Natrol Cognium Review – Big Promises, but the Numbers Don’t Add Up

Natrol Cognium Review

Natrol Cognium has made a big name in the brain health game with its exciting promises on “clinically proven” boosts on memory, learning, and concentration. And the best part about these claims: They apply to everyone, young and old.

If you’re suspicious, then you’re not alone. Natrol Cognium certainly qualifies for the too good to be true category. And while Natrol Cognium has attempted to alleviate this stigma with its “clinically proven” claims, a quick look at the clinical research will reveal that the numbers don’t add up.

Or perhaps our math is just off? Let’s read the Natrol Cognium review for a deeper look.

About Natrol Cognium

Natrol® Cognium™ features one ingredient and one ingredient only: CERA-Q. Which makes this Natrol Cognium review very easy, filtering down to one question: Does CERA-Q work for better brain health and cognition? According to a few clinical studies: Yes. But according to many unhappy customers: Ehh, no. Formula notes:

  • CERA-Q: Sourced from silkworm cocoons, CERA-Q is a patented peptide composition with purported benefits on memory, learning, and concentration.
  • Old and Young: Theoretically, CERA-Q does two things: 1) reduces brain plaque build up, and 2) improves brain glucose uptake; improving both children and elderly cognition.
  • RED Flags: As some customers and skeptics have pointed out, the clinical studies don’t quite add up, thus negating Natrol Cognium’s hyped up claims on this ingredient.

Natrol Cognium Supplement Facts

Serving Size: 1 Tablet
Servings Per Container: 60
IngredientsAmount Per Serving
CERA-Q® Powder100 mg
 (60% Silk Protein Hydrolysate)
Other Ingredients:
Dicalcium Phosphate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Maltodextrin, Gyceryl Monostearate, Croscarmellose Sodium, Silicon Dioxide, Stearic Acid, Magnesium Stearate, Methylcellulose, Glycerin.
Take 1 tablet in the morning and 1 tablet in the evening with a meal.

Natrol Cognium hedges no bets, investing all of its trust into one brain enhancement ingredient: CERA-Q silk protein.

Nine published human clinical trials. Memory, learning, and general cognitive benefits for children and elderly. Improvements in three to four week trials. No wonder Natrol Cognium’s placing all bets on CERA-Q, otherwise known as Brain Factor-7 (BF-7): If everything said about this ingredient is true, then we’re looking at perhaps the best nootropic supplement of 2018.

But before we making any conclusive judgments on this brain health ingredient, let’s check out the research.

Natrol Cognium Review: CERA-Q Silk Protein

Comprising bioactive peptides sourced from silkworm cocoon threads (called fibroin), CERA-Q seems to improve cognitive via reducing amyloid plaque buildup and increasing glucose uptake to the brain. Whereas the former benefit primarily enhances elderly cognition, the latter also benefits child cognitive health by providing natural nootropic nourishment for a developing brain.

Altogether, clinical research has found CERA-Q to benefit:

  • Learning in healthy adults
  • Memory and function in adults
  • Learning skills in high school students

And more.

Nine Human Clinical Studies?

Having said that, the “9 human clinical studies” claim is somewhat suspect. As you can see here, studies 1. and 7. are the same study listed twice:

CERA-Q Key Research


And of the studies listed, only two were listed in PubMed — and one of those two studies was retracted. At the least, the nine human clinical studies claim doesn’t quite match up, even if some of the studies demonstrated positive results. Furthermore, phrasing such as “clinically proven” always raises RED flags, as no researchers worth their salt throw around the word “proven” like that.

So, let’s just say we’re approaching this ingredient with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Formula Analysis

There’s not much more to say on this formula than what’s already been said on CERA-Q. Natrol Cognium can’t really even be said to have a quote-unquote “formula,” given that it sports only one ingredient. (And thus Natrol Cognium is simply an ingredient.)

