- Provides some phosphatidylserine
- Coffee fruit "extract" could be anything - WHAT IS THE EXTRACT?
- Coffee fruit extract not the same as Whole Coffee Fruit Concentrate, which is itself unproven
- Just two ingredients
- Other stacks provide far more ingredients for similar price
Even with a price tag of just under $12, we don’t think Neuriva is a very good choice for anybody in search of a potent nootropic. It contains just two ingredients – coffee fruit extract and phosphatidylserine. Coffee fruit extracts might show promise as BDNF-boosters, but the evidence is still thin. We don’t know which compound in coffee might boost BDNF, or if it is in Neuriva in large amounts. Phosphatidylserine supports healthy brain cell formation, but it doesn’t have particularly strong effects. Neuriva is far from the most powerful nootropic on the market.
Neuriva Review: What Does This Nootropic Claim To Do?
Neuriva is a brand new nootropic supplement made by Schiff Vitamins. This massive supplement manufacturer clearly sees that the nootropics market has a real future, so it wants to get in on the action. There are currently two Neuriva stacks on sale – Neuriva, and Neuriva Plus. This review will focus on standard Neuriva; we will do a review on Neuriva Plus in due course. So what does this brain supplement claim to do?
According to the box, Neuriva is capable of delivering the following benefits:
- Enhanced focus
- Better learning
- Improved memory function
- Improved “accuracy”
- Heightened concentration
This is pretty much the standard collection of benefits we expect to get from a nootropic. Some stacks obviously go further, offering mood support, brain cell protection, or long-term brain adaptation support. But only the most complete nootropics cover all of these aspects.
Neuriva sounds like a good full-spectrum brain supplement.
But does it really do all these things? Is Neuriva safe? Will it cause side effects? How does it compare to the best natural nootropics on the market right now? Find out by reading our full Neuriva review below!
Here is the Neuriva ingredients list as it appears on the box:
Not much to it, right? When using just 2 ingredients, you really have to make sure those ingredients work really hard for your users. Here is a breakdown of what each ingredient does – or doesn’t do – for cognitive performance, brain health, and so on. Please post your questions in the comments section at the end.
Coffee Fruit Extract – 100mg
Coffee fruit extract is a relatively new supplement to come onto the market. Its manufacturer claim that compounds in coffee fruit promote the release of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). BDNF promotes the growth, maturation, and proliferation of brain cells (as well as cells in the spinal cord). Higher levels of BDNF mean faster neuron growth, reduced neuron degeneration, and proliferation of new neurons.
Obviously, having higher BDNF levels would have dramatic implications for cognitive performance. With more neurons – and more efficient, resilient neurons at that – you command more raw brain power.
There is some evidence to support these claims. The study usually cited is this one, in which researchers saw a ~140% increase in BDNF in people treated with Whole Coffee Fruit Concentrate.
But there is a big problem. We don’t have Whole Coffee Fruit Concentrate here, but coffee fruit extract. Neuriva may contain next to none of the active ingredient which makes WCFC effective at boosting BDNF. On top of that, the claims made about coffee fruit concentrate rely on a single study.
We’re not buying into this one until we see a couple of other studies showing similar results.
As far as we know, coffee fruit extract could be anything – any substance in coffee can be refined and extracted; water, fibre, vitamin C, caffeine, anything!
Phosphatidylserine – 100mg
Phosphatidylserine is found in very large quantities in the human brain. It is a phospholipid, and a very important compound for healthy brain function.
Phosphatidylserine is a major constituent of brain cell membranes. That’s why there’s so much of it in your brain – it makes up a large chunk of your brain’s physical structures! Having a healthy supply of phosphatidylserine is vital if you want to support healthy brain cell generation.
Another function of phosphatidylserine is as a cell signaller. In simple terms, when a brain cell reaches the end of its life, phosphatidylserine moves from the inside of the membrane to the outside. Immune cells then notice the phosphatidylserine and destroy the cell. Apoptosis (programmed cell death) is a very normal process, and an important one for cognitive performance.
