BriteFOCUS say their product is the only Nootropic to have undergone a double-blind placebo cynical study – but what, we wondered, was a Nootropic in the first place?
It’s just a fancy word for ‘smart drugs’. And what do smart drugs do? They improve focus, enhance our mood, combat fatigue and improve reasoning and creativity.
And since we’re always looking out for ways to boost our brainpower, we looked into the BriteFOCUS range of products to see whether they really would give us that mental edge.
BriteSMART: It’s fine to use as long as you’re not currently suffering from any kind of mental disorder, or taking a course of anti-psychotic or anti-dementia medications (and that would include MAO inhibitors).
BriteSHIELD: Like BriteSMART, you shouldn’t use this product if you’ve been diagnosed with a mental disorder or are taking a course of anti-psychotic or anti-dementia medications.
BriteSHOT: Again, like BriteSHIELD and BriteSMART, this product isn’t for you if you’re having mental problems or are taking antipsychotics/anti-dementia medications.
Some of the ingredients in Ceretrophin – BriteSMART’s proprietary blend – can cause side effects which include digestive problems, sleep disturbances, sweating, blurred vision, cramps and high blood pressure.
BriteSMART – 30 tablets (10 days’ supply) for $69.95
BriteSHIELD – 60 tablets (30 days’ supply) for $59.95 from the website
BriteSHOT – 12 packs for $53.95, 24 pack for $99.95
It seems quite expensive.
We have to say that the BriteFOCUS website did nothing to inspire any kind of confidence in the company or its products – it looks like they handed it over to an instant website creation company and washed their hands of it. Or at least they didn’t check it enough to notice the ‘About Us’ link doesn’t work … or maybe they did, and wanted it that way.
We didn’t like their claim to be the ‘#1 Doctor Recommended Premium Brain Health Products’ because clicking on that statement just took us to their products page rather than telling us why that claim had been made in the first place.
Although we weren’t surprised by the glowing customer testimonials on the BriteFOCUS website (but we were a little bit puzzled by so few testimonials from doctors) we weren’t all that impressed by the lack of actual reviews on their website. In fact it was depressing to see the tab there which read, ‘Reviews (0)’.
And as for the products themselves, we liked the idea of BriteSHOT as a mental pick-me-up any time we liked, but we would have liked more to know more about the proportion of the ingredients of that proprietary blend in both the drink and the tablets.
So because of their website, the fact you have to buy more than one bottle of BriteSMART to see you through the first month – after which you’ll start feeling the full effects – and because of the lack of reviews on the website as well as the lack of clarity regarding their proprietary blend, we’re going to have to reject all three BriteFOCUS products.
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BriteSMART: A nutrition supplement formulated to reduce stress, improve your mood and boost overall brain performance. Its ingredients break down carbohydrates to give you more energy and support learning and memory while promoting healthy cognitive function
BriteSHIELD: A nutrition supplement to help protect your brain against the effects of aging, with contents formulated to enhance your mood, mental performance and memory by improving nerve functions and preventing damage caused by free radicals.
BriteSMART – take 3 tablets a day with food.
BriteSHIELD – take 2 tablets in the morning with food.
BriteSHOT – take whenever you feel you need a boost.
BriteSHOT: A drink to help with brain fatigue, sharpen your focus and increase your mental energy without those ‘caffeine or sugar-style jitters’ by raising levels of glucose, oxygen and neurotransmitters in the brain.
BrightFOCUS claims that BriteSMART, with Ceretrophin – its proprietary blend – ‘impacts both cognitive function and mood. Specifically, BriteSMART decreases stress and improves memory, mental focus/attention and general intelligence. Remarkably, in just four weeks study participants experienced an average 6-point increase in their IQ scores!’
As for BriteSHIELD, it’s ‘formulated for protection. It contains ingredients that have been clinically proven to protect the neurotransmitters and slow down the brain’s aging process. In addition, it also helps protect the brain from cell damage caused by free radicals and toxins.’
And BriteSHOT is claimed to be, ‘a booster to the other supplements in the line or as a stand-alone for younger patients. Consumers report that BriteSHOT helps with calm and focus, making it easier to complete brain-intensive tasks.’
Taken individually, the ingredients of all three BriteFOCUS products are known either to improve mood or brain function or give the body a bit of an energy boost, so there’s no reason to assume that taking all of them together either in tablet or liquid form wouldn’t work.
