Cognitex is a supplement marketed as providing 'advanced brain protection'. Since its original launch in 2000 the product has been reformulated several times to take advantage of the latest developments in ingredients for cognitive function - an issue that of paramount importance to the ageing and affluent baby boom generation.
PS (phosphatidylserine) is a phospholipid that occurs naturally in the organs such as brain, liver and kidneys. It plays an important role in regulating the functionality of key proteins in cell membrances, and has been shown to have a role in slowing or even reversing some forms of age-related cognitive deteriorations - such as short term memory and the capacity to learn new tasks.
According to Enzymotec, there are fears that the modern diet, in particular low fat and vegetarian choices, lead to low PS consumption and may lead to worse-than-normal brain function in old age.
PS has been used as a supplement for the last 20 years. Initially it was sourced from bovine brains, but fears over 'mad cow disease' led the industry to prefer soy lecithin-derived PS. Although it has a different fatty acid composition, the effect on cognition has been shown to be similar.
DHA (docosahexaenioc acid), an omega-3 fatty acid, has been much research recently for its beneficial role in brain health.
A spokesperson for Enzymotec said that the combination of PS and DHA "enables potent biofunctionality and… synergy, which translates into a significant cognitive improvement compared to… regular DHA or PS."
The US cognitive market for supplements is estimated to worth around $350m.
Enzymotec also offers stand-alone PS or DHA, branded as SharpPS and Sharp DHA.
The company recently announced the launch of the first products containing its ingredients in the Russian market, under the Protein Plus brand.