Alzheimer's DementiaCalcium

No human evidence that aequorin prevents dementia

A company called Quincy Bioscience sells a product containing aequorin (Prevagen) that it promotes as “the first supplement to address aging through the restoration of calcium-binding proteins.”

A reader asked what I’ve heard about this product, which contains aequorin (Aequorea victoria), a calcium-binding protein found in the jellyfish.

I know that it costs $99.95 for a 30-day supply. At $3 per day, one should expect at least a preliminary study in humans, right?

No way, Jose!

A PubMed literature search revealed studies in plants, barnacles, and in animal organs that were removed and studied in a laboratory.

  • There was nothing in humans with or at risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
  • There was 1 study on human heart tissue taken from heart transplant patients.
    • But it was designed to show an effect on heart contraction, not dementia.

Dr. Dan Moran, who is director of manufacturing sciences at the Quincy Bioscience, states the case for aequorin, which is based on the “calcium hypothesis ” of brain aging, the role of calcium in normal brain function, changes that occur with aging.

However, no data support the ability of aequorin to alter any of this in the human brain while it’s still in a human. There are no studies to guide dosing. And, there is no information on the safety of aequorin.

The good news is that “The jellyfish are not harmed in the making of Prevagen, thanks to a humane extrusion process that is used.”

11/24/08 11:48 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.