Understanding Ingredients & Validating Research is Key When Shopping for brain health supplements
People of all ages are looking to make valuable changes to their lifestyles to help bring optimal happiness and health, as well as longevity. Many individuals are focusing on whole food diets, curbing alcohol, hitting the gym and practicing various forms of self-care and mindfulness. And, according to a 2019 survey, an all-time high of Americans are also turning to dietary supplements to support their health. In fact, more than three-quarters (77 percent) say they consume some sort of vitamin or dietary supplement and more than 25 percent regularly take a supplement for brain health.
With so many choices available online and on shelves at pharmacies and retail stores, shopping for supplements can be a complicated task. Transparency on labels, ingredients sourcing and validated research are key. That’s why we’re breaking down the in-depth research on coffee cherry extract and phosphatidylserine— the two naturally sourced ingredients in the brain health dietary supplement, Neuriva.
What is coffee cherry extract (Neurofactor™) and how does it work with the brain?
Coffee trees produce coffee cherries that turn red when they are ripe and ready to pick. While the coffee we drink uses the coffee bean, or seed, found inside the coffee cherry, Neuriva contains the botanical extract derived from the nutrient-rich skin and rind of the coffee cherry, which contain powerful phytonutrients that help support your health.* This part of the cherry is naturally decaffeinated and sourced from farms certified by the Rainforest Alliance, which means it meets the standards required for environmental, social, and economic sustainability. One capsule of Neuriva contains 100 mg of the coffee cherry extract, which is equivalent to around 3-4 whole fruit coffee cherries.
So how does it benefit the brain? The coffee cherry’s mechanism of action is tightly linked to an increase in the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a key neuroprotein and biomarker for brain health involved in cognitive function. BDNF has been extensively studied and is the subject of many clinical publications which can be found in multiple reputable peer reviewed scientific journals. The data demonstrates that it plays a positive role in brain health, including maintaining the health of existing brain cells, supporting the growth of new neurons and synapses, and supporting overall cognitive function such as memory and learning.*
How does phosphatidylserine support brain health?
Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid naturally present throughout the body but declines in our brains as we age. It has a long and extensive body of research behind its brain health benefits and is known to support the functioning of the nerve cells in the brain and the communication between them. Because it is involved in transmitting signals between our nerve cells and the brain, it’s also connected to memory. Phosphatidylserine is naturally found in some foods, such as soybeans, white beans, egg yolks, chicken liver and beef liver.
Neuriva contains soy-derived phosphatidylserine, that has shown cognitive benefits in humans of various age groups.6 In fact, one clinical study found that taking 100 milligrams a day improved cognitive functions, such as memorizing names and faces.
While there is a robust body of science that supports Neuriva and its ingredients, there’s also no such thing as a silver bullet – sleep, diet, and exercises for the body and brain are all important to support optimal brain health. For those who are interested in adding a supplement to their wellness routine, talk to your healthcare provider, and don’t forget to do your research and look for products with ingredients that have published clinical studies to support their claims. Taking the time to select science-backed ingredients will help narrow down the options on the shelves to ensure a safe, effective supplement choice –and may support your long-term path to happiness and health.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
 Reyes-Izqueirdo, T, Nemzer, B, Shu, C, Huynh, L, Argumendo, R, Keller, R, Pietrzkowski, Z. Modular. Modulatory effect of coffee fruit extract on plasma levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in healthy subjects. Br J Nutr. 2013 Aug 28;110(3):420-5. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512005338.
 Bathina S, Das UN. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and its clinical implications. Arch Med Sci. 2015;11(6):1164-78. Doi: 10.5114/aoms.2015.56342.
 Yamada K, Nabeshima T. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor/TrkB signaling in memory processes. J Pharmacol Sci. 2003; 91(4):267-70.
 Crook T. Treatment of age-related decline in cognitive capacities The effects of phosphatidylserine. In: Katz, RM, Goldman, eds. Anti-Aging Medical Therapeutics, 1998:20-28.
 Kim HY, Huang BX, Spector AA. Phosphatidylserine in the Brain: Metabolism and Function. Prog Lipid Res. 2014. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2014.06.002.
 Kim, H. Y., Huang, B. X., & Spector, A. A. (2014). Phosphatidylserine in the brain: metabolism and function. Progress in lipid research, 56, 1-18.