Neuriva Review: Brain-Boosting Supplement or False Promise?
Written By Kobi Nathan, Pharm.D., M.Ed., CDP, BCGP, AGSF
Sleep Disorders
June 20, 2023

Disclaimer: The content in this article does not constitute medical advice; it is merely my opinion. No blog post or YouTube video should ever claim to offer medical advice! Your doctor knows you best – please talk to your physician if you are considering taking a nootropic or any supplement.

Review of Neuriva

If you’re looking to improve your cognitive function, you may have come across Neuriva brain health supplements in your search.

Schiff Vitamins, the company behind Neuriva, claims its dietary supplement boosts your brain’s performance through its unique blend of ingredients. But does it actually improve brain performance?

In this Neuriva review, we’ll take a closer look at the supplement’s ingredients, effectiveness, and potential side effects so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not this supplement is right for you.

Neuriva offers three different formulas:

  1. Neuriva Original.
  2. Neuriva Plus.
  3. Neuriva Gummies.

Key Takeaways

  • Neuriva is a popular nootropic brand marketed as a natural cognitive enhancer or brain performance supplement.
  • Neuriva offers three formulas: Neuriva Original, Neuriva Plus, and Neuriva Gummies.
  • Neuriva claims to improve cognitive performance within 4-12 weeks of daily use, but it recently settled a class-action lawsuit alleging false advertising claims and insufficient evidence to support its effectiveness in improving cognitive abilities.
  • It’s important to seek qualified medical advice before starting any new supplement regimen and to be aware of potential side effects or drug interactions. Additionally, there are alternative nootropic supplements available, and users should understand the ingredients in supplements and if they have been scientifically proven to work.

 

Ok, let’s review each Neuriva formulation:

Neuriva Original Review

Neuriva original ingredient label showing coffee fruit extract and phosphatidylserine

Neuriva original has two active ingredients:

  • Coffee fruit extract (Coffea arabica).
  • Phosphatidylserine.

Both ingredients are dosed at 100 mg. According to the label, adult users 18 years and older are directed to take one capsule once daily. Each bottle contains 30 Neuriva capsules.

Other inactive ingredients include:

  • Rice bran.
  • Hypromellose.
  • Carrageenan.
  • Titanium dioxide.
  • Microcrystalline cellulose.
  • Silicon dioxide.

According to the Neuriva official website, the whole fruit extract is sourced from the Coffee arabica plant, which has been “clinically tested to increase levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF).”

The Phosphatidylserine is sourced from plants and the website description states that this compound aids “neuronal health, fuels memory, and learning ability.”

So, to fact-check the website’s statements about the neuronal benefits of phosphatidylserine and coffee fruit extract, I looked up clinical studies and reviews on Pubmed, the National Library of Medicine’s gold standard resource for all things scholarly and peer-reviewed.

According to this study published in 2013, the authors found that subjects who consumed 100 mg of whole coffee fruit concentrate increased plasma levels of BDNF by 143%, while individuals who took 100 mg of green coffee caffeine powder and grape seed extract powder saw a 31% increase in BDNF levels.

It is important to note two important things when attempting to extrapolate the results of this study to real-world benefits with whole fruit coffee extract:

The study authors used whole coffee fruit concentrate, and Neuriva contains coffee fruit extract – these are not the same things.

The study sample size was small – only 5 subjects were assigned to the whole coffee fruit concentrate group.

So, while the study results suggested some positive increase in BDNF, I think it is quite the semantic leap to make a clear assumption about the BDNF-spiking effect of coffee fruit concentrate or extract to the larger population. I will take this study’s finding with a grain of salt.

The other active ingredient is phosphatidylserine, also at a dose of 100 mg. It is naturally produced in the body and is vital for brain function, physiology, and biochemistry.

Phosphatidylserine is extremely important for healthy nerve cell membrane and myelin function, as well as retention of cognitive function.

This compound can also be taken as a dietary supplement.  This study tested the effects of soybean-derived phosphatidylserine on memory function in elderly Japanese subjects and found clear improvements in delayed verbal recall, a memory ability that declines in the earliest stage of dementia.

One important caveat, though – at first glance, it seems that the study subjects received the same 100 mg dose that is contained in Neuriva.

Upon closer reading of the study, the subjects actually took a total of 300 mg per day, divided into 100 mg per dose. This is an important distinction that must be noted.

Titanium Dioxide: A potentially dangerous food additive?

Just recently, the European Union banned titanium dioxide as a food additive, using a 6-month phase-out period beginning on February 7, 2022.

To add to the confusion, the Court of Justice of the European Union reversed the titanium dioxide ban in December 2022, pointing to the weakness of the evidence that led to the banning in the first place.

The controversy over the ban centers around the possibility of the titanium dioxide breaking into nanoparticles that can accumulate in lung tissue and other parts of the body, allegedly increasing the risk for cancer.

