How Vayacog Compares to Supplements for Early Memory Impairment

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People Holding Hands Concerned About Memory LossWe have received multiple questions about how Vayacog®, a prescription medical food for adults with early memory impairment (EMI), compares to over-the-counter supplements, such as our Cooper Complete® Advanced Omega-3.

Marketing materials state Vayacog is for the clinical dietary management of lipid imbalances associated with early memory impairment. Further, they state EMI is a related to “elevated oxidative stress and brain and body inflammation” with low lipid levels. Therefore, Vayacog aims to raise low lipid/phospholipid levels using a phospholipid supplement labeled as a “medical food.”

Ultimately, the product is a supplement of omega-3 fatty acids and phospholipids in oil form from herring and/or blue whiting along with krill. Below are the ingredients and levels of EPA and DHA in Vayacog compared to a nutritional supplement of omega-3 fatty acids.

Vayacog Prescription
Medical Food
Each serving contains Lipicogen® 310mg
Ingredients Per Serving
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) 6.5 mg
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) 19.5 mg
Phosphatidylserine (PS) 100 mg
Other Ingredients: Maltodextrin, Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, Silicon Dioxide, Contains less than 1% of Titanium Dioxide (color), Mixed Tocopherols (D-alpha-tocopherol, D-beta-tocopherol, D-gamma-tocopherol, D-deltatocopherol), Sunflower Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Rosemary extract (rosemary leaf, propylene glycol, distilled monoglycerides).
Cooper Complete
Advanced Omega-3
Omega-3 Fish Oil (Triglyceride Form)
Ingredients Per Serving
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) 720 mg
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) 480 mg
Phosphatidylserine (PS)
Other Ingredients: Capsule Shell (gelatin, glycerin, purified water), Natural Lemon Flavor, Proprietary Antioxidant Blend (consisting of natural tocopherols (soy), rosemary extract, and ascorbyl palmitate).


Vayacog and Omega-3 Supplements: How Are They Different?

Bioavailability of EPA + DHA in fish oil vs phospholipids

The main argument for a phospholipid form in krill oil is its bioavailability of omega-3. Our brains use omega-3 fatty acids by incorporating them into phospholipids. The argument states that taking omega-3 already incorporated into phospholipids through krill oil improves the amount of DHA the body absorbs.

However, this omits a key point about consuming phospholipids. On the contrary, the body does not pass consumed phospholipids straight to the brain and bypass normal digestion. Instead, the body creates its own phospholipids from available omega-3 already consumed by the body. Therefore, raising omega-3 levels using fish and fish oils provides the body more ingredients to create phospholipids of its own.

In addition, according to researchers in a recent study, any noticeable improvements in krill oil absorption are likely due to a considerable amount of the omega-3 fatty acids in krill oil that are already in free fatty acid form—and not due to the fatty acids being in phospholipid form. “Free” or unattached EPA and DHA are found in krill oil because it is a mixture of forms, including triglycerides, phospholipids and a considerable amount of free fatty acids.

Amount of EPA and DHA per serving

To raise levels EPA and DHA, it is important to consume fish or fish oil supplements containing high levels of EPA and DHA. American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fatty fish each week. A three-ounce serving of salmon contains 1,100 to 1,900 mg of omega-3. Therefore, eating two servings of salmon would give an individual at least 2,200 to 3800 mg of omega-3 per week.

For reference, Vayacog contains only 26 mg of EPA and DHA combined per serving in krill oil. Compare this to Cooper Complete Advanced Omega-3 in the triglyceride form (TG) which has 1,200 mg of EPA and DHA in a single serving. Altogether, meeting the AHA recommendations using Vayacog would take at least 300 servings per week.

At Cooper Complete we always recommend talking with your physician before beginning a new supplement routine. For anyone looking to improve brain health, there are many options to consider. Consulting with a physician will provide the proper guidance for the correct steps to follow for each individual situation.

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