So we made sure our brain was working OK and then took a look at CognI· Q Cognitive Support to see how well – and for how long – it would help keep our brain functioning properly.
CognI· Q’s main ingredient – Angelica Gigas Nikai root extract – is derived from an Asian flowering plant which has been a popular medicinal herb in Korea for a long time.
The actual extract, which goes by the scientific-sounding name of INM-176, has been shown to help with age-related memory problems, as long as they’re mild.
It works, we’re told, by raising levels of acetylcholine. That’s a brain chemical we need for good cognition and memory. We’re also told INM-176 may protect brain cells from damage by free radicals.
Angelica is classed as an antiandrogen, which means it can not only lessen masculine characteristics in men, but it can also start off the development of female characteristics, such as breast development.
It’s available on the Quality of Life website for $34.95, but if you order less than $50.00 worth of goods from there, you get charged for shipping and handling.
On iHerb, you can get CognI· Q for the bargain basement price of $27.96 (we’re not quite sure how that works, but hey – a bargain’s a bargain) and on Amazon it’s available for $33.49. On eBay, we’ve seen it for $44.95 but – as always – be careful when ordering from online marketplaces because there’s always the chance you might not get quite what you ordered.
We have to admit to being disappointed in CognI· Q for a number of reasons. Although it made a pleasant change to follow the link from the Quality of Life website to humanclinicals.org and actually find a write-up there of the double-blind tests they said had been run on INM-76 – three of them, in fact. But we weren’t exactly thrilled to find that two of those write-ups were pretty well identical apart from some changes in punctuation.
We lost a little more confidence when we read through those write-ups only to discover that the subjects had to take INM-76 every day for a whole three months before testing was carried out.
And we lost a lot of confidence because those write-ups didn’t tell us how much INM-76 those subjects consumed every day of those three months.
We lost even more confidence when we found an FDA notification from around ten years ago, saying they were definitely not happy with the sale of Angelica gigas Nikai root extract, because they weren’t convinced it was safe for consumption.
If maybe we were a lot more elderly than we are right now and our brain wasn’t working so well, we might feel a little more enthusiastic about CognI· Q and not really care that much about Angelica’s emasculating side effects, but in this case, all we’re going to say here is ‘better safe than sorry’ and reject CognI· Q.
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It always worries us when we look at test results that tell us the subjects have been taking a supplement for way longer than the first bottle of that supplement is going to last. And that’s especially true for CognI· Q: one bottle of capsules is going to last two weeks, not the three months testing subjects were taking it for – in whatever dosage.
So we think it’s unfair of Quality of Life not even to just give the gentlest of hints that it might take more than a couple of weeks to feel the full benefit of CognI· Q.
Take 2 vegicaps in the morning, and 2 in the evening, with meals.
Angelica – the plant from which the main ingredient is derived – is something we’ve usually found on top of the occasional cake. And it’s also used a flavouring in gin, we hear. But what didn’t know until recently is that Angelica in various forms is used for pain relief and also has anti-inflammatory properties.
But in this case, Angelica extract ‘prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine, an essential neurotransmitter involved in healthy memory function’, so there’s the possibility that it really does help with age-related memory problems – but only as long as those problems fit the manufacturers’ definition of ‘mild’.
CognI· Q is claimed to improve cognitive function and reduce age-related mild memory decline.
We’re told that ‘Animal studies indicate INM-176 may increase brain levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter necessary for memory. The active constituents of INM-176 have antioxidant properties that may protect ageing brain cells from oxidation (free radical damage)’.
However, we’re also told that after three months of test subjects taking an unspecified dose of INM-17 every day ‘INM-176 may be a candidate molecule for the improvement of cognitive functions, including memory.’
It’s that ‘may’ which always gets us.
CognI· Q’s main ingredient is the root extract of Angelica gigas Nikai. It’s often (inaccurately) referred to as dong quai, another variant of the Angelica plant. INM-176, the extract itself, is patented and works by creating an increase in the levels of acetylcholine, a chemical the brain needs for good memory and cognition.
CognI· Q has two other ingredients: Decursin and Decursinol – neither of which are very well described.
Decursin appears to be used in medications for the treatment of pattern hair loss and prostate cancer in men, while for women it’s used for treating skin and hair conditions. As for transgender women, it’s a component of hormone replacement therapy.
Decursinol seems to be a joint lubricant and analgaesic.
The capsules containing these ingredients are made up of rice flour, vegetable cellulose and leucine, and CognI· Q is gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians.
The problem with Angelica of any kind is that being an antiandrogen, it’s capable of feminising men, causing anything from hot flushes to sexual dysfunction to infertility and even development of breasts.
Angelica plants are a natural source of phytochemicals called coumarins, which can prevent blood clotting. So if you’re already on a medication such as warfarin then this might not be the supplement for you.
All we could find was the standard ‘consult with a health-care practitioner if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding’ clause, but we’re not happy with Quality of Life’s not mentioning potential complications if you’re already taking blood-thinning medications.
We found it strange that there weren’t any reviews for CognI· Q on the Quality of Life website, so we took a look at what Amazon buyers had to say about their experience.
There seemed to be mixed feelings about CognI· Q among those who’d even bothered to express an opinion. Of the 27 people who’d scored the product, only one third of them gave it the full five stars (and one of those 5-star reviews was for a different product altogether).
Some of the reviews were a little less than flattering, such as:
I am not saying these are worse than any of the other so-called brain boosting supplements. But I didn’t note or observe any obvious improvements in acuity, memory, focus.
No results! After 2 bottles… No difference at all.
I used it for a month and didn’t notice any difference.
Didn’t do anything for me, sorry.
Quality of Life offer a full refund for unopened items within 30 days of purchase, but shipping and handling fees are non-refundable.
For those who need a little nudge to put in a repeat order, Quality of Life offer a ‘recurring order’ option, with a choice of either 30 or 60-day frequency, which should make it easy for users to see if it takes less than three months to feel the benefits of CognI· Q … but it’s up to them to remember to cancel their subscription if need be.
You can find CognI· Q online at qualityoflife.net and iHerb, as well as on Amazon and eBay, and there’s also a handy store locator on the Quality of Life website if you prefer buying from a real human being on the other side of the counter.