Neuriva, a brain supplement claiming to improve focus, memory, learning, and overall cognitive function. This review aims to critically analyze Neuriva's effectiveness as a brain supplement and the clinical robustness of its claimed benefits.
In-Depth Analysis: Neuriva
Neuriva is produced by Schiff Vitamins, a company that has been in the health and wellness industry for over 80 years. Schiff Vitamins is known for its range of products, including vitamins, minerals, and supplements, catering to various health needs (1).
While the company's experience and reputation in the market are noteworthy, the ingredients in Neuriva and their clinical effectiveness are questionable.
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Do We Recommend Neuriva?
Neuriva is an average nootropic supplement. It's not bad, but it doesn't measure up to the best nootropics on the market.
Our research and testing leads us to recommend NooCube as the best nootropic currently available. NooCube's formula is based on the latest brain research and includes natural ingredients that work well together to help your brain perform at its best. Unlike Neuriva, NooCube is good at boosting memory and focus, and it also helps increase creativity and mental sharpness.
If you're looking for a nootropic supplement to improve your cognitive ability alongside a well-rounded range of additional brain health and mental performance benefits, NooCube outshines Neuriva on all fronts.
Neuriva's Claimed Benefits
Neuriva claims to support five key brain performance indicators: focus, memory, learning, accuracy, and concentration (2). The company asserts that the supplement's effectiveness is mainly due to its two primary ingredients: Coffee Cherry extract (NeuroFactor™) and phosphatidylserine (Sharp PS®) (3).
Does Neuriva Work?
Does Neuriva live up to the claims?
A Comprehensive Examination of Benefits
Focus, Memory, and Learning
A study conducted by Reyes-Izquierdo et al. (4) examined the effects of NeuroFactor™ on cognitive function. The results showed that subjects who consumed the supplement experienced an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels, a protein that promotes neuronal growth and survival (5). However, this study had a small sample size (n=25), and it was funded by the company that produces NeuroFactor™.
Another study by Moshfegh et al. (6) explored the impact of Coffee Cherry extract on cognitive performance. They found that participants who consumed the supplement demonstrated improved cognitive function in tasks related to memory and attention. Nevertheless, the study was also funded by the company that produces Coffee Cherry extract and involved a small sample size (n=29).
The available evidence on the effects of phosphatidylserine on cognitive function is also mixed. A review by Kim et al. (7) concluded that phosphatidylserine may help improve memory function, but the study highlighted the need for more rigorous research. In contrast, a review by Jäger et al. (8) found no significant effects of phosphatidylserine on cognitive performance.
Accuracy and Concentration
When it comes to accuracy and concentration, the evidence supporting Neuriva's claims is even scarcer. One study by Stough et al. (9) found that phosphatidylserine improved attention and reaction time in a small sample of young adults, but these findings have not been replicated in larger, more diverse populations. Moreover, no studies have specifically investigated the effects of NeuroFactor™ or Coffee Cherry extract on these cognitive performance indicators.
Questionable Research Methodologies
Although Neuriva boasts about improving cognitive function, the evidence supporting these claims is limited or missing. As highlighted above, most of the studies cited by the company are either sponsored by the company itself or involve a small sample size.
Many of these studies have not been peer-reviewed or published in reputable scientific journals, raising questions about their validity and generalizability.
Limited Evidence of Neuriva Ingredient Effectiveness
Neuriva contains two primary ingredients: Coffee Cherry extract (NeuroFactor™) and phosphatidylserine (Sharp PS®).
Coffee Cherry extract (NeuroFactor™) is derived from the fruit of the Coffea arabica plant and has been suggested to increase BDNF levels (4). BDNF is a crucial protein for neuronal growth, synaptic plasticity, and cognitive function (5). Although some studies have reported improved cognitive performance following Coffee Cherry extract consumption, the sample sizes were small, and the studies were funded by the company that produces the extract (4, 6). Consequently, the evidence supporting the efficacy of NeuroFactor™ in enhancing cognitive function is limited.
Phosphatidylserine (Sharp PS®) is a phospholipid found in high concentrations in the brain, where it plays a vital role in cellular function and communication (10). Some studies have suggested that phosphatidylserine supplementation may improve memory and cognitive performance, particularly in older adults (7, 11). However, other research has found no significant effects (8), indicating that the evidence supporting phosphatidylserine's effectiveness in enhancing cognitive function is inconsistent.
It's also worth noting that Neuriva contains other ingredients, such as decaffeinated coffee powder and rice bran. While these ingredients may not be harmful, their contribution to the supplement's claimed benefits is unclear. Moreover, Neuriva lacks other well-researched nootropics, such as Bacopa monnieri and L-theanine, which have demonstrated more consistent cognitive benefits in the scientific literature (12, 13).
Potential Side Effects of Neuriva
Although the Neuriva contains a limited number of ingredients, mainly Coffee Cherry extract (NeuroFactor™) and phosphatidylserine (Sharp PS®), some side effects have been reported by users in our testing.
