Review Guidelines

Earning your trust is critical to us. For this reason, we’d like to share how we create content that’s accurate, timely, and reliable.

All Brain Reference reviews go through an extensive review process to ensure factual validity. This review process includes bringing in dietitians, nutritionists, and health journalists to help Brain Reference create a source of authoritative, trustworthy reviews on brain health products and programs.

Since we launched, we’ve authored and published over 3,000 reviews on brain health products and programs. Our goal is to treat our readers, staff members, partners, vendors, and article sources with fairness and transparency. Our reputation depends on this, as do the professional reputations of our colleagues.

We offer clear and conspicuous Advertising Disclosures throughout the site, making clear connections to our affiliates. It should be noted we receive no kickbacks, free products, or compensation of any kind from any products we review.

For more information on how we make money, please see our Advertising Disclosure and About Us pages.

Review Guidelines

Supplement Review Guidelines and Criteria | BrainReference

We make it our responsibility to make sure we know our facts and that we are providing you with quality knowledge and insight. To do this, we undergo an extensive research process that has rigorous standards in place for every product we review. 

The purpose of our reviews is to inform our readers about:

  • The many characteristics of a given supplement, tool, or program, including an extensive background on the company, where and how the product was manufactured, ingredients, real testimonials, and customer stories, price, potential side effects or warnings, how to take/how to use, and where to purchase.
  • What Brain Reference visitors and users say about the supplement, tool, or program.
  • Thousands of new and existing products and programs meant to help people improve and maintain cognitive health and/or lead a healthier life.
  • The science (or lack thereof) behind each ingredient.
  • A quick view of similar supplements, tools, or programs.
  • Any legal issues associated with the product (such as scam allegations, lawsuits, regulatory action, recalls, or fraudulent activity associated with a supplement, tool, or program).
  • Whether the supplement, tool, or program features a comprehensive approach to helping people improve cognitive health.

Find below the criteria our writers use to author, edit, and publish reviews. 

All conclusions drawn from the supplements we review are our own. We make it a practice to draw conclusions based on the proper weight of the evidence available. These conclusions will be as objective and transparent as possible. As much as is appropriate, we will explain our reasoning behind conclusions, referring to specific evidence whenever possible.

Product Details

Product Details

Product details include comprehensive support for claims associated with the product; a clear list of ingredients and accurate labeling; and information on where and how the product was manufactured or formulated.

For each part of the process, we look for reputable sources. Most of our reviews reference at least ten authoritative sources, are vetted for accuracy, and incorporate quotes from direct interviews with medical professionals. Visit our About Us page to learn more about our Expert Reviewers and our Expert Contributors.

Our articles contain a number of in-text citations. These citations are numbered and each is hyperlinked to the relevant page on an external website. Our main sources include:

To get the best quality of information possible, we look to verify all the claims a manufacturer makes about their product. We do this with detailed research both online and offline, from interviewing industry professionals to testing products, to in-depth company analysis.

Our team strives for accuracy, but sometimes we miss things – and we love it when readers help us. The simplest way to submit a correction is to leave a comment at the bottom, after the review in question. You can also reach us through our Contact Us page.


Criteria - Review Guidelines

We assess each brain supplement we review from multiple angles. Here are some of the criteria we use to rate products:

  • Quality
  • Ingredients
  • Place of manufacture
  • Method of manufacture
  • Effectiveness
  • Variety
  • Longevity
  • Safety
  • Side Effects
  • Track Record
  • Shipping
  • Speed Of Results
  • Success Rate
  • Cost

Some of these criteria are easier to verify than others. For example, checking the cost of shipping is a matter of cross-referencing websites for details and consumer reviews. However, certain stages like verifying the effectiveness of ingredients are more complex and sometimes elusive. This is where the expertise and integrity of the team come into play.

We make sure to keep up with the standards of the community. For example, there is a shift towards topics like clean label ingredients. We make sure to investigate the ingredient lists of products and match them to increasingly popular standards like these. If there are high quantities of processed or red flag ingredients, we make sure to bring it to the attention of our audience in the review. 

Several trends are emerging in the supplement industry as the use of fillers in place of active ingredients, and modern processing methods like micronization (the process of making an ingredient or particle smaller for greater efficacy). It’s our job to stay ahead of the industry and bring the truth to our readers on new topics of interest like these.

This brings us to the other essential ingredient: our audience. One of the most critical factors that make Brain Reference stand out from the other online resources is our active community. 

Together, your feedback and individual experience with products add up to a sophisticated database of experience-rich information. Combined with our rigorous editorial principles, this makes Brain Reference an extraordinary resource for helping you make sound decisions when considering brain supplements. So thank you for being the final important part of our mission for bringing a new standard of integrity to the brain supplement industry. We are proud of what we’ve been able to achieve so far, and we’re excited about what we will continue to build with your support.

Affiliate Model

We feature Amazon affiliate links where customers can click through and buy some of the brain supplements we cover in our reviews. When somebody orders a brain supplement through one of our Amazon links, Amazon pays us up to a 3% affiliate commission. If you see an Amazon affiliate link on one of our review pages, just know it takes you only to the product that is actually being reviewed on that particular page.

Now Available on Amazon

With our current model, any link to any supplement purchased through Amazon is equal. All the products have the same value when purchased through our affiliate links, so there is no incentive in favoring one over another. This allows us to stay in business with no conflict of interest. There is no room for us to use our influence for profit as the system does not reward bias. Of course, we refuse any offer from companies with an incentive for favoring their product or brand.

Please write to us with any questions or concerns on our Contact Us page here.

Collaboration with Experts

It is always a good sign if the company has collaborated with licensed nutritionists, dietitians or medical doctors to develop their system or product.

Here at Brain Reference our articles are medically reviewed by field experts such as:

User Comments

At Brain Reference we encourage readers to leave comments on reviews. However, any comments containing profanity, threats, hate speech and/or self-promotion, among other issues, are not tolerated and may be edited or removed.

In addition, please note that we reserve the right to admit or deny any comment that is submitted. Opinions tend to generally be protected, but we try our best to not approve comments with false or misleading claims.

Verified Reviewers

A Verified Reviewer is a person who has confirmed their email address through our verification process. This designation is intended to clearly identify those members of our community who are submitting reviews using their real email addresses.

Being verified simply means that we have confirmed your email address and that you submitted the review. What this really does is tell your fellow visitors that you and your comments are real and adds more credibility to your opinion.

When you read user comments on Brain Reference, you may note a “Verified” designation next to some users’ names. This designation identifies individuals who have confirmed their email through our verification process. We will never publish or share a user’s real email address, and you will never see a user’s real email address on any site powered by us.

What about my privacy?

We take your privacy very seriously. We do not publish or share your email address, and use it only to contact you regarding the verification process, our process, and the review you submit. Click here to view the Privacy Policy.