This food additive has not been banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is still used in the United States. That said, I have personally shifted away from using foods and products containing additives, preferring whole foods and supplements without any additives.

I don’t want to take any chances with my body and health – I see enough bad outcomes in my daily clinical practice!

So, what’s the overall verdict, from my perspective? While there is some evidence to suggest that phosphatidylserine and coffee fruit extract MAY increase cognitive function, I personally do not feel that I can recommend Neuriva to improve or maintain brain function.

Neuriva Plus Review

Neuriva Plus ingredient label

With Neuriva Plus, you get five active ingredients:

  • Vitamin B6 1.7 mg.
  • Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) 2.4 mcg.
  • Folate (400 micrograms folic acid).
  • Coffee Fruit Extract 200 mg.
  • Phosphatidylserine 100 mg.

It is important to note that coffee fruit extract is double the dose of Neuriva Original. I am unsure if this higher dose will yield any additional cognitive benefit since I have not seen any evidence-based literature supporting this possibility.

The dose of phosphatidylserine is the same as Neuriva Original.

With regard to the other three active ingredients, Vitamin B6, folate, and Vitamin B12, there is no immediate harm, although there is evidence to suggest that a deficiency in Vitamin B12 can lead to cognitive impairment.

In fact, a severe B12 deficiency can lead to irreversible cognitive deficits if left untreated. I highly encourage you to read my articles on Vitamin B12 deficiency in the elderly and Reversible Dementia to learn more.

This product also has titanium dioxide as an additive. For the same reason I mentioned above in the Neuriva Original review above, I cannot recommend Neuriva Plus as well. Given its higher price point and additive, I do not think this product is worth the money.

Neuriva Gummies

Neuriva Gummies ingredient label

Neuriva is also sold as a gummy product, and this supplement contains the same two ingredients dosed similarly to Neuriva Original, namely phosphatidylserine and coffee fruit extract at 100 mg each.

So, like the original product, there is some evidence to suggest that the gummies are possibly effective for improving brain performance.

However, I see major problems with this formulation, in that there are two forms of added sugar – corn syrup and sugar.

Consuming excess sugar has been linked to cognitive decline, cerebral small vessel disease, and Vascular Dementia in people, as this Harvard medical review shows.

This gummy product also has citric acid as an additive, which is a big concern as it can cause a whole-body inflammatory response, as stated in this 2018 medical review in the journal, Toxicology Reports.

The authors of this paper point out that over 99% of the world’s manufactured citric acid comes from Aspergillus niger fungus, a known allergen!

For context, this is the same mold species that grows on food (see image below)!

onion covered in Aspergillus niger fungus

So, my verdict: I do NOT recommend Neuriva Gummies.

Neuriva vs Prevagen

You have no doubt heard about Prevagen as well, another nootropic supplement. I have written extensively about it in my Prevagen review article.

I encourage you to read it fully, as it contains important information about the manufacturer and their highly questionable practices and conduct.

There was a  Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lawsuit, a class action lawsuit, and an FDA warning letter that have mired Prevagen in controversy and legal setbacks.

One of the most concerning issues with Prevagen is that the manufacturer failed to report more than 1000 adverse events associated with its use, including hospitalizations!

My thoughts on Prevagen? It does not really work to improve cognition. At best, it is a waste of your money. At worst, it may land you in the hospital. And, no…it is not approved by the FDA!

Here’s a news story on the lawsuit against Prevagen:

Neuriva lawsuit

An $8 million class settlement was reached in a Florida court in 2021. The main charge was that Neuriva had falsely claimed their Neuriva products were “backed by science” and “clinically proven” to enhance brain performance without actually showing any scientific or clinical proof validating their product claims.

If you’re considering trying Neuriva or any other brain supplement, it’s important to do your research and read reviews from trusted sources.

While some users may report positive effects from using such products, I encourage you to take a pause and critically assess whether their claims are valid and trustworthy. You can’t trust all Amazon reviews…I’ll explain why below.

Neuriva reviews

A YouTube channel called “Joe Cannon” posted a review of both Prevagen and Neuriva. It seems to have had a fairly sizable number of views ( about 14,000 views as of the date of this article’s writing). In this review, the creator provides a nice overview of the products:

Now, what about all those glowing Amazon reviews? Here is my public service announcement – don’t take them at face value! I have learned that many of these reviews are fake and most likely purchased from third-party sites to inflate the positive reviews of their products.

So, what I recommend is that you open up a browser and point it toward www.fakespot.com/analyzer.

Copy and paste the URL of the Amazon page showing your product and click “Analyze.”

The software will run through all of the reviews, analyzing them for legitimacy. If there are questionable reviews found, the result will look like the ones below:

Neuriva Original Faksepot analysis of reviews

 

Neuriva Plus Faksepot analysis of reviews

Neuriva Gummies Faksepot analysis of reviews

 

See how Amazon ratings can be easily manipulated? I use Fakespot to analyze all products I purchase from Amazon.

