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Less stress, deeper sleep

In 2007, the American Psychological Association polled some 1,800 adults across the US, and found that one third of them reported having ‘extreme stress' in their lives that affected their relationships, health, work output and, of course, their sleep. A casual conversation with one's office workers might suggest even larger percentages.

Recent research presented at the and meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies suggested that inadequate sleep combined with increased electronic screen time and caffeine intake may have negative implications for adolescents' health, psychosocial well-being and academic performance.

According to Nutrition Business Journal, two-thirds of Americans report having trouble sleeping several times a week, and some 44 per cent report problems sleeping nearly every night. Given such numbers, one might think that companies would be elbowing each other out of the way to enter this market with a plethora of ingredients.

Beyond the traditional herbals such as the ayurvedic herb, Ashwangandha, eleuthero, rhodiola, valerian and GABA, there is melatonin, L-theanine, 5-HTP (hydroxytryptophan), wild green-oat extract, a phosphatidic acid and phosphatidylserine combination, and lactium.

Functional ingredients
Wild green oat
5-HTP (hydroxytryptophan)

Mitch Skop, director of new product development, marketing and sales at Pharmachem, says his company is the exclusive licensee for the French company Ingredia's lactium. "It's a hydrolysate of milk proteins that contain a bioactive decapeptide with proven relaxing properties," he says. A recent Japanese study with insomniacs showed that subjects taking lactium experienced significant improvement in the areas of sleep quality, sleep latency and daytime dysfunction. "I would call this a solid B-plus category for us," Skop says. By way of comparison, he calls the weight-loss category an "A-plus" category. "It's a really nice ingredient," he says, and there are six really nice studies supporting it."

Frutarom produces Neuravena, a wild green-oat extract that has demonstrated in a human clinical study a significant, positive effect on brain activity, enhancing mental fitness and stress resistance.

A few years ago, Lipogen launched a few years ago a patented vegetarian complex of soy lecithin phosphatidic acid (PA) and phosphatidylserine (PS) it named PAS. The company cites clinical studies supporting stress-reduction function.


Select Suppliers

BI Nutraceuticals
Valerian root powder and extracts
Valerian root has been used as a sleep aid for more than 1,000 years. Relaxes the central nervous system, promotes feelings of calm, and decreases levels of anxiety and stress. Used in products designed to help reduce insomnia, restlessness and anxiety.
+1 310 637 3644
Long Beach, California, USA

Draco Natural Products
D-31 Sleep & Relaxation Formula
Proprietary multi-herbal formula that promotes a restful state of mind for deeper, longer, healthier sleep. Combines many unique, safe herbs with relaxing effects.
+1 408 287 7871
San Jose, California, USA

Fenchem Biotek
Targeting the US mood market, SAM-e is prescription in Europe for depression and joints.
+1 909 627 5268
Chino, CA, USA

Co-Q10, omega 3, green tea, antioxidants, Aloe vera, St John's wort, GABA
+1 800 950 5156
Schenectady, New York, USA

Hsu's Ginseng
Reishi mushroom
Chinese reishi mushroom. Helps maintain a healthy sleep pattern. May also help normalize overall body functions such as circulation and blood pressure.
+1 715 675 2325
Wausau, Wisconsin, USA

Pharmachem Laboratories
Patented casein decapeptide imported from France. Reduces symptoms of stress while improving quality of sleep. Helps in reduction of blood pressure and cortisol.
+1 800 526 0609
Kearny, New Jersey, USA

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