Focus Formula is an over-the-counter supplement that supports cognitive health. The manufacturer’s website claims that the product has been available for more than a decade, but it is currently available in an advanced formula. It’s touted as a natural alternative to pharmaceutical medications. It is supposed to enhance memory, concentration and alertness in women, men and students.
There are two different products labeled “Focus Formula.” One is made by Native Remedies. The other is made by Windmill Health Products. In this article, we will not be including Native Remedies Focus Formula reviews. We will be sticking to the description of the Windmill Focus Formula supplement.
This product is also not to be confused with Formula Focus, a pill that was promoted on Shark Tank and used Donald Trump in its marketing. Many people have referred to the Formula Focus scam.
That company’s clinical trials showed that the product (which is different than Focus Formula) could enhance focus by 121 percent. Formula Focus is not transparent about its ingredients, and there has been a great deal of negative feedback about the claims that the product makes. However, that is not the product that we’re discussing in this Focus Formula review.
About Focus Formula
Focus Formula is manufactured by Windmill Health Products, a company based in New Jersey that has been in business for 40 years. The company aims to provide a variety of cutting-edge, clinically proven formulas in the areas of nutrition, herbals, performance enhancers and anti-aging supplements.
Windmill Health Products also prides itself on giving back to the community. According to its website, the company uses a solar energy system, utilizes recycled content in its packaging and considers itself a “Green” company. It has also raised more than 13 million dollars for charities in the past two decades.
It is a leading sponsor of Vitamin Angels, an organization that provides necessary vitamins to children around the world. The company also contributes to other children’s charities.
We were not able to find Windmill Health Products on the Better Business Bureau website.
In 2014, Windmill Health Products received a warning letter from the FDA about its violations of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations. The FDA also indicated that the labeling on the supplements and manufacturer website made therapeutic claims for specific health conditions that caused the products to be categorized as drugs instead of supplements. By 2016, Windmill Health Products had addressed all of the violations.
Dietary supplements are not supposed to make claims that they treat a particular product. Several health supplement companies have gotten into trouble for making false claims, however. Windmill Health Products is not the only one.
Some of the benefits that Focus Formula claims to deliver include:
- An energized brain
- Mental edge
- Improved focus and concentration
- Supported memory and recall
- Enhanced attention
- Boosted blood flow
- Potential improvement in learning capacity
- Supported endurance and physical performance
- Possible reduction of stress and anxiety
- Potential improvement in logical reasoning
- Supported positive mood
List Of Focus Formula Ingredients
The Focus Formula website indicates that the supplement contains the following active ingredients:
- Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE)
- Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA)
- Gingko biloba
- Huperzia serrata
According to the product label, the other ingredients in this product include:
- Soy lecithin
- Omega-3 complex
- Turmeric blend
DMAE is also referred to as Deanol. This amino acid is produced naturally in the brain and is also found in some types of fish. It may stimulate the activity of specific neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine. When these neurotransmitters are activated, they signal your brain cells and receptors more efficiently. This can improve your mental as well as physical function.
Alzheimer’s disease has been linked with decline in acetylcholine levels. Therefore, researchers have studied ways to enhance acetylcholine levels using DMAE. The data on whether DMAE boosts acetylcholine levels is mixed.
Studies have looked into DMAE’s potential for treating Alzheimer’s disease and ADHD. Results are not startlingly significant, but the ingredient shows promise for improving cognitive function.
Even if DMAE doesn’t significantly improve cognition, evidence suggests that it has a neuroprotective effect on the brain. As we get older, we accumulate lipofuscin, a cellular waste product, in neurons and other cells throughout our bodies. DMAE may help eliminate lipofuscin.
Some evidence also shows that DMAE is an antioxidant, helping reduce damage from free radicals.
Gamma-amino butyric acid, or GABA, is an amino acid that functions as a neurotransmitter. It is produced in the brain from glutamate, and the supplement is marketed to help calm anxiety. The idea behind this is that GABA inhibits the firing of certain nerve cells, which can aid conditions that occur because of overactive firing, including panic attacks, seizures, Parkinson’s disease and cognitive impairment.
