Reckitt Benckiser throws hat in nootropic ring with Neuriva launch

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images
Getty Images
Reckitt Benckiser is staking a claim in the thriving nootropics market with a new product called Neuriva, which builds on the science backing its two main branded ingredients.

Neuriva contains the branded ingredients Neurofactor and Sharp PS. Both have been under development for a number of years.

Brace of branded ingredients

Neurofactor is a product of Momence, Ill-based FutureCeuticals, which has a number of branded ingredients in categories such as general health & wellness, sports nutrition, organic food ingredients and others.

Neurofactor is a whole coffee fruit extract.  FutureCeuticals says a 2013 study​ supports the ingredient’s ability to boost brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in healthy subjects more than grape seed extract or green coffee caffeine powder.  According to an article in the Archives of Medical Sciences​, “Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in neuronal survival and growth, serves as a neurotransmitter modulator, and participates in neuronal plasticity, which is essential for learning and memory.”

Neuriva’s second active ingredient is Sharp PS, a branded form of phosphatidylserine originally manufactured by Israeli lipids specialist Enzymotec.  The ingredient became part of the Frutarom stable after that company acquired Enzymotec in 2017. The company says there are more than 50 studies backing the ingredient.

One study conducted by Spanish researchers in 2015​ concluded that, “Cerebral aging is associated with changes in the lipid composition of neuronal membranes, so it has been suggested that treatment with phospholipids like phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylserine could favor cognitive improvement.”

Science backing for finished formulation

Dirk Hondmann, PhD, chief scientific officer for Reckitt Benckiser, said the science backing of the chosen branded ingredients will be a differentiating factor for the new supplement.

“It's the partnerships that helped make Neuriva a compelling solution for consumers. In healthcare today and for the future, outside partnerships have never been more critical. Most importantly, we have chosen to go for a science-based approach,”​ Hondmann told NutraIngredients-USA.

Despite the significant amount of work done on the ingredients to back their methods of action, dosages and so forth, there is criticism of the approach of putting together ingredients meant for a common indication that have not been validated as a formulation.  Hondmann said informed choices can be made by formulators even so.

“There are several studies supporting the effectiveness of the ingredients in Neuriva. While both ingredients have similar mechanisms of action, we are eager to continue to invest in clinical research of the individual components and investigate studies on the complete product,”​ he said.

Brain training platform

In addition to the supplement itself, RB has launched an online brain training platform.  Called Neuriva Brain Gym, the platform features puzzles like Sudoku and pattern recognition exercises in which participants can track their progress over time.

“We are seeing a steady increase in self-education and personal accountability with people looking for solutions that are transparent about their ingredients and backed by clinical support. Prevention is much better than cure, so I think the usage of vitamins, supplements and tailored nutrition will continue to rise in importance, specifically ones backed by science like Neuriva,”​ Hondmann said.

RB was for years known as consumer packaged goods company competing in the personal hygiene and home products sectors. It started to move into the supplements space in a big way with the acquisition of Schiff Nutrition in 2012, a $1.2 billion deal which included the then biggest selling single omega-3s SKU of all, MegaRed, which featured Aker BioMarine’s krill oil.  RB now has a division called Schiff Vitamins that houses MegaRed and other former SChiff brands such as such as Airborne (acquired earlier in 2012 by Schiff for $150 million) and Digestive Advantage. 

NutraIngredients-USA Online Health Aging Event

For more on the Healthy Aging space, register today for NutraIngredients-USA Online Aging Event.  The event will feature a market overview from the Natural Marketing Institute, sessions hosted by key suppliers, and a panel discussion of the opportunities and regulatory concerns swirling around nootropic ingredients.  For more information and to register, click here​.

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