Focus Factor is a dietary supplement that is intended to help your brain work more efficiently and give you better cognitive abilities. This product promises to improve your clarity, remove distractions, and improve memory with its powerful ingredients. However, there is some evidence that shows these effects cannot be achieved that easily.
Do you only need to take this supplement or do you also need brain exercises? The research team decided to focus on these questions by analyzing studies and user experiences. Here’s what they figured out.
Boron is a mineral that appears in the environment and in some foods. It is sometimes used for:
There is some preliminary evidence, as reported on MedlinePlus, that boron supplements could help with cognitive function in elderly adults.
However, there has not been enough research to prove its effectiveness.
Focus Factor Ingredients
Ingredients in Focus Factor products include:
Choline is a water-soluble “vitamin-like essential nutrient” involved in metabolism, the transport of lipids and neurotransmitter synthesis, the Linus Pauling Institute writes.
One study published by Nutrition Reviews points at the importance of choline as an essential nutrient for public health. They write, “given the importance of choline in a wide range of critical functions in the human body, coupled with less-than-optimal intakes among the population, dietary guidance should be developed to encourage the intake of choline-rich foods.”
They write that the results “revealed significant differences between pre- and post-competition measurements of leptin, free plasma choline, urine choline, and urine malondialdehyde levels; body mass was also reduced in the post-competition measurements.”
It’s worth mentioning that there wasn’t much more evidence supporting choline for weight loss or its ability to support brain function later on in life.
DMAE (or dimethylethanolamine) is a compound used occasionally for depression. It allegedly changes the level of acetylcholine in one’s brain, yet this is on anecdotal evidence. There are not a lot of quality studies available about the effects of DMAE, so it is difficult to conclude if it has an actual effect on brain function or memory.
L-glutamine is an amino acid that improves muscle recovery, but can also provide brain benefits. Glutamine has also treated ADHD and alcohol withdrawals. Other uses are against depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
L-glutamine maintains production of the neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA. Glutamate could have a significant impact on memory loss and learning, according to the Journal of Nutrition.
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is an Omega 3 fatty acid with some research showing that it may be able to slow the decrease in cognitive function that happens as a result of aging. This slowing down of cognitive abilities was unfortunately not effective in the mental function for older individuals in the tests.
Focus Factor also tosses in a lot of different vitamins. The bad news is, there’s no solid evidence supporting vitamin supplementation and its ability to stop brain function deterioration.
Vitamin A: This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant, carrying retinoid acid that can signal brain growth.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C has an important function in neurotransmitter production. This can help with focus and memory.
Vitamin D: Low levels of Vitamin D could lead to certain mental problems
Vitamin E: This is also an antioxidant that may be helpful in preventing issues that affect the nervous system.
Vitamin B6: This vitamin is important in keeping the immune and central nervous systems functioning well.
Vitamin B12: B12 helps produce DNA and red blood cells, and it can be found in animal products like dairy and eggs as well as fish, meat, and poultry.
Folic acid is a form of a water-soluble B vitamin. It is the synthetic form of folate, which naturally occurs in food. Folate is found in food such as leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach, okra, fruit like lemons and melons, mushrooms, and meat.
It is “used for memory loss, age-related hearing loss, preventing the age-related macular degeneration (AMD), reducing signs of aging, weak bones (osteoporosis), jumpy legs (restless leg syndrome), sleep problems, depression, nerve pain, and muscle pain.
“It is also used for reducing harmful side effects of treatment with the medications lometrexol and methotrexate.”
Also known as Vitamin H, the biotin supplement is used to treat neuropathy, hepatitis, and brittle nails.
According to WebMD, it contributes to the good “health of the skin, nerves, digestive tract, metabolism, and cells.
In addition, “Biotin might decrease insulin resistance and nerve symptoms. It requires more research.
“Some preliminary evidence suggests that biotin might help strengthen brittle nails.
“Other uses of biotin — for conditions like cradle cap, hepatitis, hair loss, and depression — are unsupported or untested.”
