… and we wondered if these cars had been purchased as a direct result of using Brainz Power – “an expertly formulated cognitive enhancement supplement” – or whether someone had just snuck into a car showroom with a couple of supplement bottles and a digital camera in their pocket.
We stopped scrolling down that Facebook page when we got to the picture stating that quote:
Scientists Call it the ‘Smart Pill’ Because It Helps
- Enhances Recall
- Boosts Productivity
- Overall Brainz Health
Perfect for Student Wanting to Excel in School.
And suddenly our Wednesday afternoon became much more inspired.
Firstly, we thought whoever wrote that could have done with a dose of Brainz Power Formula, and secondly, we wanted to know what this supplement could offer, other than hundreds and hundreds of images of the bottle on Instagram in various poses in various places and in front of various expensive automobiles – plus a very, very few tweets – and this is what we found.
Brainz Power was originally developed, we’re told, by Andrew Kozlovski, a business student at the University of Southern California – who saw so many students around him abusing Adderall he wanted to do something about it.
But … many of the ingredients are in such small doses that it’s doubtful Brainz Power is as beneficial as it’s made out to be.
And … the Brainz Power website doesn’t have the usual FDA disclaimer (as in “this product is not intended to cure diseases”) but it does have a little sticker on one of the forms there labelling it as a free website tool.
So … it might just look to some more like an exercise in marketing – or a business studies homework projects – than a product to help get fellow students off study drugs.
The most worrying ingredient has to be St John’s Wort, which can interact badly with other medications, including and especially oral contraceptives.
Otherwise there’s always the possibility of gastric upset, but because the dosages of each individual ingredient are so low, it’s unlikely there’s much possibility of that.
If you visit the official website, you can order 60 capsules for $29.99 with free shipping within the US – for orders over $50.00.
We also found it on Amazon for – ready for this? – $70.00. Oh, and $4.49 shipping.
All those Facebook pictures of the product held in front of expensive cars and a Rolex watch were a bit of a mystery: was the company trying to make us think that those cars were a result of taking Brainz Power … or Brainz Formula … or just plain Brainz (all three names appear on images of the product – we wish they’d make up their mind).
Examine.com analysed the product’s ingredients and basically said the dosages were “very small”, which – if you’re trying to cut costs but still keep within the law – would make sense, especially if you happen to be a business student.
Much was made of the product’s marketing methods and number of Instagram followers in an interview with Andrew Kozlovski, the developer. But nothing was mentioned about the benefits to users.
Even though we applaud Kozlovski – a business student – for creating Brainz, we think creating any kind of supplement should be left to students and professionals of a more scientific nature.
So as a business studies or marketing projects, we’ll award him an A+, but as for the product itself, for us it really doesn’t make the grade so we’re going to reject it.
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We really wish Kozlovski and/or his marketing team had been a bit more consistent with the product name, for a start. Brainz? Brainz Formula? Brainz Power? That didn’t quite start the alarm bells ringing, but it did give us cause for concern.
Another cause for concern was Examine.com’s calculations suggesting Brainz provided only 12% of the recommended dosage for Bacopa, 4% of carnitine, 8% for Huperzine, 5% for Vinpocetine, 28% for Gingko and just 3% for Phosphatidylserine.
And another cause for concern was a statement from the developer that quote:
Brainz Power works because similar products like Adderall are inaccessible to the general population and are not healthy.
Now we might be being a bit picky here, but in our experience any kind of supplement works because of the ingredients, not because of the lack of other products.
Take one capsule in the morning and if required a second in the afternoon.
However, quotes can quite often be shortened, so let’s test our theory that this is more of a homework project by repeating that quote, but adding one more word:
[Marketing] Brainz Power works because similar products like Adderall are inaccessible to the general population and are not healthy.
That makes a bit more sense, doesn’t it? Especially when we found this from Kozlovki on the startup website f6s.com: “I made a label that would suit my target audience, and then I knew for my product to be successful it had to have a massive social media following, therefore I did just that. My brands page is @brainzpower. My business works because I found the perfect channel to connect with the audience that needs this product the most.”
Maybe he did, but it all still sounds like it was copied and posted from a homework book.
From the website:
Our formula uses ingredients found to maximise cognitive functions, and we combined these ingredients into a high quality formula designed to assist you. Brainz Power is made to help you elevate your mental performance. Nootropic supplements are created to support the brains cognitive functions.
Even though the known nootropic ingredients are in such small quantities, it could be that taking Brainz might just have an effect, but it looks like it would work much better if those dosages were to be increased.
Gingko Biloba – shown to support memory improvement, and helps maintain mental alertness.
Phosphatidylserine – can significantly improve cognitive ability as well as support enhanced mood.
N-Acetyl-L Carnitine – an amino acid (a building block for proteins) naturally produced in the body.
St Johns Wort – promotes positive mood.
L-Glutamine – an amino acid.
Bacopa Monnieri – traditionally been used as a neurological tonic and cognitive enhancer.
Vinpocetine – may improve cognitive performance and short-term memory loss that is sometimes experienced with stress or aging.
Huperzine A – a dietary supplement with claims made for its ability to improve memory and mental function.
DMAE Bitartrate – supports memory and focus while stimulating neural activity.
There’s also bovine gelatin (so that rules out vegetarians, then) vegetable magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose and silicon dioxide.
Allergen warning: contains soy.
It seems the ingredients are in such small quantities that it’s highly unlikely for anyone to suffer any potential side effects – however, that being said, there’s always the risk that St John’s Wort will interact badly with other drugs – in particular oral contraceptives.
So if that’s your chosen method of contraception, it really is worth checking things out with your medical professional before investing in Brainz Power.
Caution? Just like the FDA disclaimer in the small print at the bottom of the Brainz Power web pages, any kind of caution notice appears to be missing.
And because of that we’d definitely advise a certain amount of … caution.
After finding none on Amazon, we took a deep breath and went back to the Brainz Power website to find, predictably, that based on 1086 reviews the product’s earned itself a five star score.
Interestingly, we did find a one-star review there, and we quote it in full here:
Will Like to see the brain wave results and the molecular pathways interactions that this 9 ingredients perform. But really cool packaging.
And we found this two-star review from Max: “НЕ СОВСЕМ ТО ЧТО МНЕ НУЖНО” which we think – after having ploughed through more than fifty pages of gushing adoration for Brainz Power – says it all.
Guarantee? Money back? Nope.
You can buy Brainz Power at the website, and we did find it at a vastly inflated price on Amazon (you can be the first to write a review if you want. Nobody else has, so far, but what do you expect when someone’s trying to sell it there for more than twice the regular price?).
Presumably whoever it is signed up as an affiliate marketer for Brainz Power – after all, you get yourself a 20% commission on each bottle sold.