Some experts say that taking GABA orally doesn’t affect the brain. Others have found that oral administration of GABA increases human growth hormone levels if it’s taken before intense exercise.
Therefore, GABA may improve mood and enhance performance. However, its mechanisms of action are unclear, and more research needs to be done to prove that taking a GABA supplement has a significant effect on cognition.
According to the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, ALA has been studied for its ability to reduce inflammation, scavenge free radicals and protect brain cells from damage when certain medical conditions impair cognitive function. However, research shows mixed results for ALA’s ability to treat mild cognitive dysfunction.
In one study, even though supplementation with ALA reduced oxidative stress in participants’ brains by almost 20 percent, they didn’t experience improvement in mental function. Plus, the amount of ALA in a serving size of two tablets is only 50 mg. Most of the studies have used doses that range from 600 to 900 mg per day.
According to Examine.com, gingko biloba is the most commonly used oral supplement for brain health. The recommended dosage to enhance cognition is 120 to 240 mg. However, Focus Formula only contains 60 mg of gingko biloba per serving.
Several studies show that there is a somewhat reliable improvement in attention processing, recall and short-term memory in older adults. However, there are many studies that show no improvement with gingko biloba supplementation.
Huperzia serrata contains huperzine A, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. As it reduces the function of acetylcholine, it allows levels of acetylcholine to increase. Low levels of acetylcholine have been linked to cognitive dysfunction, according to Onnit. It is also antioxidative and anti-inflammatory, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Soy lecithin is found in a number of processed foods. According to Healthline, it’s used as an additive to enhance flavor and add thickness to certain foods. It’s also a dietary supplement that has been implicated for use in reducing cholesterol levels, reducing fatigue and blood pressure, and improving symptoms of ADHD.
Dr. Axe says that soy lecithin may serve as a source of choline, a nutrient that’s vital for proper brain development. It can also reduce stress, which can lead to brain fog.
Caffeine is a stimulant, and most people know that it can increase energy levels and make you more alert. According to Examine.com, caffeine is also classified as a nootropic, a supplement that enhances brain function.
There are many studies that show that caffeine can enhance physical performance. Evidence that links caffeine intake with improved memory is weak, however. Consumption of caffeine has been shown to enhance mental processing speed. It can also improve blood flow.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the development of the nervous system and brain. They’re also hyped as a nootropic cognitive booster.
The brain is comprised of 60 percent fat. Essential fatty acids are crucial for brain health, but they are not produced within the body. They promote communication between neurons and have been researched for their role in neuroprotection.
However, as with many supplements, results for the efficacy of their usage are mixed. One study found no significant change in cognitive function in healthy adults who took 252 mg of DHA per day for 90 days. Omega-3s might have a protective effect in situations that cause neuronal damage, such as seizures and oxidative stress.
Focus Formula contains 200 mg of a turmeric blend, with 38 mg of curcuminoids. Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has been studied for its effects on patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The results are promising, and curcumin also has anti-oxidant and protective effects. However, more large-scale trials must be done to come up with more conclusive evidence for its brain benefits.
Important Note: If you look at the supplement facts for this product on Amazon, you get a list of some different ingredients, including vitamins C, E, B6 and B12, folic acid, vinpocetine and spinach leaf and blueberry juice concentrate. We don’t love the fact that you can’t get a clear idea of the ingredients in this product until it’s in your hands.
Does Focus Formula Really Help You Gain A Mental Edge?
Does Focus Formula work? This product really seems to have combined ingredients that are implicated in mental enhancement and brain health. However, for every study that shows that these compounds may be effective, there are studies that show no change to learning or cognitive function.
Let’s break down some of the claims that this product makes:
- Improves focus and concentration – Although many of the ingredients are good for brain health, most of them have not been found to improve focus and concentration directly.
- Supports memory and recall – Gingko biloba has been shown to improve memory.
- Boosts energy and attention – The caffeine in the product may improve your energy. Gingko biloba may also enhance attention.
- Promotes blood flow – Caffeine may improve blood flow.