Neuriva side effects

Neuriva does seem to have side effects. Some Neuriva and Neuriva Plus users have reported the following side effects:

  • Nausea.
  • Sleepiness.
  • Insomnia.
  • Anxiety.
  • Dizziness/Lightheadedness.
  • Headaches.
  • Painful stomach cramps.
  • High blood pressure.

It’s important to note that everyone’s body reacts differently and what works for one person may not work for another.

The links appearing below are affiliate links – I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you decide to purchase these recommended products. Thank you for supporting my website so that I can post more informative content for everyone.

My alternative nootropic supplement recommendations

I recommend the following evidence-based supplements instead of Neuriva and Prevagen for short-term memory support and cognitive function: Panax Ginseng, Gingko Biloba, and MCT Oil.

Gingko Biloba

Among the nootropics, Gingko Biloba has likely been studied the most in clinical trials.

In this 2015 systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the authors concluded that Gingo Biloba extract favorably improved scores for cognition in patients with cognitive impairment and dementia.

Gingko biloba has also been found to be effective for healthy brain function in younger, healthy adults.

A medical review published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology concluded that young adults saw improvement in their cognitive function and attention when they took the herb.

Panax Ginseng

Panax Ginseng has been found to possibly decrease Alzheimer’s-related neuropathology and increase acetylcholine neurotransmitter expression in the brain, according to this medical review.

Herbal Roots is a brand I trust and recommend.

The company carries both Gingko Biloba and Panax Ginseng extract and does not use food additives, sugar, flavorings, or unhealthy fillers in its supplements.

All supplements are third-party tested and manufactured in FDA-inspected facilities.

You can go here to order the Panax Ginseng root extract and here to order the Gingko Biloba on the company’s official website.

MCT Oil

I am especially proud to partner with Bubs Naturals, a supplement company created in honor of fallen Navy Seal Glen “Bub” Doherty, who gave his life defending his brothers in Benghazi, Libya on September 12, 2012.

The fine people at Bubs Naturals sell MCT oil, which has been shown to maintain or improve memory and cognitive function in over 80% of Alzheimer’s dementia patients after nine months of consistent use, according to this clinical study.

Neuriva FAQs

Is Neuriva FDA approved?

Neuriva is not FDA-approved. Dietary supplements are protected by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994.

Under DSHEA, the FDA is not authorized to approve dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness, like they would with pharmaceutical-grade prescription drugs.

Neuriva vs Adderall: Which is better?

Neuriva and Adderall belong to two completely different classes of agents.

Adderall is much more potent than Neuriva and has an immense body of evidence-based clinical trial data verifying its safety and efficacy.

Neuriva cannot even be called a drug, since it is a dietary supplement.

Adderall, on the other hand, is a prescription-only stimulant belonging to the amphetamine class of drugs.

It is a Schedule II controlled drug in the United States and must be prescribed and carefully monitored by a qualified physician.

Who should not take Neuriva?

Anyone with high blood pressure, heart problems, migraines, GI problems, Insomnia, or Vertigo should probably not take Neuriva.

The side effect profile of Neuriva may worsen these medical problems and lead to hospitalization.

Additionally, prescription drugs that are treating these medical problems may interact with Neuriva, resulting in adverse events for the user.

Can Neuriva be taken with other medications or supplements?

You should consult with your healthcare provider before taking Neuriva with other medications or supplements.

They can assess the potential for any interactions and ensure it is safe for you to use.

How long does it take to see results from taking Neuriva?

Some users claim they started seeing benefits of Neuriva within a few weeks of regular use.

However, I am unsure if this is simply due to the placebo effect or if users are really seeing any clinically relevant cognitive benefits.

Many users have reported side effects, some severe, such as headaches and GI upset.

Neuriva review summary

Neuriva contains two main ingredients: Coffee fruit extract and phosphatidylserine.

While there is some evidence to support their effectiveness in improving cognitive function, the research is limited and more studies are needed.

Some users report positive results while others see no improvement at all.

In addition, there have been legal issues surrounding the marketing claims made by the manufacturer of Neuriva.

If you’re still interested in trying a brain supplement but unsure about Neuriva, there are other options available on the market that may be worth considering.

Look for products with well-studied ingredients like omega-3 fatty acids, Panax Ginseng, Ginkgo Biloba, or MCT oil, and read reviews from verified customers before purchasing.

Don’t forget to verify Amazon reviews through Fakespot.com/analyzer!

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if Neuriva is worth trying or not.

Keep in mind that no supplement can replace healthy habits like exercise and a balanced diet when it comes to supporting brain health.

As always, consult with your doctor before starting any new supplements or making significant changes to your lifestyle.

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