NooCube is apparently one of the more popular nootropics out there, designed to enhance focus, memory and mental speed. Learning in general is also targeted by this brain supplement, which is apparently supposed to deliver its benefits by increasing the levels of acetylcholine in the brain. It's no small feat that NooCube sets out to accomplish, but - apart from the usual hype and affiliate banner-waving - actual hard proof regarding its benefits is surprisingly difficult to come by.
If you're looking to have your overall brain-power boosted through NooCube, you'll be set back by at least $39.59 (a $13.20 discount already included in that price), or $79.17 if you opt for a two-bottle deal, which includes a third one thrown in for free. The "jumbo" option lands you 3 bottles of the product, with another 3 tossed in, for $118.79. These prices are obviously a little steep at first glance, but what I find truly puzzling is that the seller (and possibly maker) of this supplement, Wolfson Berg Limited, offers affiliate marketers a monster 40% cut on every sale they make...makes one wonder how much it really costs to make these capsules and what's really in them.
The NooCube Sales Pitch
The NooCube official site (noocube.com) has all the bells and whistles one would expect from such an operation. That includes classic sales-copy, which doesn't shy away from making a number of bold claims and statements, and using a bunch of stock pictures to "substantiate" those claims and to give a face to the fake user testimonials it also features.
As you can see in the picture above, NooCube's sellers aren't particularly picky when it comes to "faking it till they make it". While I've only covered two of the fake testimonials, rest assured that every one of them is just as fake and just as poorly disguised. There's very little legitimate feedback available on the product and most of that does it no favors really. More on that below though.
The homepage also claims that NooCube has been designed by "top neuroscientists" and that it uses "clinically backed ingredients". Such claims are extremely easy to make when one doesn't have to back them up with anything, and probably easier still when all responsibility regarding the homepage content is handily deflected through the site Terms and Conditions.
Another interesting thing about the product is that it's quite impossible to find out who actually makes it, where, and according that what quality standards. The site states that the supplement is indeed sold by the above mentioned Wolfson Berg Limited, a company based in Cyprus, which apparently also makes some other - similarly dubious, yet well-known - supplements.
Brushing aside the fact that the reason why such a company would set up shop in Cyprus most likely has a lot to do the with the lax regulation there, one cannot be at all certain that NooCube is indeed made by Wolfson Berg Limited. A different third-party source says that the product is in fact made in Dubai. I personally inquired the otherwise eager NooCube live support staff about this. Here's a screenshot of our brief exchange:
Despite the fact that the site lets on that Wolfson Berg Limited is the maker, their support personnel obviously didn't get that memo. With all the above in mind, the bottom line is obviously that the case made on the homepage is quite ramshackle.
The NooCube Marketing Effort
Given the above mentioned 40% affiliate cut, the NooCube marketing effort is indeed the expected kettle of fish. There are scores of fake positive reviews out there, and even YouTube's search results are populated with reviews featuring various affiliate links. There's actually an honest review mixed in as well, which does shed a little bit of much-needed light on the situation.
To make a long story short: if you come across someone eager to sell you this supplement for whatever reason, just ask him/her what he/she stands to gain on the sale.
The NooCube Ingredient Profile
This is usually where the truth comes to light in regards to the likely efficiency of the supplements peddled by various not-particularly-honest operators out there. As said above, NooCube is purported to work by raising the levels of acetylcholine in the brain. It boosts this neurotransmitter directly as well as via the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, itself an inhibitor of acetylcholine. The problem with this angle is that acetylcholine boosting isn't as easy to accomplish as it's made out to be at the NooCube site.
While NooCube features a proprietary blend composition, called iX4, on the product label, the actual makeup of the said blend is featured as well.
We learn that we're looking at 50mg of Alpha GPC, the effectiveness of which in regards to various memory issues has indeed been studied and speculated upon. While there's no clear science with definitive conclusions available in this regard yet, I'm quite sure the dosage is way off. According to this rat study some 600mg of the compound are needed per kg of bodyweight for maximum efficiency. That means an 80 kg person would need to take 48 grams to make an impact.
Huperzine and Bacopa have indeed been proven to exert benefic effects on memory, though the studies supporting these conclusions featured rather small sample-sizes and their conclusions weren't very convincing either. While the dosage of Huperzine-A seems to be good (it has to be remembered that with prop blends, there are never any guarantees that the dosage is indeed the one displayed on the label), Bacopa doesn't fare as well in this regard. The most generously dosed ingredient of the NooCube prop concoction, it still falls short at 250 mg. According to this study, 300-450 mg of the compound were used on a daily basis, yielding some mildly promising results in regards to memory free recall only. Furthermore, according to WebMed, Huperzine A has been associated with side effects such as blurred vision, slurred speech, muscle-fiber twitching and loss of appetite.
Cat's Claw, another NooCube ingredient, has been known to produce some unpleasant side effects as well, such as headache, dizziness and vomiting. On top of all that, according to the National Institutes of Health, there is absolutely no evidence supporting the use of cat's claw for ANY HEALTH PURPOSE.
A study performed on 20 people (10 men and 10 women - very small sample-size), has drawn some cautious conclusions regarding the efficiency of L-Tyrosine on working memory in a multitasking environment. The dosage used was 150 mg/kg, which means that NooCube might do something for you...if your body-weight were a little under 2 kg.
Wild Green Oat extract has been found to stimulate the electric activity of the brain during concentration, in doses of 1,500-2,500 mg per day.
All studies looking at the impact of L-theanine on cognitive function have used the compound in combination with caffeine, which is missing from the composition of the NooCube prop blend, therefore we can conclude that no scientifically substantiated proof is available in this regard.
NooCube's marketing is more than a little shady - there's no better way to put that. Combined with the shoddy ingredient-profile, the secrecy surrounding the identity of the manufacturer and the prop blend angle - not to mention the negative user feedback - we're looking at a very feeble product here. The 60-day money-back guarantee seems to apply only to unopened bottles, per the terms and conditions featured at the NooCube website.
Oh yeah, and don't worry about the "Spring Sale" feature which pops up on the homepage when you first access the site. As expected, it never expires. It might morph into a "Summer Sale" soon though...