Last summer Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) criticized memory boosting supplements, going so far as calling the companies who make the claims disgusting. The industry quickly responded, saying that McCaskill’s sweeping generalization covers only a fringe of the sector, and expert Marc Ullman told NurtaIngredients-USA in a past interview that companies have to be “very cautious to say that you are not offering implied remedies for dementia or Alzheimer's—one of the lessons learned here is that you have to have the level of substantiation that backs the claim.”
“We don’t have any crazy talk or claims saying ‘we’ll heal you in 30 days,’” CEL Nutrition’s Founder and CEO Mark Chrysler told NutraIngredients-USA, citing the claims made by the defendants of the case McCaskill criticized, Procera, which advertised “Remarkable changes observed, helps users match the memory power of others 15 years younger in as little as 30 days!”
“What we’re saying is we’re giving you the ingredients that will help your brain—you’re going to experience nice smooth energy with the addition of being able to focus,” Chrysler added.
A recipe found from passion
CEL Nutrition’s product Nervacore contains guarana, L-Tyrosine, Taurine, and black pepper extract (Sabinsa's BioPerine), among others, and its main goal is to energize and cognitively boost users. Also in the product are the slightly controversial nootropic staples of Huperzine A and vitamin B complexes, which a 2012 study from Harvard found that they don't really do much. But Chrysler stands by his product because of his own experiences.
Chrysler shares a passion of fitness and bodybuilding with his target audience for Nervacore, and this hobby is what sparked the engineer’s interest to start the company. The product is now sold on Amazon, and will soon be available at Bodybuilding.com.
“When I was growing up I always wanted to buy different dietary supplements and test them on myself, see how they work, to help me with my fitness levels,” he explained. “I was intrigued and enjoyed researching what I was putting into my body.” After a year-long gig in the energy sector as an instrumentation engineer (and a life-changing trip to Australia in 2013), he reminisced about his college days researching supplements as a hobby. “I’d love to do this for the rest of my life,” he thought.
He found out about all the ingredients and the clinical trials linked to them online. “I looked at what other companies were doing, what ingredients are working, and that’s basically how I found Nervacore,” he said.
“We’re not just here to make money”
But if his bodybuilding passion is what sparked the idea, it’s his mother who fuelled the engine. “A big reason I wanted to create a nootropic as my first supplement is because my mom has clinical depression,” he said.
Chrysler was firm to say that his product is not an anti-depressant or a cure for Alzheimer’s, but he believes the nootropic botanical and chemical ingredients in it were able to motivate his mother in achieving her weight loss goals, and soothe the depression she experienced when cutting out certain amount of food from her diet.
“That’s a big part of me creating Nervacore, and she has said that she now feels a little bit happier and more motivated,” he added. “I was very happy to see her have a spark of energy.”
He wants to spread this motivation to gym-goers, both the experienced and the aspiring, to be a sort of pre-workout supplement, or as he puts it, “an extra kick in the butt to go to the gym.” And with every bottle of Nervacore sold, which is $59.99, $1 goes to the Brain and Behavioural Research Foundation.
“The foundation awards grants to doctors trying to cure mental disabilities. There’s a lot of stigma about mental health that people haven’t been talking about,” he said. “You can’t just take and not give, the whole reason I started this company was to help people, and help my mom.”
And they’re going to stick with this contribution program till the end, he contends. “We’d love to hit, say, at least $10,000 in sales worth [because of the amount] that would go to charity, because we think [mental health]is one of the lowest funded,” he said.