It’s important to note that biotin deficiency is very rare as our bodies receive much of it from food and then recycle the used-up quantities. Food that contains biotin includes whole-grain cereals and whole-wheat bread, eggs and dairy, peanuts, soy nuts, chicken, and salmon.
Riboflavin is a B vitamin that you can find in food like meat, milk, nuts, eggs, and green vegetables. It is used for the health maintenance of the skin, blood cells, and the lining of the digestive tract, among other things.
“Some people use riboflavin for eye conditions including eye fatigue, cataracts, and glaucoma.”
Niacin, or Vitamin B3, boosts good cholesterol and lowers triglycerides and bad cholesterol, as well as other heart risks.
However, in order for niacin to be effective in combating bad cholesterol and triglycerides, it has to be taken in high quantities, which “could pose risks, such as liver damage, gastrointestinal problems, or glucose intolerance”.
Niacin has also been used to “reduce atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries in some people.
Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid that has both amino and fatty acids. omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA work with phosphatidylserine to help produce healthy cell membranes.
Phosphatidylserine is used to treat a number of degenerative and other mental health conditions like “Age-related decline in mental function, improving thinking skills in young people, (ADHD), depression, preventing exercise-induced stress, and improving athletic performance.”
Some foods that contain phosphatidylserine include soy lecithin (by far the most, with 5,900mg of phosphatidylserine in every 100g of soy), bovine brain (713mg/g), Atlantic mackerel (480mg/g), chicken heart (414mg/g), tuna (194mg/g), and Atlantic herring (360mg/g).
Pyroglutamic acid (also known as pyroglutamate, 5-oxoproline, and pidolic acid) derives from amino acids glutamine and glutamic acid. People often use it to help the production of healthy neurotransmitters, with anxiety management, and to support memory.
A study at the Laboratory of Pharmacology at the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, found that pyroglutamic acid improves blood circulation in the brain’s small arteries.
Another study, from the Department of Neurological Pathology at the University of Catania, Italy, tested pyroglutamic acid against a placebo on patients 65 and above with memory problems.
In the end, the scientists found that the memory of people on pyroglutamic acid showed notable improvement compared to the placebo group.
N-acetyltyrosine, or N-acetyl L-tyrosine and tyrosine, is an amino acid that assists in the production of noradrenaline and dopamine.
“It is also used for stress, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), alcohol and cocaine withdrawal, ED (erectile dysfunction), loss of interest in sex, schizophrenia, and as a suntan agent and appetite suppressant.”
The body naturally produces tyrosine with another amino acid, phenylalanine, but tyrosine can found in dairy, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, oats, and wheat.
Bilberry fruit standardized extract
People have used the bilberry plant’s leaves and fruit as medicine since at least the Second World War.
It also has its uses in treating heart and blood vessel conditions, as well as other health problems like kidney problems, urinary tract infections.
Bilberry gets its medicinal value from tannins, chemicals that help with diarrhea and mouth and throat irritations. Some evidence suggests that bilberry leaves can “help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.”
Gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, is a chemical produced in the brain that reduces the excitability of neurons and regulates muscle tone.
When taken as a supplement, GABA reduces anxiety and symptoms of PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome), heightens the mood, and treats ADHD. It also helps with muscle growth, burns fat, balances blood pressure, and relieves pain. However, more evidence is needed to support these claims.
Grape seed extract
Grapes have been part of human civilization for thousands of years, and their every aspect, including leaves and sap, has been used medicinally since then.
There is ample evidence to suggest that grape extracts help with cardiovascular issues: “grape seed extract may help with a type of poor circulation (chronic venous insufficiency) and high cholesterol. Grape seed extract also reduces swelling caused by an injury.”
There are claims that grape seed extract is an antioxidant and could help with certain conditions (“ranging from PMS to skin damage to wound healing”) but that “results have been inconclusive”.
As the name suggests, the only food source for grape seed extract is, you guessed it, grapes!
Grape skin extract
Grape skin extract allegedly helps with heart issues, manages cholesterol levels, provides antioxidants and assists with healthy blood sugar levels but, as with grape seed extract, research is inconclusive on its benefits.
