Brainy Ingredients Get Brawny
BEVERLY HILLS – An estimated 10 per cent of American adults have mood disorders — 21 million. Another five million have Alzheimer’s disease.
Interest in cognitive health is also expanding to the younger populations, ages 25—50 years. Many younger people are more receptive to ‘keeping their brain sharp’ as they find themselves taking care of an elderly parent suffering from age-related mental decline and realise that they might have a similar condition in a few decades.
One of the primary ingredients marketed for cognitive health is the omega-3 fatty acid DHA. Martek’s life’sDHA is used in many infant formulas for improved cognitive function (and eye health), and through this platform is finding a home elsewhere. Its success is demonstrated with Martek’s second quarter financial 2009 results, which showed revenues up two per cent to $92.4 million.
“Our success within the infant formula market has provided us credibility with the food companies. If we are good enough for babies, we must be good enough for the rest of the population,” says
Other ingredients are hopping on the DHA bandwagon. Ocean Nutrition Canada, a major supplier of fish oil, has partnered with
Gamma amino butyric acid (GABA)
St John’s wort
“We wanted to leverage both companies’ ingredients for brain health,” says
Hagerman says the company works to leverage market interest into successful new ingredients. “We first look at market attractiveness, long-term prospects of selling, production capabilities and, finally, patent opportunities, since we have to make substantial investments in identifying and developing new ingredient product opportunities.”
One new entrant to the field is Vivimind by Ovos Natural Health. The ingredient, derived from homotaurine found in seaweed, has a great deal of research behind it, on more than 2,000 individuals. It is set to launch in the US market by the end of the year.
“Vivimind has received scientific support and has been embraced by consumers in the Canadian market since its launch in September 2008,” says
Other emerging ingredients include vinpocetine, curcumin and turmeric. And — surprise, surprise — vitamin D. A May 2009 study in Europe of more than 3,000 men aged 40-79 found those with high vitamin D levels performed better on memory and information processing tes