We’re a little bemused when reading through the clinical study for Ceretrophin we notice several disclaimer-type statements regarding those tests, saying that their results should be treated as ‘preliminary findings’ which ‘should be subjected to replication in a larger sample’.
This leads us to believe that yes, clinical double-blind tests were indeed carried out as the company claims, but only with a very small number of test subjects.
One thing that did come out of those tests, we discovered, was that Ceretrophin doesn’t speed up the thinking process, but ‘instead improved accuracy and reduced mistakes’, so perhaps if you’re looking for something to help you think quicker, it might be better if you looked elsewhere.
BriteSMART contains Ceretrophin ™ – a proprietary blend made up of:
Huperzine A, which is isolated from the Chinese herb Huperzia serrata, considered to be a promising agent in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and effective in relieving memory deficits for college students
Other ingredients: Tricalcium phosphate, microcrystalline cellulose, vegetable stearic acid, methylcellulose, croscarmellose sodium, silicon dioxide, pharmaceutical glaze and vegetable magnesium stearate.
An absolutely massive amount of Vitamin B12 (11,120%DV) which is good for detoxing and protecting nerve cells.
It also contains Cereprotectin, which is their proprietary blend, made up of:
Other ingredients: tricalcium phosphate, microcrystalline cellulose, vegetable stearic acid, methylcellulose, titanium dioxide, riboflavin, croscarmellose sodium, silicon dioxide, pharmaceutical glaze and vegetable magnesium stearate.
Contains no added sugar, starch, preservatives, gluten or soy products.
BriteSHOT contains the same proprietary blend of ingredients found in BriteSMART.
We couldn’t find any side effects reported for the combination of ingredients, so we looked a little closer into the individual ingredients contained in BriteFOCUS’ proprietary blend Ceretrophin … and this is what we found:
Huperzine A can cause digestive problems, sweating, blurred vision, muscle twitching, cramps, increased saliva and urine production and high blood pressure if taken orally for more than three months.
Vinpocetine can cause digestive problems, sleep disturbances, dizziness and flushing of the face, as well as nervousness.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine can cause more seizures in people who’ve already had them, and can cause a ‘fishy’ odour in urine, breath and sweat.
R-Alpha Lipoic Acid can cause rashes when taken by mouth, and if you ingest it when there’s a low amount of thiamine (vitamin B1) in your body it can cause serious health problems.
As for Rhodiola Rosea, its potential side effects aren’t known yet.
If you are pregnant, nursing or under the age of 16, taking prescribed medication, or have an existing medical condition, consult your physician before using. Discontinue use and consult a physician if any adverse reactions occur.
If you’re allergic to chocolate, avoid BriteSHOT.
Unless cleared by a physician, BriteSMART, BriteSHIELD, and BriteSHOT should not be used by individuals with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, epilepsy or seizure disorders, haemophilia, or by individuals using drugs categorised as antipsychotics, anti-dementia (cholinesterase inhibitors, NMDA antagonists) and MAO inhibitor agents.
It’s the strangest thing – of all the websites we’ve seen offering customers the chance to upload their reviews this is the only one where there has been no reviews whatsoever. And that’s for any of the three products BriteFOCUS are trying to sell there.
But we did check out the testimonials on the website. The customer testimonials were all glowing, of course, as were the two testimonials from the founders of BriteSMART. Three other doctors put their name to statements that referred to the products as a program, while one of those statements appeared to be referring to something else completely.
So we looked elsewhere for reviews.
Both the reviews for BriteSHIELD on Amazon give it 5 stars, as did all three reviews there for BriteSMART. But so far for BriteSHOT, there aren’t any reviews as yet.
We couldn’t find one. Anywhere.
They available as a Groupon special back in 2015/6. BriteFOCUS’s Facebook page recently announced they were now selling though Amazon new Format but then again it’s probably much easier to try and ignore how awful the website is, and order directly through there.
If you’re looking for an incentive to get caught up in BriteFOCUS’s autoship program, look no further than their $20 discount offer as an incentive for signing up. You get BriteSMART and BriteSHIELD for $99.95 with renewal options of 1 month, 6 weeks or 2 months.
It’s such a shame that the drop-down menu and all the other buttons on that page are jumbled up so untidily, like the page was put together by someone who really didn’t care about giving a good impression. Because it really doesn’t.