In this article, we’ll review Synaptol, a product by Hello Life LLC. Synaptol is marketed as an over-the-counter alternative to prescription drugs for the management of inattentive symptoms of ADHD.
Synaptol is a homeopathic remedy. The product is stimulant-free and contains homeopathic ingredients derived from green oat grass (avena sativa), sweet violet (viola odorata), and skullcap (scutelaria lateriflora). The advertising material claims that Synaptol provides “relief from issues of focus, concentration, memory, comprehension, irritability, sensitivity, anxiety, restlessness, fidgeting and hyperactivity.”
We’ve seen in an explosion of interest in supplements in the brain health/mental health segment of the market. These products range from synthetic nootropics like phenylpiracetam to plant-derived compounds like curcumin or pterostilbene.
Synaptol Review Verdict: It’s A Scam
According to the product label, Synaptol contains 12 different ingredients, ranging from Aconitum ferox (a species of monkshood) to Viola odorata (sweet violet).
It’s theoretically possible that these ingredients might mitigate symptoms of ADHD.
But in Synaptol they’re present in such vanishingly small quantities that you’re essentially consuming water – that’s how homeopathy works. Homeopathy refers to the practice of administering substances that are extraordinarily dilute.
Homeopathic products are made from botanical substances and other sources. One part of the substance is diluted with 9 parts or 99 parts of distilled water (or ethanol) and stirred vigorously. The medicine is then sequentially diluted to 10x, 30x, or 100x potencies by repeatedly taking 1 part of the dilute solution and adding 9 (or 99) parts distilled water.
Dr. Stephen Barrett notes:
A 30X dilution means that the original substance has been diluted 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times. Assuming that a cubic centimeter of water contains 15 drops, this number is greater than the number of drops of water that would fill a container more than 50 times the size of the Earth. Imagine placing a drop of red dye into such a container so that it disperses evenly. Homeopathy’s “law of infinitesimals” is the equivalent of saying that any drop of water subsequently removed from that container will possess an essence of redness. Robert L. Park, Ph.D., a prominent physicist who is executive director of The American Physical Society, has noted that since the least amount of a substance in a solution is one molecule, a 30C solution would have to have at least one molecule of the original substance dissolved in a minimum of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules of water. This would require a container more than 30,000,000,000 times the size of the Earth.
Here’s a succinct statement about homeopathy from Wikipedia:
Continued homeopathic practice, despite the evidence that it does not work, has been criticized as unethical because it discourages the use of effective treatments, with the World Health Organization warning against using homeopathy to try to treat severe diseases such as HIV and malaria. The continued practice of homeopathy, despite a lack of evidence of efficacy, has led to it being characterized within the scientific and medical communities as nonsense, quackery, and a sham.
In March 2013, the National Advertising Division notified the manufacturers of Synaptol, Hello Life LLC, to discontinue marketing their product as a treatment for ADHD due to lack of efficacy. Since then, some claims regarding Synaptol have been redacted, but it is still being promoted as an over-the-counter Adderall alternative.
Synaptol is priced at about $28 per bottle. You’d be better off donating the $28 to charity – since both Synaptol and charitable donations will have about the same effect on your child’s ADHD.
On HelloLife’s website, Synaptol has over five hundred 5-star reviews. Yet on Amazon, before Synaptol was removed, it’s average rating was 3/5 stars. This suggests that Synaptol is suppressing negative reviews and only posting positive reviews, which undermines their credibility.