Nootropics and the quest to improve our brains through ‘barely regulated’ dietary supplements

| | July 19, 2019
braingear
Image: Zander Chance
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

It helped too that, as vague as the term “smart” is, “nootropics” is equally broad. It was coined by Romanian scientist Corneliu E. Giurgea in 1972 when he created a drug he believed enhanced memory and learning. … But today it’s an umbrella term that includes everything from prescription drugs, to dietary supplements … anything a person might use in an effort to enhance cognitive function, whatever that might mean to them. …

For those people, there’s Whole Foods bottles of Omega-3 and B vitamins. In 2013, the American Psychological Association estimated that grocery store “brain booster” supplements and other cognitive enhancement products were already a $1 billion-a-year industry. In 2014, analysts projected “brain fitness” becoming an $8 billion industry by 2015. And of course, supplements — unlike medications that require prescriptions — are barely regulated, making them a nearly limitless market.

Related article:  Viewpoint: To understand human consciousness, we need a revolutionary way of thinking about it

The brain supplements industry is still expanding. A recent report by Grand View Research estimated it could reach $10.7 billion annually by 2025, growing steadily at about 8 percent per year. “Growing health concerns over depression, anxiety, anti-aging, and sleep recovery issues” will contribute to the continued rise, the report states.

Nobody is taking these things for no reason. They’re pushing themselves for what seems to them like very good reasons, and turning themselves into crash test dummies.

Read full, original post: The all-too-understandable urge to buy a better brain

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
sperm swim

Video: Sperm are ‘spinners not swimmers’—because they are lopsided

Research by fertility scientists in the UK and Mexico challenges the accepted view of how sperm “swim”, suggesting that it ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
breastfeeding bed x facebook x

Infographic: We know breastfeeding helps children. Now we know it helps mothers too

When a woman becomes pregnant, her risk of type 2 diabetes increases for the rest of her life, perhaps because ...
biotechnology worker x

Can GMOs rescue threatened plants and crops?

Some scientists and ecologists argue that humans are in the midst of an "extinction crisis" — the sixth wave of ...
food globe x

Are GMOs necessary to feed the world?

Experts estimate that agricultural production needs to roughly double in the coming decades. How can that be achieved? ...
eating gmo corn on the cob x

Are GMOs safe?

In 2015, 15 scientists and activists issued a statement, "No Scientific consensus on GMO safety," in the journal Environmental Sciences ...
Screen Shot at PM

Charles Benbrook: Agricultural economist and consultant for the organic industry and anti-biotechnology advocacy groups

Independent scientists rip Benbrook's co-authored commentary in New England Journal calling for reassessment of dangers of all GMO crops and herbicides ...
Screen Shot at PM

ETC Group: ‘Extreme’ biotechnology critic campaigns against synthetic biology and other forms of ‘extreme genetic engineering’

The ETC Group is an international environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Canada whose stated purpose is to monitor "the impact of emerging technologies and ...
Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend