Cognium contains just one ingredient called CERA-Q. Don’t let the impressive brand name fool you; CERA-Q is just silk moth protein hydrolysate. You probably wont be surprised to learn that silk protein hydrolysate has never been shown to enhance cognition in a published, peer-reviewed, high quality scientific trial. The only evidence offered by Natrol are some Korean papers, all of which were written by researchers who are known to falsify results. Cognium looks like a scam nootropic to us.
Natrol Cognium Review: Can this old nootropic still deliver?
Natrol Cognium is a natural brain supplement. It has been around for a very long time. It has remained one of the best-selling nootropics in the US since its launch (probably because of all the TV ads). Today, thousands of people search online for detailed Cognium reviews. After all, you can never really trust what you hear on late-night TV commercials!
Why is Cognium still so popular? What does it do?
According to the official Natrol website, Cognium is a “breakthrough in brain health”.
Cognium claims to deliver:
- Statistically significant improvements in memory
- Better focus
- Faster recall
Amazingly, Natrol Cognium promises to deliver all of these benefits in just 4 weeks!
Regular users of natural nootropics will understand why we find this hard to believe. Natural cognitive enhancers usually take 6-12 weeks to really get going.
So, does Cognium really work as advertised?
Is it safe for regular use? Is Cognium the best option for better memory and focus? Read our detailed Natrol Cognium review below and find out. We examine the ingredients, he side effects, the value for money, and more. Post your questions in the comments at the end.
The most important thing about a nootropic is the formula. So what is actually in Cognium? Here is the Cognium formula as it appears on the bottle:
As you can see, Cognium contains just one ingredient: CERA-Q.
That’s it; no supporting vitamins or minerals, and no herbal extracts.
All we get is a single substance.
So what is CERA-Q?
What is CERA-Q?
CERA-Q is a branded, patented form of silk protein hydrolysate. To be specific, CERA-Q is a powder that is 60% silk protein hydrolysate by weight.
What is silk protein doing in a nootropic?
According to Natrol, silk protein hydrolysate consumption significantly improves cognitive function.
Natrol actually claim that CERA-Q can enhance multiple different aspects of cognition at the same time, from focus and memory to long-term brain health.
The Natrol website explains that CERA-Q works primarily by boosting brain blood flow. They say that CERA-Q also boosts glucose uptake in the brain, and that it acts like an antioxidant.
If these claims were true, then Cognium would probably be one of the best nootropics on the market right now.
Unfortunately, we don’t think these claims are true.
The Natrol website lists several studies to back up their claims.
If you check them out, you’ll see that they are all published in Korean academic journals. Usually, these articles would be listed on PubMed, but in this case, they aren’t.
The one study that is listed on PubMed has been retracted due to author misconduct:
Retraction from a journal because of data fabrication and falsification. Yet Natrol are still using this study on their website to sell Cognium.
Shame on them!
Another thing you might notice is that these studies have all been carried out by the same authors, and their findings have never been replicated or published elsewhere.
This all looks pretty suspicious to us.
We don’t know if the other studies would have passed peer review if they had been published outside of their home-country bubble.
But considering these researchers have been caught out once for data fabrication, we know where we’d put our money…and it’s not on Cognium!
Our thoughts on Cognium
Cognium contains just one ingredient – CERA-Q. This is a standardized silk protein hydrolysate.
As far as we’re concerned, this substance is completely unproven as a nootropic.
Natrol list several studies to justify their claims about Cognium, but these studies are not convincing at all. The authors have had one paper retracted due to falsified results. The others haven’t been submitted to PubMed.
We think that speaks volumes.
After some comprehensive research of our own, we cannot see a mechanisms by which silk protein would boost brain blood flow, increase glucose uptake, and act as an antioxidant.
There are no other studies showing cognitive benefits from silk protein consumption. At least none that we find particularly convincing.
Basically, we’re not buying the research on Cognium. We don’t think you should either.
Cognium promises a lot of different benefits, from enhanced memory function to sharper focus. But we don’t think anybody is actually going to see these benefits.
If you want better memory function, enhanced focus and greater mental energy, use a different nootropic. Cognium is not the best option for you!
Side Effects – Is Cognium dangerous?
The only ingredient in Cognium – CERA-Q – is essentially unstudied.
The academic papers supplied by Natrol are all written by the same researchers who had one paper retracted because they made up results.
So obviously, we don’t have any reliable information on how people react to Cognium’s only ingredient.
As such, we recommend avoiding this nootropic because of safety concerns.
A substance that is untested is not something we’re willing to play around with. We would certainly never recommend a subtance to our readers unless it had been run through numerous robust clinical trials.
If you are worried about side effects, stick to ingredients which have solid scientific track records and plenty of published, peer-reviewed (non-retracted) studies behind them!
In Conclusion – Is Cognium any good?
We would not recommend Natrol Cognium to anybody.
It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for exactly – whether it’s mental clarity, enhanced memory, or better brain health.
Cognium is an unproven nootropic. It contains just one ingredient – CERA-Q – which has never been proven in a proper, peer-reviewed, valid clinical trial.
The only studies provided by Natrol were carried out by researchers known to falsify results.
We therefore can’t trust any of the claims made about Natrol Cognium.
If you’re looking for a high quality nootropic to help enhance your cognitive function, don’t waste your time on Cognium.
There are much better brain supplements on sale today. Cognium just can’t compete with the kind of professional, high-quality brain supplements we are used to taking nowadays.
Brian Johnson is a former academic researcher, psychologist, and tireless proponent of bio-hacking. Brian has dedicated all of his time since leaving academia and private practice to promoting the benefits to be obtained from the application of biotechnology and bio-hacking supplements. He has years of experience with nootropics, as well as prebiotics, probiotics, and other natural nutritional supplements. He has published scholarly research on natural nootropics; you can find his papers on his Google Scholar page.