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Last modified on September 3rd, 2021
Cognium is marketed as a brain health supplement. It’s made by the Natrol company, which makes other popular products like Natrol Melatonin.
There are a lot of supplements that claim to be brain and memory boosters, however, so what’s the reality when it comes to Natrol Cognium?
We cover everything you should know, including what Natrol reviews from customers say and whether or not the research backs up the product’s effectiveness.
- Natrol Cognium is a brain and memory supplement
- It’s a relatively inexpensive supplement, particularly compared to other similar brain and memory products
- According to Natrol, Coginum may start to show results within as few as four weeks
- The active ingredient is silk protein hydrolysate
- There is some clinical evidence that silk protein hydrolysate may improve memory without significant side effects, although it’s limited.
What is Cognium?
Natrol Cognium is a brain and memory supplement. There are a few different formulations including Cognium Extra Strength, Cognium Focus, and Cognium Memory.
Key features of Cognium include:
- It’s stimulant-free
- It contains a clinically studied ingredient
- May help with memory and recall in as few as four weeks
- May act as an antioxidant to protect the brain and reverse age-related damage
- May increase blood flow and glucose uptake in the brain
The only ingredient in Cognium’s original formulation and Cognium Memory is silk protein hydrolysate.
This is also called silk fibroin. Silk Fibroin is a protein found in silk made by the silkworm. It’s high in glycine, which is an amino acid. When hydrolysis is used to produce it, it can improve how bioavailable the protein is and how much can be used by the brain and body.
You may also see the active ingredient called silk amino acid. Silk amino acid, in addition to glycine, has other amino acids, including L-alanine, L-serine and L-valine.
We were able to find a couple of research studies looking at silk fibroin and its efficacy as a memory and brain supplement.
In one study, researchers found that the ingredient did have the potential to improve memory measurements in healthy adults when given doses of more than 280 mg a day for three weeks. With doses of 400 to 600 mg a day, the study participants seemed to reach a plateau as far as the effects.
In another study, we found that researchers looked at the ability of silk protein hydrolysate to increase glucose uptake.
When glucose uptake in the brain is increased, it can have neuroprotective benefits. For example, studies have shown that people at risk of Alzheimer’s disease have reduced glucose metabolism in the brain.
There is the potential that enhancing neuron uptake of glucose in the brain could help protect the brain from neurodegenerative diseases.
What Do Cognium Reviews Say?
The Cognium Memory product, just to give an overview, has thousands of reviews on Amazon. Overall, it has an average four-star rating.
The overview of those reviews is primarily that people didn’t feel the product worked for them. A common problem with reviews of supplements is often that users don’t take the product long enough to see results. Many reviewers of Cognium pointed out that they did use the product for a month and still didn’t see benefits.
With that being said, while many people don’t feel Cognium works, they also didn’t experience any negative side effects.
Not all the reviews are bad, and some people left Cognium reviews saying they feel the product has helped them. Specifically, some Cognium reviews say that the product helps them focus on things like conversations. Many people have found the best results when combining Cognium with other supplements like ginkgo and turmeric.
For people who feel that it’s a good product, they say they notice they can remember names more easily, and general memory recall seems to be improved for them.
Are There Any Cognium Side Effects to Be Aware Of?
In our research, we weren’t able to find any major Cognium side effects, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t possible. You should speak to your doctor before starting any supplement. While most Cognium reviews say there were no side effects, a few people said they had mild ones such as a headache.
The following are answers to some of the common questions related to Cognium.
What’s the Active Ingredient in Cognium?
The active ingredient in Cognium is silk protein hydrolysate, which has a structure that may make it conducive to supporting and protecting the brain. There are no drugs or stimulants in Cognium. Cognium is a vegetarian product. There are quite a few fillers and artificial ingredients listed as being part of the Cognium formulation, however, even though they aren’t active ingredients.
How Do You Take Cognium?
According to the instructions, ideally, you should take Cognium twice a day—once in the morning and once in the evening. This helps keep a steady supply of the active ingredient in your body.
It can take three to four weeks to see results. Some people may see results sooner, but for others, it might be right at the four-week mark when they see benefits.
Where Can I Buy Natrol Cognium?
You can buy Natrol Cognium online at retailers like Amazon. You can also buy it in many drugstores such as Walgreen’s.
Is There Clinical Research Backing Up Cognium?
When you see the marketing for Cognium, it repeatedly mentions that this product is clinically proven. We disagree. We were only able to find two studies referencing the active ingredient in this product. One study was in human participants, but the other study we found was in vitro.
An in vitro study is in a controlled environment like a test tube.
In vitro studies can help us begin to understand how something works, but it’s not the same as doing a study in humans. There are a lot of human factors that you can’t study in vitro, such as the role of our metabolism and whether a supplement or ingredient has the potential to cross the blood-brain barrier.
With that being said, we think it’s a stretch to say Cognium is clinically proven to be effective.
Additionally, there are no clinical research studies looking at Cognium in particular—only a few looking at the main ingredient.
Natrol Cognium Alternatives
If you’re interested in alternatives to Cognium that may be more effective for memory and brain health, the following are a few of our suggestions.
This is one of the top-ranked mushroom and brain health supplements on Amazon, and it’s one of our favorites. We’ve done a full review on Genius Mushrooms that you can check out if you’re interested.
Genius Mushrooms contains a blend of natural mushroom ingredients that provide nootropic brain support, stress relief, and natural energy.
Lion’s Mane for example is a possible brain booster, and reishi is also included in this formulation. Reishi may improve your mood and even detoxify your liver.
Focus Factor is another one of our favorite brain supplements, which again, we’ve reviewed in-depth if you’d like to learn more. Focus Factor is a top-seller and is top-ranked on Amazon.
Focus Factor has a combination of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are important for the health and functionality of your brain. It can improve memory and concentration, focus and may even boost your mood and overall health.
Neuriva is considered a nootropic brain supplement that may help with memory and focus, learning, and concentration. It’s one of the more expensive brain supplements but also well-reviewed by users.
Neuriva has ingredients like coffee cherry neurofactor studied more in-depth than the active ingredient in Natrol. It’s also caffeine-free, and you can use the Neuriva Brain Gym App to further improve your memory and “exercise” your brain.
Overall, we’d say Cognium probably isn’t that effective compared to other brain and memory supplements. It may work if stacked with other supplements like ginkgo and turmeric, but the evidence is limited. Many Cognium reviews describe the product as ineffective. We highlight other products like Focus Factor and Neuriva that tend to have more clinical research backing up the ingredients and more positive reviews. The Natrol company has some great products, but this might not be one of them.