of the infomercial it says “Dr Nemiroff is a medical doctor and is partially compensated from sales of this product.” In other words, the more Procera is sold, the more he makes.  

 

When will the American Medical Association take action against doctors who make money from selling supplements with little or no peer reviewed proof of efficacy? Dr Nemiroff has far more scientific training than I do and yet even I can see lack of peer reviewed evidence in support of this product.

 

Josh Reynolds is also “interviewed” during this 30 min commercial. Notice that during the infomercial, that Josh Reynolds is wearing a white coat. This gives people the impression that he is a doctor but as I’ve already pointed out, Josh Reynolds appears to have no formal medical training or degrees.

Wearing white coats is a common tactic used in marketing to make people think someone is a doctor/scientist.  I’ve even heard of a personal trainer in CA who wears a white coat and stethoscope in the gym! It’s great marketing but it’s bogus.  Don’t fall for this trick.

They call Procera “Americans #1 clinically tested brain supplement” but I still can’t find the clinical research they are referring to. Where is the clinical testing on Procera AVH itself?

 

Who is Dr Gene Steiner?

In addition to Patrice King Brown and Dr. Nemiroff, the Procera AVH infomercial also featured a pharmacist named Dr. Gene Steiner (also called Eugene Steiner).  He is also mentioned on one of the pages of the ProceraAVH.com website as well.

During the Procera AVH infomercial Dr Steiner says,  “As a pharmacist, I’ve always felt helpless in recommending a solution for memory loss.” Oh really. Why doesn’t Dr Steiner know about the tremendous amount of research -in people and lab animals- showing the benefits exercise on memory and brain function and reducing the risk of senility – including the risk of Alzheimer’s. Unlike Procera AVH, exercise is free.

Aerobic exercise has more proof that it helps brain function that Procera AVH.

How to return Procera AVH

On the Procera AVH website they give this number to contact to return the product:

  • 1-800-213-4101

The Better Business Bureau also lists (866) 232-1847 as a contact number as well.

(866) 232-1847

Does Procera AVH Work?

Overall, the ingredients chosen for Procera seem logical and so its possible some people might notice some memory improvement.  That said, I am  not certain of this because I am unaware of any good proof that the combination of ingredients works and is safe for everybody.  There are a lot of unknowns about Procera AVH.  For example does Procera AVH interfere with Alzheimer’s medications?  When in doubt, ask your doctor first to see if its right for you. Also see my review of Focus Factor for more information.

What do you think?

Comments

  1. Mary says

    Joe, I am impressed with your review of this product. It seems we are still living in the olden times when snake oil was peddled and sold by scam artists as a cure all for just about anything that ailed you. Of course, today the presentations are thoroughly researched and presented by professionals, and the language and props are tremendously more sophisticated, but, sadly, it’s still very much like it was a hundred years ago: selling cure all tonics with fraudulent claims of health and healing to people wanting to find real answers to real ailments.
    Bottom line: Making Money. Thank you so much for all your hard work.

  2. Wanda Redmon says

    Have you ever checked out Focus Factor. We used it for my dad about a year ago when he was in mid stage of dementia. It seemed to help for a few months now he is in stage 6-7. We stopped using it as we did not notice as much improvement after stage 5-6.

  3. Rick Garris says

    Thanks for a great post. I watched the infomercial and thought this sounds real good, but I wanted to research it before paying any money. My mother is suffering from short-term memory problems and wanted to try and find something that would help her.

    The red flag for me was not being able to find the amounts of the ingredients in each of the pills. They list 3 main ingredients but never disclose anything in terms of any amounts. What else are they putting in there? The fact they don’t disclose a label so you can see what is in it, should create some caution.

    Also, the fact that the reporter is married to one of the testimonial people and they don’t mention it, does not make any sense. If my wife and I were involved in something that we both believed in, we would tell everyone about it. The reason they don’t disclose it, is they want everyone to think this reporter is unbiased. She is very biased based on this disclosure.

    The best thing I have found so far to keep your mind focused is an awesome multi-vitamin. GNC Men’s Health is what I take. (I have no affiliation with GNC, none what so ever). I also take a B6 supplement, Calcium, Ginko Biloba, CoQ10, Glutamine and an Amino Acid supplement. This works very good for me. The reason for the Amino Acid supplement is it keeps muscles tone and I work out about 3 times a week. I take it even on off days. I am 55 and weigh the same as I did in college.

    Rick

    • Joe says

      Thanks Rick for the kind words and sorry to hear about your mom. I do believe keeping physically and mentally active (having friends, hobbies etc) can help. Maybe activities at a local YMCA or community center might help? Just a though. I know its difficult to watch the decline of your parents.

  4. Sal says

    Thanks, Joe, for your review. I too saw the infomercial (thought it was a documentary by the way it was shown on the tv guide) but I quickly noted the “used car” approach. Still we always hope for that miracle drug that will make us regain 25 years of our brain power. It’s hard to get honest opinions and it is very helpful to have someone with your diligence to get the true facts!

