Ingredients with cognitive benefits stand to profit from prevalence of video gaming, Chemi Nutra says

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images - Damir Khabirov
©Getty Images - Damir Khabirov

Related tags Cognitive function cognitive performance Sports nutrition products Sports nutrition sector

The prevalence of video games in the lives of Americans makes for a powerful opportunity for cognitive support products, says Chemi Nurtra, the manufacturer of branded ingredient AlphaSize A-GPC. The company says it has new data that points to specific benefits in this area.

Chemi Nutra business director Chase Hagerman said new consumer research shows just how much the video game environment has become woven in the fabric of everyday life. 

Video gaming becoming ubiquitous

According to statistics cited by Chemi Nutra form the group Electronic Entertainment Design and Research, about 67% of Americans, or about 211 million people, play video games on at least one device.  More than half of those play on multiple platforms.

Respondents said they play the games for mental stimulation (79%) as well as stress relief (78%). Hagerman said the survey also reveals that almost three quarters of parents believe that video games can be educational for their children, and more than half played games with their children at least weekly.  Playing the games could actually strengthen skills such as spatial navigation, reasoning and memory, Hagerman said.

As video games become a more integral part of the entertainment scene, the financial incentives have risen as well.  Esport participants can now stand to win substantial prizes in competitions and garner lucrative sponsorships.  Hagerman said Chemi Nutra is well positioned to benefit from this trend with its A-GPC ingredient.

“It's not just a cognitive booster but it is also well known for sports performance,” ​Hagerman said. “The term ‘mind to muscle’ sums it up quite well.”

There is data to back A-GPC’s cognitive performance. The ingredient is an all-natural, highly bioavailable precursor of phospholipid-bound choline, which is quickly converted to acetylcholine, the primary neurotransmitter compound in the parasympathetic nervous system. Hagerman said as such, it is involved in all facets of memory and brain function, as well as initiating muscle contraction and movement.

Test shows improved performance

Hagerman said the size of the opportunity led Chemi Nutra to invest in a clinical trial to test the benefits of the ingredient in an esports environment. The test, which was conducted at a university in Texas, showed that seven days of A-GPC supplementation increased the number of levels that gamers completed in a virtual reality game and reduced the number of attempts each participant needed to complete each level.

Hagerman said the new results, which are available on a confidential basis to prospective customers, will bolster new applications for this legacy ingredient.  It was introduced to the US market almost 20 years ago by the Italian parent company that began producing the ingredient some years before that.  Hagerman said the ingredient’s robustness and flexibility means it’s easy to use in new product matrices.

“It’s one thing for an ingredient to have a particular structure and function benefits but it’s another for it to be used in a meaningful way.  So many ingredients have organoleptic issues.  AlphaSize A-GPC has minimal formulation requirements.  It’s completely water soluble and devoid of taste and smell,”​ Hagerman said.

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