Are Jellyfish the Lost Link to the Fountain of Youth?

Prevagen, a Recently Launched Product Based on Jellyfish Protein, is Making Big Waves with Health Conscious Consumers

Fitness & Health I

MADISON, Wis.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–For many people who conjure up an image of a jellyfish, a slippery denizen of the deep comes to mind. But since September 1st, 2007, when Prevagen, a dietary supplement designed to fight the aging process became available, many consumers now think of jellyfish as a key to a healthier life.

Yet the jellyfish-to-Prevagen story didnt happen overnight. Over 12 years of scientific research went into Prevagen, the first product in the marketplace designed to fight the aging process with jellyfish protein.

For millions of people who dream about aging gracefully free of neurodegenerative diseases that their parents might have had, or of having more energy, better concentration, sharper, better memory retention, and sounder sleep, Quincy Bioscience of Madison, Wisconsin has been working for years to help people realize their dreams.

When the company launched Prevagen, they announced the supplement was designed to help fight the aging process by utilizing a calcium-binding protein found in jellyfish. The supplement, which is produced by recombinant protein technologies so no jellyfish are sacrificed, replaces age-fighting proteins which are lost in the normal process of aging.

Mark Underwood, president of Quincy Bioscience explains how the jellyfish protein aequorin works. Aequorin interacts with calcium and regulates the actions that control the health of cells involved in learning, memory, focus and concentration. As we age, the protein levels diminish. Prevagen works to replace those proteins and ensure optimal brain function.

Underwood himself has been taking Prevagen for several months and he reports a marked increase in concentration and memory. If youre trying to visualize how jellyfish can help your brain functions, think of it this way. Our brain cells can die if we dont have proteins like those found in jellyfish, says Underwood. Its similar to not having a surge protector on your computer.

Ever since Prevagen entered the market, people have benefited from that surge protector found in jellyfish protein. These are some of their stories.

Champion runners results

Nancy Linday, former champion marathon runner from New York City, has reason to be concerned about Alzheimers disease. Since she watched her mother struggle with the disease, Linday is following a supplement program based on research results of biomedical deficiencies that could trigger the onset of Alzheimers later in life.

Now Linday has made a change to her health program. When I read about Prevagen in the June 2007 issue of Health Sciences Institute newsletter, I decided to try it as soon as it came on the market in September. After taking Prevagen for two weeks, to my absolute delight and complete surprise, I found that the persistent muscular/skeletal problems that I have had for years eased dramatically. Linday says the improvement was so pronounced that she gave two weeks of Prevagen to friends with knee problems and lower back problems.

Linday says she was stunned at how much better she felt so soon after taking Prevagen. I decided to call Quincy Bioscience to ask if others had experienced similar results. When I did, I discovered that many people had contacted the company to report that their knee and back pain, balance problems and other health concerns had improved after a short time taking Prevagen.

The former champion runner has found Prevagen to be so helpful for pain she has stopped taking Naproxen. After taking one 10mgs capsule of Prevagen for two weeks, I started taking a second 10mgs capsule. As a result, I no longer need to take any naproxen after doing my rehab exercises.

From the North Woods of Wisconsin

Roberta Krouth, who owns the Marinette, Wisconsin, R & K Unlimited Health Food store with her husband Ken, understands first-hand the needs and interests of her customers. The Krouths store, about an hour north of Green Bay sells health food and supplements and has been a mainstay of the community since 1994.

In this small community, where many people know just about everyone else in town, the Krouths are used to customers talking to them about their health concerns. About half of the stores business is dedicated to selling supplements. Roberta says, These are health conscious customers looking for safe and effective ways to combat illnesses and issues associated with aging.

When Robertas customers talk to her about their chronic back and hip pain, fatigue, and other ailments, she empathizes. I have bursitis in both hips and a painful condition in my back–my lower vertebrae move back and forth. For quite some time, its been difficult to go down steps without going very slowly, one step at a time. Krouths physician has used a laser pen to decrease the pain in her back. Ive also tried acupuncture and herbs without much help, she says.

During a recent visit to her podiatrist, he suggested she try new orthopedic shoes in an attempt to decrease her pain. At the same time he suggested new shoes, I heard about Prevagen. Fortunately, I tried Prevagen, because thats what has made a difference in my life.

After taking the supplement for three weeks, Krouth found that she can go up and down stairs almost effortlessly. Sometimes I almost bounce down the steps, she says. While she is not a physical person, she says Prevagen has given her more energy to do things that some people just take for granted. Before she started taking Prevagen, the pain in her hips and back made it difficult to get out of bed in the morning and put one foot in front of the other. Now, that has changed.

I fully believe in it, she says. Prevagen is a marvelous product

Were sitting on an explosion

Prevagens status as an anti-aging supplement resulted from years of thorough laboratory research conducted by neuroscientist James Moyer, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Their experiments focused on the role of aequorins calcium binding properties in neurodegenerative diseases like stroke and dementia. Once the ability of aequorin to protect brain cells from death was proven and the research results were published and presented at national scientific conferences, Underwood and his team at Quincy Biosciences concentrated their efforts on the manufacturing and launch of Prevagen as a dietary supplement.

