With age, certain aspects of the brain and nervous system are reduced. This fact has been known for centuries. Increasingly, the ability of certain vitamins, minerals and nutrients to reduce, and in some cases even reverse, the age-related decay of brain function. Omega 3 and 6 oils and other essential fatty acids, botanicals like ginkgo biloba and ginseng as well as B vitamins and trace nutrients -- all can be absolutely vital to brain health.
A cottage industry of brain support supplements has developed recently. Some claim to be able to shave decades off your brain function. To sharpen your memory and allow you to focus all day long. But how true are these claims? Where does science end and marketing begin?
We tested four of the top-selling brain support supplements: Focus Factor, Constant Focus, Lucidal and Attend. These ratings are based on the data collected from our group of volunteers and other, related research of public information sources.
Our staff of experts have rated a number of products in this category and have listed their recommendations.
Of the four products we tested, only Constant Focus produced fast results that were overwhelmingly positive. Some testers told us they felt "as if I'd been thinking in a fog before," "thinking clearly is so much easier," "my head feels less cluttered." Constant Focus increased attention span and made concentration easier. Our testers felt as though they were thinking clearer, faster and better. Several even said they felt like they didn't need their morning coffee any longer.
The synergistic blend of nutrients and botanicals used in the Constant Focus formula seems to be well-balanced to provide optimum neurological support.
Of the brands we reviewed, Constant Focus is the only product that received our must buy recommendation.
Focus Factor is probably the most popular and most widely-advertised product in this niche, so we had to include it in our testing. Our testers reported generally favorable results but only after 4-6 weeks of constant use (tests ran over a 14-week period). Focus Factor did deliver an increase in attention span and mental clarity. However, some volunteers reported mild side effects including gastric upset. Note that this may not have been caused by Focus Factor - such a common complaint could be caused by any number of factors. However, a handful of our testers were forced to discontinue use of the supplement.
Focus Factor works, but its results take time. There were reports of mild side effects. For these reasons, Focus Factor received a tentative buy recommendation. It's not the top-rated product, but will do in a pinch, if you don't experience side effects.
The Attend by Vaxa formula generally had a very mild but positive effect on our testers. Volunteers reported a slight increase in attention span, focus and overall clear-headedness. These results were not dramatic enough to make a big difference in their daily lives, however. One tester said, "I'd rather have a shot of espresso. It's cheaper, works better and lasts longer. And it tastes good."
Very few of our volunteers expressed any desire or interest in continuing to take Attend after the test period was complete.
Because of the relatively modest level of results, we give Attend a do not buy recommendation.
Lucidal Cognitive Performance Enhancer is a brain support supplement using a formula similar to the others we studied for this comparison. According to the marketing material available on the Lucidal website, this product was developed by a neurologist and has been clinically evaluated. Unfortunately, the results of this clinical evaluation were not publicized on the Lucidal website.
The majority of our testers reported an extremely low level of results. Please note that our testing takes place on a volunteer basis. We gather self-reported information periodically and tabulate the results. It is possible, if extremely unlikely, that the lack of results observed with Lucidal is due to our volunteers not properly using the product. But if that is the case why did Constant Focus and Focus Factor score so highly? We were forced to conclude that, relative to the top-ranked formula, Lucidal is relatively ineffective.
Because of the lack of advertised results, we give Lucidal a do not buy recommendation.