Vanadium is a mineral that treats ” low blood sugar, high cholesterol, tuberculosis, syphilis, and for improving athletic performance in weight training.”
There is also some evidence to suggest that vanadium functions in a similar way to insulin or in a way that boosts the functions of insulin.
A study from the University of Maryland Medical Center reports that “since few clinical trials involving humans have been completed, vanadium isn’t recommended for the condition.
“[…] vanadium may lower blood sugar levels and improve sensitivity to insulin in people.
The same study also says that the best food sources for vanadium are “mushrooms, shellfish, black pepper, parsley, dill weed, beer, wine, grain and grain products, and artificially sweetened drinks.”
Vinpocetine is an artificial chemical that is similar to something found in the Vinca minor plant.
WebMD also reports that most people take vinpocetine because they believe it helps with improving “blood flow to the brain, enhancing memory and preventing conditions that harm learning, memory, and information processing skills as people age.”
However, it also clarifies that research on the supplement is decades-old and unreliable: “most of the studies were published prior to 1990, and results are hard to interpret because they used a variety of terms and criteria for cognitive decline and dementia.”
All-in-all, there is research on the ingredients, but there is still some evidence on the formula missing that I would have loved to see.
Focus Factor Side Effects
There are some possible Focus Factor side effects that come from taking these supplements. According to my research, some users report:
OK, we’ve seen the customer complaints. Now, I want to focus a bit more on the potential side effects of some of the ingredients.
Choline side effects are:
Fishy body odor
Some side effects of L-glutamine include:
Nausea and vomiting
Bilberry is considered “possibly safe” when used as a medicine. However, it should not be taken by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Bilberry may also cause problems with blood sugar levels, so diabetics should talk to a doctor before taking Focus Factor
Also, since it may make managing blood sugar levels during and after a surgery more difficult, people using Focus Factor should tell their doctor if they have surgery planned.
Side effects of DMAE include:
High blood pressure
The most common side effect of choline isn’t necessarily dangerous, but it is…well…kind of gross.
Choline has been known to make people smell like fish.
The odor is a result of the body producing too much trimethylamine, a byproduct of choline.
The other side effects of choline are also unpleasant. They include:
Although grape seed extract is considered generally safe, it has the potential for some side effects, like:
The Focus Factor website says that their supplements are safe for men and women.
Their kids’ formula is also said to be safe for children.
However, as we said before, there are a lot of ingredients in the Focus Factor supplements, which increases the chances of encountering negative side effects.
Because everyone is different, not all people will have the same experience with the supplement.
Some people may be perfectly fine, while others might suffer side effects.
To determine what the possible Focus Factor side effects are, we broke it down by the side effects associated with the individual ingredients.
Focus Factor Products
There are four Focus Factor products available. They are:
Original Focus Factor
Extra Strength Focus Factor
Brain & Vision Focus Factor
Focus Factor for Kids Extra Strength
The difference between the original and extra strength versions appears to be the amount of a proprietary blend of ingredients.
The original formula has 692 mg of the blend and the extra strength formula has 850 mg.
Focus Factor Brain & Vision
Brain and Vision, $29.99 per 120 tablets, claims to help with “memory, concentration, and focus” and it includes “specialized eye nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin for healthy eye support”
– Lutein, “the eye vitamin”, can prevent eye problems like cataracts and retinitis pigmentosa. You can find it in foods like kale, zucchini, and corn.
– Zeaxanthin, in conjunction with lutein, protects eyes from high-energy light like ultraviolet sun rays.
WebMD also reports that “many studies combine these two nutrients with others such as vitamins C and E. It may be that the mix of nutrients does more for your eyes than any single one of them.”
Focus Factor Extra Strength
Extra Strength is $29.99 per 120 tablets. Its ingredients include potassium, Vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, and E, magnesium, iron, and calcium.
The product page boasts that Extra Strength “is an advanced formulation that improves memory, concentration, and focus. […] In fact, Focus Factor can even replace your daily multivitamin.”
Focus Factor Kids
Focus Factor Kids, $18.99 per 120 tablets, is for children four years old or older. Besides that, the sky is the limit – apparently. They say that even elderly men and women can take (and see results) using the Focus Factor for adults.