    • Joe says

      Sal you are very kind, thanks. Ive also noticed how infomercials have a”TV show” feel when you look at them in the TV guide. They no longer all say “Paid programing.”

  5. REC says

    I have been taking 2 each of the Procera AHV and the Brain Detox capsules per instructions from the health coach at Brain research Labs LLC for approximately 1 month. Since taking these I have noticed a loss of hair to the extent that I actually have bald spots on my head, is there anyone else out there that has had this issue manifest since starting the Procera AHV and the Brain Detox capsules?

    • Joe says

      REC, oh my goodness! I say stop taking Procera AVH if you are losing your hair. Hopefully you have. When you say you also used the brain detox capsules, you mean Ceraplex yes? I also have a review of Ceraplex here as well.

      Question. You losing any hair before you started taking Procera? Have you stopped and if yes, has the hair loss stopped?

      Anybody else notice hair loss with Procera?

  6. Pierre says

    Hi Joe, I started taking procera two day ago can you tell if your research is real. My intuition tells me that your facts finding could be true.

    • Joe says

      Pierre, I tried to find all the relevant evidence and information I could for the product, ingredients and company so people could decide for themselves. There are a lot of comments here also that offer other insights as well. For what its worth, I hope it helps you.

  7. Nan Brandau says

    Thank you so much for a thorough, credible, and well-researched review of this product. The ad is persuasive (as so many info-mercials are) and I was so happy to find your solid article. Again, thanks.

  8. Steve Taylor says

    Enjoyed your research and comments and those that contributed along the way. I’m in Louisville, KY and just saw a full page ad “marketing” the memory pill. Sites Gene Steiner and Josh Reynolds with accompanying photos and anecdotal success stories. Sounded really good so I googled and came up to your review. Thanks so much. You know the old saw, “if something sounds too good to be true it probably is.”..

    I hate to be a skeptic, and retain an open mind, but I believe in doing your research as well. By and large for the general population, I strongly endorse exercise, good diet and developing a social circle and staying active. Of course, some medicines are wonderful too.
    But, do your research. Best, Steve 2/20/14 Louisville, KY
    Thanks so much Joe for your work.

  9. Susan Coleman says

    Joe, thanks do much for your info. My 93 yr old mother keeps receiving newspaper-sized solicitations in the mail. Tried to unsubscribe her, but there is no address associated with the mailings.

    She knows her memory is failing and she is grasping at anything that might help. I’m afraid that she will make that “phone call” and it will be an incredible challenge to stop the process.

    Since there is no address in the ads, PaperKarma app can’t help me. This constant barrage on her mailbox borders on “elder abuse”. Any suggestions?
    Thanks again for the wonderful info. I will be sharing it with my mother shortly.

    • Joe says

      Susan, have you tried taking the mail to the post office? Maybe they can block the mail or reach out to the mailer to get them to stop your mom from getting those deliveries. I believe the post office can help you. Please let me know what they say. You have me curious now as to what action they can take.

  10. Richard Peterson says

    Have you done a similar analysis of phosphatidylserine, a soy derived lipid? It is typically sold as PS and in the past there were some studies with positive results.

  11. Rita Henderson says

    Thank you for taking the TIME to do the research on this Item. just got a flyer in the mail today. I will continue exercising and doing the FIND the work and circle it, a booklet i get from the dollar store. This I think can help memory. I will not be buying this product. You have SAVED a lot of people a lot of money.

  12. HN Rangel says

    Very thorough, and helpful as well.

    I enjoy reading articles that challenge volatil ideas vs facts.
    I came across the product in review on the Navytimes 7th of April 2014 page 21.

    Why would the navy allow such product to be advertised is beyond me. I know there is a prescription medication out there that was created to fight something else and it ended up being a great stimulant, preventing brain fatigue and helping people staying awake for a couple of days… I cannot remember the name but I know it’s only given as a prescription.
    Anyways.

    Just wanted to show you what other places this product is trying to rematch, and I hope that other military fellows like me, get to read reviews like this one. Objective and logical.
    Thank you

    • Joe says

      HN, thanks for letting me know. I’m quite surprised Navy Times advertises supplements. I believe The Navy Times has a facebook page. You might want to post my review there so others can see it.

  13. Toni Greenlee says

    Thank you so much for this informative research. My mother who has Alzheimer’s saw this commercial and wants me to get her some because the doctor on the commercial said she would be well within one month. Isn’t that sad that they give that kind of hope to people.

    • Joe says

      Toni, I am so happy I was able to help! I dont remember seeing the “better in a month” statement when I saw the infomercial. I know one day there will be a cure for Alzheimer’s. I’ll say a prayer for your mom and you tonight.

  14. Sarah says

    Thank you Joe for writing this. I have just recently heard that our elder communities are receiving newspaper sized ads regarding this product with an attached yellow post-it note with their the resident’s name, a comment that says “This worked wonders for me”, and “-J” (as the writer). It is a shame that a scam such as this is taking advantage of the elderly population.

    • Joe says

      Sarah, really. I knew of the newspaper sized ads but not that they were coming with yellow post-it notes attached. That is a new one. Thanks for the heads up :)

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