Within weeks of its availability both online and in stores, consumer feedback began pouring in. While Prevagens ability to fight the effects of aging and slow the process of neurodegeneration may be difficult to measure in a short amount of time, Prevagen users called and emailed to share the many immediate and measurable positive effects they were experiencing. Like Nancy Linday who quickly felt relief from muscular/skeletal problems, and Roberta Krouth who was thrilled about diminished hip and low back pain, as well as increased energy levels, Prevagen users are reporting a wide range of physical benefits. Improved sleep, relief from headaches, lowered blood pressure these are only a few of the testimonials. While it is touted as an anti-aging supplement, Prevagen is clearly providing more than what its label pronounces.

How can this be? For one clinician in New York City who sees thousands of patients each year and now recommends Prevagen for a variety of ailments, the answer is rather simple. Prevagen works by replenishing calcium binding proteins that exist in our body. These proteins play a critical role in the regulation of calcium molecules, and about calcium well, it is one of the most ubiquitous components of our overall health. In particular, the movement, or flux, of calcium as its levels change inside our cells can affect many bodily functions.

Dr. Robert Pastore, a PhD nutritionist and member of numerous professional associations including the National Association of Nutritional Professionals, the New York Academy of Sciences and the American College of Nutrition, hosts a weekly health talk radio program in New York. Last fall he hosted Underwood on his show and learned about Prevagen. His enthusiasm for this novel product is infectious.

I think were on to something huge with Prevagen, and I dont even think we fully realize what we have here, says Pastore. Calcium flux is huge. Were sitting on an explosion.

Like Underwood, Pastore had long been interested in jellyfish research and recognized the potential of a calcium binding protein like Prevagen. Now that the product is available he is using it in his practice and is optimistic about the potential positive effects it may have in his patients with illnesses as diverse as Alzheimers disease, autism, even breast cancer.

The very first person to whom Pastore recommended Prevagen was himself. I noticed a difference and a change in the way my brain works after only three nights, he says. I work very long hours and Im always juggling so many things; as I tell the medical students I teach its all about learning how to spin plates. So this requires a constant state of pure focus on the task at hand. But the clarity Im finding with Prevagen is amazing. Its helping me take my work to the next level.

Calm and focused

Dr. Pastore is not the only person to report a tangible change in mental status since using Prevagen. Portland, Oregon public relations director, Linda Dahan was attracted to Prevagen after learning about the strong science behind the product. My father has Parkinsons disease so I was interested in adding Prevagen to my daily regimen. I was thrilled to learn it had been developed to fight the debilitating affects often associated with anti-aging and neurological diseases.

One of the first things Dahan, 57, noticed after taking Prevagen was a feeling of calmness. Right after I started taking Prevagen I have felt calmer, more focused and I have more energy.

Something else has happened in the Dahan household that Linda describes as pleasantly topsy-turvy. Her husband Sam, a nuclear scientist, is a quiet, thoughtful, patient person. By contrast, I am a high energy person who sometimes lacks Sams ability to focus. But since we started taking Prevagen, Sam has more energy and Ive gained focus and concentration skills.

One of the things Dahan enjoys about taking the supplement is her improved memory retention. I think more clearly now. My memory has actually improved in the first six weeks of taking Prevagen; I dont stop in mid-sentence to search for the right word.

Like many people who are taking Prevagen, Dahan says she sleeps more soundly. Summing up her experiences with Prevagen, she says, I feel like I washed my windows and can see more clearly now.

Headache relief means improved quality of life

The story begins to repeat itself, the more you listen to surprised and satisfied Prevagen users. Barbara Christian-Hart, an administrative assistant for a sales and marketing firm in Sarasota, Florida, became interested in trying Prevagen after hearing about the improved focus and mental clarity it imparts. What she did not expect however was relief from debilitating headaches.

The 46-year-old was accustomed to migraine headaches, but as a poor pill-taker and susceptible to side effects of headache medication, she suffered through the pain. Something about Prevagen inspired her to try it. After three days of taking the supplement, the pain and pressure from a migraine that had plagued her for several weeks was completely gone. She has taken the supplement every day since then and plans to continue doing so for the rest of her life.

Of course I was real skeptical at first. You see products all the time, but I wont just take something because its the newest thing usually I wait and see, says Christian-Hart. And unlike many pills that taste or smell badly, Prevagen does not. That has really benefited me.

From a TV news journalists perspective

Teri Barr, a veteran TV journalist in Madison, Wisconsin, has covered thousands of news stories, but the stories she did about Quincy Biosciences research with jellyfish protein, were news reports she wont soon forget.

Barr, a reporter who also anchors the news on WISC-TV, the local CBS affiliate in Madison, says I immediately knew the jellyfish story was a great story and that it had legs. We had never done a story about anti-aging and jellyfish before so we knew our audience would be intrigued.

She was the first journalist in Madison to cover the news behind Prevagen. After the April 2007 on-camera interview with Mark Underwood, a follow-up story aired a week before the product was launched nationwide.

The story about Quincy Bioscience attracted my attention as a news reporter due to its unique nature, but it also hit a nerve with viewers. Important news about health and aging affects everyone. Everyday, more people are diagnosed with Alzheimers but it is not everyday that you hear about an effort in process to try and help curb this and other diseases.

The story brought in a tremendous number of e-mails and phone calls to the TV station. We aired a second story in part due to our viewers response to the first piece, says Barr. Our coverage about Prevagen created a lot of buzz. When you talk about a product designed to fight aging, it affects a lot of people.