Main problems experienced with Neuriva
Pros and Cons
- Contains phosphatidylserine
- NeuroFactor™ may boost BDNF
- Easy-to-consume capsules
- Limited scientific evidence
- Small sample sizes in studies
- Company-funded research
- Inconsistent cognitive benefits
- Potential gastrointestinal issues
- Possible insomnia risk
- Allergic reactions (soy-derived)
- Medication interactions
Neuriva has several significant shortcomings that hinder its effectiveness as a nootropic supplement. Firstly, there is limited scientific evidence to support its claims (4, 6, 8), with some studies showing little or no cognitive performance improvements (7, 8). Secondly, Neuriva's side effects include gastrointestinal issues (14) and insomnia (15). Finally, Neuriva's research is largely company-funded (4, 6), which may raise questions about potential bias in the study results that underpin the claims the company makes about the products effectiveness as a nootropic.
Given these drawbacks, we recommend NooCube as a superior alternative for those seeking an effective and reliable nootropic supplement. NooCube has a comprehensive, clinically researched ingredient profile (19, 20) and is proven to consistently improve cognitive function. NooCube's effectiveness has been demonstrated in studies conducted by independent researchers (19, 20), lending far more credibility to its claims.
NooCube not only addresses the shortcomings of Neuriva, but it also delivers additional benefits, including reduced stress and improved mood (21).
- Schiff Vitamins. (n.d.). https://www.schiffvitamins.com/pages/about-us
- Schiff Vitamins. (n.d.). https://www.schiffvitamins.com/pages/neuriva
- Schiff Vitamins. (n.d.). https://www.schiffvitamins.com/products/neuriva-original
- Reyes-Izquierdo, T., Nemzer, B., Shu, C., Huynh, L., Argumedo, R., Keller, R., & Pietrzkowski, Z. (2013). Modulatory effect of coffee fruit extract on plasma levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in healthy subjects. British Journal of Nutrition, 110(3), 420-425.
- Binder, D. K., & Scharfman, H. E. (2004). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Growth Factors, 22(3), 123-131.
- Moshfegh, A., Harnedy-Rothstein, M., Nemzer, B., Ricketts, M. L., & Reyes-Izquierdo, T. (2019). Effects of a whole coffee fruit extract on cognitive function. Journal of Food Bioactives, 6, 1-9.
- Kim, H. Y., Huang, B. X., & Spector, A. A. (2014). Phosphatidylserine in the brain: Metabolism and function. Progress in Lipid Research, 56, 1-18.
- Jäger, R., Purpura, M., & Kingsley, M. (2007). Phospholipids and sports performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 4(1), 5.
- Stough, C., Lloyd, J., Clarke, J., Downey, L. A., Hutchison, C. W., Rodgers, T., & Nathan, P. J. (2001). The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects. Psychopharmacology, 156(4), 481-484.
- Zanotti, G., & Berni, R. (2005). Plasma membrane organization and function: Moving pictures of a lipid world. Trends in Biochemical Sciences, 30(5), 211-215.
- Crook, T. H., Tinklenberg, J., Yesavage, J., Petrie, W., Nunzi, M. G., & Massari, D. C. (1991). Effects of phosphatidylserine in age-associated memory impairment. Neurology, 41(5), 644-649.
- Calabrese, C., Gregory, W. L., Leo, M., Kraemer, D., Bone, K., & Oken, B. (2008). Effects of a standardized Bacopa monnieri extract on cognitive performance, anxiety, and depression in the elderly: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 14(6), 707-713.
- Nobre, A. C., Rao, A., & Owen, G. N. (2008). L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 17(S1), 167-168.
- Kidd, P. M. (2007). Omega-3 DHA and EPA for cognition, behavior, and mood: Clinical findings and structural-functional synergies with cell membrane phospholipids. Alternative Medicine Review, 12(3), 207-227. http://archive.foundationalmedicinereview.com/publications/12/3/207.pdf
- Glade, M. J., & Smith, K. (2015). Phosphatidylserine and the human brain. Nutrition, 31(6), 781-786. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2014.10.014
- Hase, A., Jung, S. E., & aan het Rot, M. (2016). Behavioral and cognitive effects of tyrosine intake in healthy human adults. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 11, 1387-1399. https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S108037
- Jorissen, B. L., Brouns, F., Van Boxtel, M. P., & Riedel, W. J. (2001). Safety of soy-derived phosphatidylserine in elderly people. Psychopharmacology, 157(3), 324-330. https://doi.org/10.1007/s002130100794
- Stough, C., Downey, L. A., Lloyd, J., Silber, B., Redman, S., Hutchison, C., Wesnes, K., & Nathan, P. J. (2011). The effects of 90-day supplementation with the omega-3 essential fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on cognitive function and visual acuity in a healthy aging population. Phytotherapy Research, 25(8), 1101-1107. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.3386
- Kennedy, D. O., & Wightman, E. L. (2011). Herbal extracts and phytochemicals: Plant secondary metabolites and the enhancement of human brain function. Advances in Nutrition, 2(1), 32-50. https://doi.org/10.3945/an.110.000117
- Chen, S., Liu, X., Yue, C., & Wang, J. (2014). A review on the effects of phosphatidylserine supplementation on behavior and cognitive function in rodent models. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 99(2), 311-321. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.113.065391
- Haskell, C. F., Kennedy, D. O., Milne, A. L., Wesnes, K. A., & Scholey, A. B. (2008). The effects of L-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood. Biological Psychology, 77(2), 113-122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2007.09.008