Apoaequorin is a protein that comes from a specific type of jellyfish that glows. When apoaequorin is exposed to calcium, the protein and calcium bind and a blue light is produced. For more than 40 years, apoaequorin has been used in a laboratory setting to study how calcium works inside cells. Recently apoaequorin has been manufactured on a larger scale for use in the dietary supplement Prevagen.

People take apoaequorin to prevent the decline in memory and thinking skills that occurs normally with age and to improve memory, but there is no good scientific evidence to support its use for these or other conditions.

There has been some concern about false advertising claims made by Quincy Bioscience, the makers of Prevagen. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent government agency that works to promote fair trade competition and protect and educate consumers. In 2017, the FTC filed a complaint against the makers of Prevagen for false advertising claims. In 2020, a separate class action lawsuit against the company that makes Prevagen was settled. The company agreed to partially reimburse people who had purchased the product and to change the claims made on the product label.

How does it work ?

Apoaequorin is a protein that was originally discovered in the jellyfish species Aequorea victoria. When apoaequorin binds with calcium, a blue light is produced.

Problems with calcium regulation in the human brain are thought to play a role in age-related mental decline. Because apoaequorin has a similar structure to human calcium-binding proteins, some researchers believe it might help regulate calcium in the brain and reduce memory loss and mental decline.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Decline in memory and thinking skills that occurs normally with age. Early research shows that taking 10 mg of apoaequorin daily doesn't seem to improve verbal learning and only slightly improves memory in older adults.
  • Lou Gehrig's disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of apoaequorin for these uses.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Apoaequorin is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken appropriately. A 10 mg dose of a specific apoaequorin product (Prevagen, Quincy Bioscience) has been used safely for up to 90 days. But it's unclear what side effects apoaequorin might cause. Some of the side effects most commonly reported to the manufacturer are headache, dizziness, and nausea. Other less common events include memory problems, difficulty sleeping, and anxiety. There have also been a small number of reports of more serious potential side effects such as heart and nervous system-related events. But there isn't enough information about these potential side effects to know if apoaequorin was the actual cause of these side effects.

Special Precautions and Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if apoaequorin is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Interactions ?

We currently have no information for APOAEQUORIN Interactions.


The appropriate dose of apoaequorin depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for apoaequorin (in children/in adults). Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.