Foods and drinks with selected vitamins and minerals that support brain functions and performance are seeing strong growth around the world. The number of new product launches in this segment rose by around 55 percent just from April 2020 to March 2021.
In addition to micronutrients, further ingredients support mental health. Among the functional ingredients that positively affect mental well-being is L-theanine, which is involved in the synthesis of the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin, and also contributes to protecting the nervous system. As components of cell membranes in the brain, omega-3 fatty acids keep cells elastic and flexible, and affect the viscosity and permeability of membranes.
Said Dr. Christina Mesch, Product Manager, SternVitamin: “Other functional ingredients that can mitigate stress and improve resistance to stress are the adaptogens. These bioactive plant substances help the body adapt to heightened physical and emotional stress situations.”
Adaptogens include ginseng, Rhodiola rosea and ashwagandha. The latter is also called ‘sleep berry’ and is used in Ayurvedic medicine for better sleep onset, inner peace and as a mood enhancer. There are also well-known healing plants like valerian, hops, passionflower, lavender, chamomile and lemon balm, which have been thoroughly and scientifically studied.
To support cognitive performance, SternVitamin uses nootropics. “These substances can improve brain function, among other effects. Examples include Ginkgo biloba, guarana, yerba mate and Bacopa monnieri, also known as ‘memory plant’,” added Dr. Mesch. Bacopa monnieri aids in memory and boosts brain functioning. A combination of L-theanine and caffeine as well as green tea are also part of the company’s line.
Vitamin-mineral supplements with mental health claims grew 23 percent annually from 2017 to 2021. The strongest markets are Europe, North America and Asia. For fortified products with health claims on better brain performance, the annual growth during the same period was 38 percent. With SternVitamin’s new concepts, manufacturers of food supplements, foods and beverages can profit from this value-add potential. SternMind, SternDe-Stress & Relax, SternFocus and PureVITalizer promote mental well-being and cognitive performance.
Continued Dr. Mesch: “With B-vitamins and L-theanine, SternMind helps reduce the symptoms of mental stress, fear and tension, and soothes nervousness. It also improves clear thinking, mental endurance and concentration in situations of limited performance.”
SternFocus also supports mental and cognitive performance with the help of selected micronutrients, L-tyrosine and Bacopa monnieri. It strengthens stress resistance and supports the nervous system with the aid of B-vitamins and the adaptogen Rhodiola rosea. The blueberry extract it contains counteracts the stress-induced production of reactive oxygen species. With B-vitamins, vitamin C, iodine and green tea extract, PureVITalizer likewise supports mental energy and improves cognitive functions, while the Panax ginseng and natural caffeine it contains reduce stress and mental fatigue. For more visit sternvitamin.de/en