Wouldn’t you love one pill that could increase your energy, improve your memory and boost your brain power? We’re guessing that’s why you’re here.
You’re ready to order your first bottles of Cerebrrin because you’re tired of forgetting things, feeling exhausted and not having the mental agility you want. Your work is suffering. You feel out of it. In general, you want your life to change and you feel like Cerebrrin could be the answer.
Before you enter your credit card number and take the leap in to the glitzy world of nootropics (stuff that supposedly makes your brain smarter…more on that later) we want to take you on a quick tour of Cerebrrin and answer the following questions: What is it? What does it claim to do? What does the science say?
If you’re feeling a little sluggish, grab a cup of coffee and settle in for a few minutes; don’t reach for the Cerebrrin just yet.
What Does Cerebrrin Claim to Do and How Do They Back it Up?
The Cerebrrin website claims that their pills can improve three main areas: increased energy, improved memory and increased brain power. These three areas of mental/physical health are featured at the top of the website and have a corresponding paragraph which elaborates exactly how the pill helps in these areas.
Below that section, Cerebrrin employs a classic move we’ve seen before by supplement websites: a list of big-name publications. Be wary of these lists; they often have no relation to the product and do not endorse the product .
Below that section are the six ingredients which supposedly provide you with the mental oomph you need. The ingredients are: Alpha-GPC, tyrosine, bacopa monnieri (also known as brahmi), vinpocetine, GABA and Huperzine A. Cerebrrin claims that Alpha-GPC “helps proper functioning of neurotransmission,” tyrosine “helps mental alertness,” bacopa monnieri “increases cerebral blood flow and cognitive function,” vinpocetine “increases energy production,” GABA “maintains focus” and Huperzine A “is used for memory and learning enhancement.”
Once you read past the ingredients, you’ll find thumbnails of six different scientific publications which, according to Cerebrrin, “have been shown by scientific community to have substantial benefits.”
As you can see, an initial peek at Cerebrrin is pretty convincing: it seems like the scientific community and more than 30 famous companies endorse the use of nootropics.
Being the facts-based lot that we are, we wanted to get into the research and find out of Cerebrrin really lives up to all the hype they’re claiming to get.
We’re going to take a look at each supplement’s ingredients, there alleged effects on the brain and body, as well as examine whether or not the “scientific community” has actually shown the product to have “substantial benefits.”
Do Cerebrrin’s Ingredients Back Up the Benefits the Pills Claim to Provide?
The fact that the benefits listed with the supplements aren’t linked to any scientific studies is first thing that tips us off to the likelihood that the benefits of increased physical energy, brain power and memory capacity are less than you think.
We did some digging on our own and found a series of scientific studies that provide underwhelming evidence in support of the magical abilities Cerebrrin claims to have.
Alpha-GPC is also known as choline alfoscerate (CA). In a 2003 study by a doctor based in Mexico City, CA showed some promise as a treatment for dementia disorders associated with Alzheimer’s, but the study did not indicate how CA/alpha-GPC could benefit a healthy person. Other reputable sources have echoed this observation, noting that the jury is out on whether or not alpha-GPC can improve brain function in a healthy adult.
Tyrosine is known among the medical community as a supplement given to people who suffer from phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare disease in which the body isn’t able to break down phenylaline into tyrosine. This leads to toxic levels of phenylaline, but it also leads to a deficiency in tyrosine, an essential component of neurotransmitter creation. Tyrosine is given to PKU patients to increase their tyrosine levels, but it’s yet to be proven to provide any sort of benefit to a healthy person.
This strangely named nootropic is hailed by many supplement companies as a champion of memory improvement. However, it’s hard to back up this claim with science. A 2002 study at the University of Wollongong (Australia) showed that the supplement improved the ability to remember unrelated pairs of words, but beyond that the effects were insignificant.
Several studies have been done on vinpocetine’s effect on the brain. The most recent study we found was published in 2003 by a pair of researchers from Romania who wanted to see if vinpocetine could help patients with dementia. Their findings? “Although the basic science is interesting,” the study’s conclusion read, “the evidence for the beneficial effects for patients with dementia is inconclusive and does not support clinical use.”
GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid)
Cerebrrin claims that GABA can maintain focus and inhibit you from becoming over-excited. A 2001 study published in the Journal of Neurochemistry points out that GABA’s had the potential to be effective in “regulating neuronal excitability” but they admitted they weren’t quite sure how it happens.
Another important factor to remember is that, in order for a GABA supplement to have an effect on the brain it has to cross the blood-brain barrier, a virtually impermeable wall the body uses to keep toxins and other unwelcomed guests out of the brain. The chances of GABA supplements making it across the blood-brain barrier are slim, making it seem like any benefits from the substance would be impossible to enjoy.
Companies that like to champion Huperzine A say, just as Cerebrrin has, that “Hup” can enhance learning. We found a 1999 study from Xiaoshan Mental Hospital in Zhejiang, China, which noted that “Hup capsules enhance the memory and learning performance of adolescents.” This study is promising, although there isn’t much research out there to expand on the data found.
After taking a look at the facts presented on the Cerebrrin website as well as the scientific research we found, we feel the evidence is steering us away from the claims of increased energy, improved memory and increased brain power listed on the Cerebrrin website.
We also would like to caution you from believing that the scientific community supports the claims made on the Cerebrrin website. We investigated the issue of Scientific American whose cover story, “Pills to Make You Smart”, was featured on Cerebrrin’s website.
The cover story is actually an examination of the way various pills (methylphenidate, amphetamines, Modafinil and Donepezil, to be exact) have been used by students, soldiers and others to increase brain power and alertness. The story is not, as Cerebrrin leads you to believe, a promotion of any of the nootropics included in the supplement.
We feel as though this is a tactic used to convince you that experts have given the okay to Cerebrrin’s ingredients.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
One thing we always remind the Highya community is that supplement companies often dazzle you with facts and figures in an effort to get you to buy their product. Cerebrrin, it seems, is no different.
When you click on the “Buy Now” button at the bottom of their website, it takes you to a new page laden with punchy claims about the pill’s effectiveness.
Nifty one liners like “Viagra for the Brain” and, “Warning: Cerebrrin contains compounds shown to noticeably enhance memory and learning ability,” will get you excited and make you want to “Claim your risk free discounted bottle now!” and take advantage of a rush order.
But stop for a moment and inspect the site. Where are the prices? They’re tucked away in the page’s Terms and Conditions. A one-month supply of the supplement is $59.95, three months is $119.95 and five months is $149.95.
The only way that you can easily see the prices is by filling out their “Rush Order” form in which you have to give Cerebrrin your name, mailing address, phone number and email address.
You are then taken to a new page which reveals the prices (they’re discounted!), but it also reveals more of what seems to be Cerebrrin’s high-pressure tactics. A blurb at the top of the page says, “Hurry as this offer expires in five minutes.” A countdown clock ticks away on the other side of the screen. Product descriptions include the item’s “Sell-Out Risk”, all of which say “HIGH.”
There’s no mention of an auto-ship program on the main site or the high-pressure ordering page. Many supplement companies automatically enroll you in monthly “subscriptions” in which they send you monthly supplies of their product and charge the credit card you used for your initial purchase.
Though we found no mention of an auto-ship program on the site or the order page, there is the possibility – based on similar sites and Cerebrrin’s high-pressure tactics – that you’ll be enrolled in auto-ship.
Our Suggestion for Better Brain Power
As you can tell, we’re very wary of Cerebrrin’s tactics and their claims. If you’re disappointed, we understand. But don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to increase your brain power and focus without using supplements.
One of the things we suggest is a regular habit of exercise. We recently wrote an article about six ways you can improve your focus and energy. We’ve linked to some excellent studies and we promise we won’t auto-enroll you.
Want a sneak peek at what you can do to increase your brain power? Here you go:
- Exercise: Get some blood flowing to that brain of yours! A study from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America shows that exercise can lift your brown out of the depressive or anxious fog you find yourself in.
- Manage your time: Coming up with a schedule for your day will help you distribute your time effectively, which can reduce the stress that often clouds our judgement and makes it harder for us to think clearly.
There are four more tips you’ll find in our article about improving focus and energy, plus lots of other good information about a healthy lifestyle.