Recurrent Breast Cancer

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Quest for a sharper mindProcera AVH                                          
Here is an advertisement from the Denver Post, October 31, 2012, page 14A.

Procera AVH Help is on the way for those who routinely lose their car keys, forget to call people back, or misplace their TV remote. The prescription-free formula known as AVH has been shown to increase memory, mood, mental clarity, but does much more than that …. You can get your new, younger-functioning brain in as little as 30 days. Get a fee bonus bottle and a fee book too along with medical acclaimed, ‘20 days to a Quicker, Calmer, Sharper Mind!”

According to the article, a “study” was done to evaluate this nonprescription medicine. The assessment concluded, “Compared to a placebo group, those who took Procera AVH showed improvement in working memory accuracy, long term memory consolidation, and one measure of mood.” Memory processing speed and reaction time analysis weren’t specified. 

Provera’s ingredients include acetyl-L-carnitine, vinpocetine, and Huperzine-A. How much of each component isn’t specified. Each pill contains 1,515mg of unspecified “proprietary blend.”

Vinpocetine is a synthetic compound derived from vincamine, present in periwinkle leaves. A study of twelve health healthy volunteers taking this product indicated some memory improvement at a forty milligram dose. A “Cochrane” review concluded that results were inconclusive.

Huperzine been prescribed for Alzheimer’s to improve memory and learning. It is also used to treat myasthenia gravis (a muscle disorder). It has been used in Chinese medicine for senile dementia. Some studies showed favorable results, but further review no evidence to draw conclusions.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine is an amino acid (building block for proteins) that is naturally produced in the body. It is used for a certain mental disorders that include Alzheimer’s disease, age-related memory loss, late-life depression. It has been prescribed for mental problems related to alcoholism, Lyme disease, Down’s Syndrome, cataracts, diabetic neuropathy, AIDS, and facial paralysis. Some men use acetyl-L-carnitine for infertility, “male menopause (low testosterone in aging), and Peyronie’s disease (fibrous scar tissue in the penis.). Available data regarding its usefulness in memory retention is spotty.
 Conclusion: Evidence to support Provera’s stated benefits is not convincing. It isn’t listed in “Drugs and Supplements, National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus. I called the (Provera HC) toll free line to find more information. The person I spoke with offered no further information. She asked for my credit card number. I declined. 

Questions or comments? Contact Dr.Clem at