Our phosphatidylserine levels naturally decline as we age. As such, supplementation is probably a good idea if you want to promote good, effective mental function for as long as possible. Short-term benefits have also been witnessed in young, otherwise healthy people.
We do consume some phosphatidylserine in our diet, but nowhere near enough for optimal brain function. The 100mg we get from Neuriva is enough to rectify any ‘deficiencies’ (although you can’t really be deficient in phosphatidylserine).
Our Thoughts On The Neuriva Formula
Neuriva contains just two ingredients – one a good substance for supporting good brain cell health over the long term, the other a relatively unproven ingredient.
We are really disappointed with Neuriva. The manufacturer – Schiff Vitamins – makes some high quality nutritional products, and they are a successful supplement brand. We therefore expected a lot from Neuriva. But it looks as though these guys should have stuck to making multivitamins!
Neuriva just doesn’t come close to providing the same power that many other nootropics do.
We have no way of knowing whether the coffee fruit extract in Neuriva contains the same substances as those found in the Whole Coffee Fruit Concentrate used in the study.
After all, “extract” usually means a single substance has been selected and extracted, with minimal amounts of the remaining substances left over. Whole fruit concentrate implies something very different – it means we get relatively large doses of everything!
In any case, there is only one study showing that whole coffee fruit concentrate boosts BDNF levels in humans. This study used few volunteers, and did not go on for very long. Until we see more concrete evidence, we’re going to remain sceptical.
Neuriva also contains 100mg of phosphatidylserine.
This is a great nootropic. As we explained above, it supports healthy brain cell formation and proper apoptosis over the long-term. The 100mg we get from Neuriva is all you need to keep your levels nice and high too. But phosphatidylserine doesn’t have much of an effect by itself – short-term effects are very subtle when they do register.
All-in-all, Neuriva is a bit of a let-down. This isn’t a powerful nootropic at all. It isn’t even in the same league as the kind of brain supplements which currently dominate the market. It provides nothing to improve learning, nothing to sharpen focus, and even the long-term benefits are uninspiring.
Even if your goal is promoting long-term brain development and maintenance, there are much better products out there than Neuriva.
Side Effects – Is Neuriva Safe?
One big positive of Neuriva is that it looks to be extremely safe.
With 100mg of coffee fruit extract, side effects are not thought to be an issue. Even if the substance “extracted” is caffeine, less than 100mg is nothing to be particularly worried about. We doubt that is the primary substance in the extract anyway (although we don’t know for sure).
Phosphatidylserine has been repeatedly studied in robust clinical trials. It has never been found to cause any side effects whatsoever. It has been given to elderly subjects too; again, no side effects worth noting were observed.
Overall then, Neuriva is unlikely to cause any users any side effects. It looks like the vast majority of users are fine to use Neuriva on a regular basis.
We don’t think there’s any long-term health risks to Neuriva either.
Of course, everyone is different. We don’t know anything about your particular circumstances. All we’re doing here is pointing out the obvious dangers to the average user. Do your own research carefully and, if you have any pre-existing conditions, talk to your doctor.
In Conclusion – Is Neuriva A Good Nootropic?
No, not at all.
It doesn’t matter if your goals are simply to promote long-term brain development; Neuriva isn’t an ideal choice.
Neuriva isn’t even a suboptimal choice – it’s an outright bad option.
There are nootropics specifically designed to promote lasting brain development, neuroplasticity, and to slow down the onset of cognitive decline. They are powerful, potent, and they offer good value for money.
More importantly, they provide a comprehensive stack of ingredients that work via multiple different (but complimentary) pathways.
Neuriva provides just two ingredients. One is fairly standard, the other relatively unproven.
In terms of short-term increases in focus, memory function, and clarity, Neuriva can’t help you at all.
For long-term brain support, far better results can be obtained using a number of different stacks.
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.