More “Proven Results” claims for CERA-Q. Via Natrol

But it’s worth noting the quality and content of this particular delivery of CERA-Q. In terms of quality, Natrol Cognium could do better. For instance:

  • Other Ingredients: Dicalcium Phosphate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Maltodextrin, Gyceryl Monostearate, Croscarmellose Sodium, Silicon Dioxide, Stearic Acid, Magnesium Stearate, Methylcellulose, Glycerin.

Essentially, Natrol Cognium has 10x more additives than it has actual ingredients in its “formula.” This is due to the manufacturer’s use of tablets rather than something cleaner, such as capsules. Not all tabs are garbage, but, generally speaking, caps are better than tabs.

Evidence of these tabs being garbage: Only 100 mg CERA-Q per serving.

And so, even if CERA-Q is the real deal when it comes to nootropic brainpower, Natrol Cognium’s poor quality seems to lessen its chance at working.

Natrol Cognium Benefits

The specific benefits touted by Natrol Cognium include:

  • Clinically Proven to Improve Memory and Concentration
  • Stimulant Free
  • Results in 4 Weeks

Based on the evidence we’ve seen thus far, we’re not convinced that Natrol Cognium earned these claims. And we’re certainly sure that “Clinically Proven” is being misused here. But we’ll leave the criticism to that written by one of the studies‘ critics on PubMed, who indicates that the study itself might be erroneous:

An additional question of the validity of the statistical analyses in this paper is the claim of a statistically significant (p<0.05), 1.7% improvement in CTT-1 time after taking Natrol Cognium® for 4 weeks. Given the large error variances 41 and 36% of the mean values before and after Natrol Cognium® ingredient-treatment, respectively, (the variance of the mean of the individual before and after difference for a paired comparison analysis is not provided in the manuscript), it is difficult to believe that a 1.7% improvement would be statistically significant or clinically meaningful. Therefore, this report does not support the advertising claims that Natrol Cognium® is clinically shown to improve cognitive performance.

In other words, 1.7% improvement over placebo isn’t really much of an improvement at all. Nothing to justify the hype advertised by Natrol Cognium.

Who Takes It?

Children to Elderly. Natrol Cognium claims this ingredient boosts cognition for essentially everyone, from children to the elderly. Specifically, they make claims on memory and concentration, and so Natrol Cognium seems to target students looking to improve their learning game and elderly looking to simply get back in the game.

Any Side Effects?

Natrol Cognium also highlights CERA-Q as being a safe, natural, healthy option for cognitive brain health. At the least, the customer reviews — even the negative ones — indicate no significant risk of side effect. Because it’s such a popular supplement, you will find a horror story or two (headaches! vomiting! my arms fell off!), but these reviews are outliers.

Natrol Cognium Review Summary


  • Clinical Studies. You can’t say there aren’t any clinical human studies.
  • Non-Proprietary. Natrol Cognium doesn’t try to hide anything beneath a bogus, non-transparent proprietary blend.
  • Affordable. No need to sell your children to buy this one.


  • Questionable. The clinical studies don’t exactly add up.
  • RED Flags. The “clinically proven” language seems inappropriate.
  • Negative Reviews. Many customers are not happy with this product.
  • Poor Quality. If CERA-Q is the real deal, why lessen the results with additives?

Pricing and Where to Buy

  • 1 Bottle (1 month): $17.74
  • Available online and in retail stores

You can buy Natrol Cognium through various retailers. Buying through the manufacturer’s website a strange experience, as they allow you to find a store based on your zip code. Some consumers may prefer to go the simple route: Online orders through, say, Amazon or Vitamin Shoppe.

Final Word on Natrol Cognium

We want Natrol Cognium to work. Few supplements come with as much clinical chop as Natrol Cognium, and so we’re always excited to see a nootropic product that has the numbers to back it up. Unfortunately, the numbers backing this cognitive enhancer don’t quite add up, as several consumers have pointed out. We’re skeptical. Although, $17.74 does put this product in the “worth a try” region. For now, until we see better numbers, we’ll slap this supplement with a just below average rating:

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