Focus Formula is probably not going to deliver rapid-onset improvements in focus and concentration like Adderall or other nootropics might. However, it does support general nervous system health. If you don’t get enough omega-3s or antioxidants in your diet, you might benefit from taking this supplement. You might also notice improvements in mood if you’re in a high-stress environment. For many people, simply reducing stress leads to a clearer mind and better ability to focus.
The manufacturer claims that the product is clinically proven to help you gain a mental edge, but we had trouble finding a direct study that shows this. Still, it is most likely safe for healthy adults and could support enhanced cognitive function.
Possible Side Effects: Is Focus Formula Safe?
When considering whether focus formula is safe to use, you need to know exactly what’s in it. Therefore, it’s best to look at the label on the particular product that you have purchased. No matter which version you use, the ingredients are associated with minimal side effects.
Some side effects of huperzine A include:
- Loss of appetite
Some people who have used DMAE say that they experienced headaches, tense muscles and insomnia. This is usually attributed to an inappropriately high dose.
People who consume the recommended dosage of Focus Formula which is two tablets a day, shouldn’t experience significant side effects.
Customer Complaints About Focus Formula
Most people who are unhappy with this product say that it doesn’t work well for them. In fact, the biggest complaints seem to be that people felt no effect after taking a pill that costs about $1 a day.
For example, this Amazon buyer said that the product didn’t improve focus or concentration after taking it for a week:
Another user complained about the change in formula. It seems that the company has used different ingredients at different times, and customers who purchase on Amazon are not getting the formulation that is shown in the photos:
One customer complained of headaches and intense side effects:
A commenter on Supplementreviews.com said that this product had no effect:
Focus Formula Reviews: What Do Customers Say About It?
It’s hard to find reputable reviews of this product because there are so many with similar names. Unless the user indicates that they’re referring to Windmill Health Products Focus Formula, they could be reviewing the Formula Focus nootropic supplement or Natural Remedies Focus Formula, both of which are completely different products.
Amazon seems to have some positive reviews of the Focus Formula Windmill Health Products supplement.
One user said, “My 12 and 13 year old sons do really well with Focus Formula.”
Sofia P., a verified Amazon purchaser, said that she was skeptical before using the product. She said that she needed to retain information and stay focused when training at a new job after getting little sleep. According to her, “It did the job, I noticed my focus and alert levels much higher. I still take it once a day and I think I will continue to for a while.” This customer also noted that this product does not produce any side effects for her.
Other Amazon reviewers say that Focus Formula has:
- Reduced their brain fog
- Improved short-term and long-term memory
- Reduced external distractions
- Works better than prescription medications for anxiety
Does Focus Formula Have A Money Back Guarantee?
There is no indication on the Windmill Vitamins or Focus Formula websites that this supplement comes with a money-back guarantee.
Focus Formula is not a miracle in a bottle. However, it is a supplement that supports your health on a variety of levels. We don’t think there is anything wrong with that.
Many users don’t experience a significant change in their mental capacity or cognitive function when they take this pill, but others do. That just goes to show that everyone is different, and you may have a unique response to this supplement compared to someone else.
What we like about Focus Formula is that its ingredients seem to be carefully selected for their role in supporting mental function. What we don’t like is that it’s difficult to determine which version of the formula is the newest and which one you’re purchasing when you’re getting it from a third-party online supplier.
We are also a little bit wary of the fact that the company makes claims that this product is clinically proven when we can’t find evidence of a study relating to this particular formula.
In sum, if you need a pill that helps you focus for an acute event, such as studying for a test or delivering a speech, this might not be the one for you. On the other hand, if you’d like to support your brain power with supplements that are deemed natural, you might want to check this one out.
Where To Buy Focus Formula
You can find Focus Formula at GNC, The Vitamin Shoppe, Walmart, Kroger, FredMeyer and independent pharmacies that carry Windmill vitamins. If you purchase it on Amazon, you may not know exactly which formula you’re getting. You can call the Windmill customer service staff at 1-800-822-4320 for more information about where to purchase the product.