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Heathy aging products vie for consumer attention

As the baby-boom generation ages, it is probably haunted by one ghost above all others: cognitive decline. These folks (or anyone else) don’t want to go through the nightmare of dementia, Alzheimer’s or even brain fog that many of them witnessed in their parents. Which ingredients are tops?

A number of players are seeking to become the cognitive ghostbusters of choice, including L-alpha-glycerophosphocholine (alpha-GPC), phosphatidylserine (PS), citicoline, acetyl L-carnitine, curcumin, DHA and EPA, taurine, resveratrol and even good old caffeine.

Some of these ingredients are found in abundance in specialty drinks. One recent market entrant, Nawgan, provides a cocktail of brain ingredients including alpha-GPC, lycopene, citicoline and caffeine. Another, Neuro, boasts taurine, caffeine, alpha-GPC, L-theanine, resveratrol and PS.

Of course, improved energy is associated with better mental clarity, so between the energy and the cognitive drinks/products market, some, though not all of these operative ingredients are beginning to surge. Among the winners:

There currently are no sales numbers available for alpha-GPC, but various people in the field say that once the public gets wind of the positive results that science is finding, it is likely to become a huge deal. ChemiNutra is likely the largest producer of PS and alpha-GPC. Company President Scott Hagerman says, “One marketing study found that cognitive (memory) was the number two concern of seniors, just behind financial security. It’s definitely the category to be in.”

But it spans the generations, as well. “The interest in GRAS for GPC in beverages and shots is exploding,” Hagerman says. He points to one recent example, CRAM, sold as a cognition booster by the Southern California company MRM to the college crowd. He also insists that PS sales numbers are far higher than those being reported. ChemiNutra sells GPC in supplement form in the US, and in oral and injectable forms in European and Asian markets where it is often prescribed by physicians.

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