An Ideal Starter Stack? Reviewing Cognitex By Life Extension

by Chad M

A well-recognized brand for standard vitamins and minerals, LifeExtension also produces nootropic stacks, including the recently reviewed mineral-based Neuro-Mag. Today, we are going to be reviewing one of their other nootropic stacks, Cognitex® (click for best price) with Pregnenolone & Brain Shield®, a supplement containing a number of trademarked and registered ingredients in what Life Extension calls an “advanced formula” to promote youthful cognition and memory.

Read on to find out what our testers thought of this stack…

Cognitex Label

Cognitex Label

The Ingredients

  • Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline (A-GPC) – 600 mg
    • Choline is a vital compound in neurotransmission, and research suggests many Americans don’t get enough from their regular diets. (In fact, choline-based nootropics are increasingly common, and some of our testers have experienced enhanced memory and focus simply from supplementing choline.)
  • Phosphatidylserine [from Sharp-PS Green®] – 100 mg
    • Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid required to maintain healthy nerve cell membranes. It supports cognitive function and the ability to learn and recall new information.
  • Brain Shield® (Gastrodin) – 50 mg
    • Gastrodin is a compound derived from the Chinese Orchid, and has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat both neurovascular and neuroinflammatory conditions. Studies show it to be effective in the treatment of anxiety.
  • Pregnenolone – 50 mg
    • Pregnenolone is a neurosteroid that has been studied as a treatment for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and has been shown to enhance learning and memory in rodents.
  • Vinpocetine – 20 mg
    • Vinpocetine is a chemical derived from the periwinkle plant, known to increase cerebral blood flow. Doctors in Hungary have been prescribing this compound to treat cerebrovascular disorders for decades.
  • Leucoselect® grape extract (seed) – 150 mg
  • Blue Activ™ Wild Blueberry extract (fruit) – 150 mg
  • Sensoril® Ashwagandha extract (root and leaf) [providing 10 mg withanolide glycoside conjugates] – 125 mg
    • The extract of Ashwagandha roots and leaves have been used in Ayurveda, the traditional Hindu medicine philosophy, as a mood stabilizer, and to combat stress, and anxiety. The extract is said to work as a nervous system depressant,  bringing about tranquility and relaxation, and making it easier to fall asleep.
  • Uridine-5′-monophosphate (disodium) – 50 mg
  • Proprietary NeuroProtection Complex Blend – 125 mg
    • There are no listed amounts for each individual component of the proprietary blend, but the ingredients are below.
  • Perluxan® Hops standardized extract (cones)
    • In addition to being a flavoring ingredient in beer, hops have also been used to treat anxiety and insomnia.
  • Rosemary Standardized extract (leaf)
    • The active compound in rosemary is Rosmarinic acid, a noted antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
  • Other Ingredients: Safflower oil, softgel (gelatin, glycerin, purified water, sorbitol, carob color), sunflower lecithin, maltodextrin, silica, modified food starch.

Usage Guidelines

  • Take two (2) softgels daily with or without food, or as recommended by a healthcare practitioner. Exceeding recommended serving may cause serious adverse health effects.
  • Possible side effects include acne, hair loss, hair growth on the face (in women), aggressiveness, irritability, and increased levels of estrogen.
  • Discontinue use and call a physician or licensed qualified healthcare professional immediately if you experience rapid heartbeat, dizziness, blurred vision, or other similar symptoms. Do not take this product if you have a history of seizures.
  • Do not take this product if you have breast cancer, prostate cancer, or other hormone-sensitive diseases. If you are taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications, or have a bleeding disorder, consult with your healthcare provider before taking this product.

What Our Testers Say

“I took this for a few weeks in the morning with my caffeine-heavy pre-workout drink. There was a definite reduction in brain fog, specially by the end of week two.”

“This supplement is a little too mild for me. I took it with my coffee and even stacked it with Smart Caffeine, but there just wasn’t enough edge for me.”

“While this is not the most potent nootropic I’ve tried, I felt like it really helped me manage work stress and stress-related mood swings. I took Cognitex during two weeks of crazy work deadlines, and I feel like it really helped me power through it without loosing my mind. I took it in the morning with my coffee. ”

“This mellow caffeine-free supplement felt a lot more like brain food than an actual nootropic. I felt like I was doing something good for my brain, which could be part of why I felt slightly energized, and more focused while taking it.”

3.7 / 5 Score
  • Broad spectrum
  • Stimulant free
  • Cons
  • Experiences varied
  • Summary
    Cognitex is a beginner accessible stack with a broad range of ingredients, specifically those that may benefit long term brain health. It's more of a brain vitamin than immediate-boost nootropic.
    Beginner Friendly

    BrainWiz Tips

    • We recommend taking with food to avoid a potentially upset stomach.
    • Our testers reported mild effect, and no jitteriness. This is an entry-level nootropic potentially well suited to beginners.
    • This supplement seems to pair well with coffee, tea,  guarana or other sources of caffeine.
    • As with any supplement or nutritional regimen, you should check with your doctor or medical professional if you have any existing conditions or intolerances.

    Supplement Summary

    Cognitex is a mild cognitive enhancer with apparent cumulative effects, and it is a great option for those just starting to explore nootropics. It also pairs well with coffee or other stimulants, as well as a mitochondrial booster like Unfair Advantage. If you have been considering a nootropic, but have been hesitant, this supplement is a solid starter supplement.

    DISCLAIMER: We are not doctors. The opinions on this website are not to be taken as medical advice. None of these opinions have been reviewed by the FDA. Consult your doctor before taking any supplements. We receive free products to review and participate in affiliate programs, where we are compensated for items purchased through links from our site (at no cost to the buyer). See our disclosure page for our list of comped products and affiliate programs. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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