Focus Factor Directions
The original supplement says to take four tablets a day with food. To adjust based on weight, diet, and other factors, customers can take more tablets -with a maximum of eight per day.
Focus Factor Kids dosage is specifically for children, allowing two per day with food. They should take the supplement for at least six weeks to see results – according to the company.
Focus Factor Cost
The Focus Factor price varies based on the retailer you buy it from. On the official website, the price for a bottle of Original Focus Factor is $14.99.
The Focus Factor website does offer a subscription service and free shipping in the United States.
With the subscription service, customers are automatically mailed a bottle of Focus Factor each month until they cancel.
Where to Buy Focus Factor
Focus Factor is available through the official website. It can also be purchased from numerous retailers, including:
Additional retailers are listed on the supplement’s website.
Focus Factor Alternatives
There’s no shortage of supplements on the market that claims to improve memory and focus. Some Focus Factor alternatives include:
Focus Factor Product Warnings
There are no warnings on the Focus Factor website. However, the label for adult products do contain the following warning:
“Accidental overdose of iron-containing products is a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children under 6. Keep this product out of reach of children. In case of accidental overdose, call a doctor or poison control center immediately.”
There are no warnings on the Focus Factor for Kids label.
Any Focus Factor Lawsuits?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged the makers of Focus Factor with making “unsubstantiated advertising claims” about their products, including Focus Factor.
In the suit, the FTC said that Focus Factor marketers could not prove the following claims made about the product:
“(a) improves the focus, memory, and concentration of healthy adults; (b) alleviates stress and combats the fatigue, irritability and mood swings that healthy adults experience; (c) makes children and teenagers feel more alert, focused, and mentally sharp; (d) improves students’ ability to concentrate and their academic performance; (e) improves senior citizens’ memory, mental clarity, and energy; (f) improves adults’ ability to absorb information in books and to recall facts, figures and names; and (g) works in as little as one to ten days.”
To settle the suit, marketers of Focus Factor paid a $1 million fine.
What Users Are Saying
“I can no longer take an ADHD medication and find that this helps replace that medication. My focus and concentration greatly increases when using Focus Factor.”
“We’ve tried two complete bottles of this for my son. We saw no changes in his focus (he has ADD) at school or at home. Disappointed.”
“Like many supplements, this promises more than it delivers. I tried this for a month and detected no improvement in focus. It does not provide anything more than a placebo effect for those who do feel it works.”
The Bottom Line on Focus Factor
I won’t beat around the bush, there were some good things about this product. I liked the ingredients and the research behind some of them. The list of benefits is long, and if this product works, it could be beneficial to users.
There were some things I couldn’t let slide.
The lack of conclusive scientific research that supports Focus Factor’s claims.
Too much of a debate on nootropics in the medical world.
Too many potential side effects.
To improve your overall health, it takes more than a supplement, though. That’s why it is important to choose a program that can help you make healthier choices and lose weight along the way.
Among the best out there is Noom. Noom offers its users everything they need to start making healthier lifestyle choices, like smart food tracking, human coaching, and personalized meal plans, just to name a few.
Also, the company behind Noom is confident in their system, so they’re offering Dietspotlight readers a 14-day trial for a limited time, so make sure to check it out!
Focus Factor is a supplement to support memory (nootropic), not a weight-loss product.
What are the Focus Factor ingredients?
The ingredients in Focus Factor are choline, l-glutamine, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin D.
Are there Focus Factor side effects to know about?
Focus Factor, and many nootropics, are generally considered safe, but the ingredients used in each come with the risk of side effects. For Focus Factor, side effects (based on ingredients) may include stomach upset, headaches, stomach pain, irritability, nausea, and dry mouth.
Is Focus Factor safe?
Most supplements we come in contact with are generally considered safe. With Focus Factor, we’d expect the same, but it’s always the best idea to seek advice from a healthcare professional if you’re questioning the safety of Focus Factor.
Is Focus Factor for men or women?
The nootropic was created for men and women alike.